The Luminosity Distribution in Galaxy Clusters: A Dwarf Population-Density Relation?

S Phillipps*, SP Driver, WJ Couch, RM Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent work suggests that rich clusters of galaxies commonly have large populations of dwarf (i.e., low-luminosity) members, that is, their luminosity function turns up to a steep slope at the faint end. This population, or more particularly the relative numbers of dwarfs to giants, appears to be very similar for clusters of similar morphology but may vary between cluster types. We have previously suggested that dwarfs may be more common in less compact, spiral-rich clusters. Similarly, we have found evidence for population gradients across clusters, in that the dwarf population appears more spatially extended. In the present Letter, we summarize the current evidence and propose, in an analogy to the well-known morphology-density relation, that what we are seeing is a dwarf population-density relation: dwarfs are more common in lower density environments. Finally, we discuss recent semianalytic models of galaxy formation in the hierarchical clustering picture, which may give clues as to the origin of our proposed relation.

Translated title of the contributionThe Luminosity Distribution in Galaxy Clusters: A Dwarf Population-Density Relation?
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL119-L123
Pages (from-to)L119-L123
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume498
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 1998

Keywords

  • galaxies, clusters, general
  • galaxies, luminosity function, mass function
  • galaxies, photometry
  • SURFACE BRIGHTNESS GALAXIES
  • COMA CLUSTER
  • REDSHIFT SURVEY
  • NORTHERN DWARF
  • CORE
  • PHOTOMETRY
  • EVOLUTION
  • CATALOG
  • SEARCH
  • A3574

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