Journal Article

Constraining the mass distribution of cluster galaxies by weak lensing

Bernhard Geiger and Peter Schneider

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 295, issue 3, pages 497-510
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.1998.01146.x
Constraining the mass distribution of cluster galaxies by weak lensing

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Analysing the weak lensing distortions of the images of faint background galaxies provides a means to constrain the average mass distribution of cluster galaxies and potentially to test the extent of their dark matter haloes as a function of the density of their environment. The observable image distortions are a consequence of the interplay between the effects of a global cluster mass distribution and the perturbations resulting from individual cluster galaxies. Starting from a reconstruction of the cluster mass distribution with conventional techniques, we apply a maximum likelihood method to infer the average properties of an ensemble of cluster galaxies. From simulations this approach is found to be reliable as long as the galaxies including their dark matter haloes only contribute a small fraction to the total mass of the system. If their haloes are extended, the galaxies contain a substantial mass fraction. In this case our method is still applicable in the outer regions of clusters, where the surface mass density is low, but yields biased estimates of the parameters describing the mass profiles of the cluster galaxies in the central part of the cluster. In that case it will be necessary to resort to more sophisticated strategies by modelling cluster galaxies and an underlying global mass distribution simultaneously. We conclude that galaxy-galaxy lensing in clusters provides a unique means to probe the presence and extent of dark haloes of cluster galaxies.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: general; galaxies: haloes; dark matter; gravitational lensing

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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