Journal Article

Estimates for the luminosity function of galaxies and its evolution

Volker Springel and Simon D. M. White

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 298, issue 1, pages 143-152
Published in print July 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Estimates for the luminosity function of galaxies and its evolution

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A new method is presented to obtain a non-parametric maximum likelihood estimate of the luminosity function and the selection function of a flux-limited redshift survey. The method parametrizes the selection function as a series of stepwise power laws and allows possible evolution of the luminosity function. We also propose a new technique to estimate the rate of evolution of the luminosity function. This is based on a minimization of the observed large-scale power with respect to the evolutionary model. We use an ensemble of mock surveys extracted from an N-body simulation to verify the power of this method. We apply our estimators to the 1.2-Jy survey of IRAS galaxies. We find a far-infrared luminosity function in good agreement with previously published results and evidence for rather strong evolution. If the comoving number density of IRAS galaxies is assumed to scale ∝ (1 + z)P, we estimate P = 4.3 ± 1.4.

Keywords: methods: statistical; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: luminosity function; mass function; infrared: galaxies

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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