Journal Article

Cluster mass estimation through fair galaxies

Guido Cupani, Marino Mezzetti and Fabio Mardirossian

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 403, issue 2, pages 838-847
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Cluster mass estimation through fair galaxies

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We analyse a catalogue of simulated clusters within the theoretical framework of the Spherical Collapse Model (SCM), and demonstrate that the relation between the infall velocity of member galaxies and the cluster matter overdensity can be used to estimate the mass profile of clusters, even though we do not know the full dynamics of all the member galaxies. In fact, we are able to identify a limited subset of member galaxies, the ‘fair galaxies’, which are suitable for this purpose. The fair galaxies are identified within a particular region of the galaxy distribution in the redshift (line-of-sight velocity versus sky-plane distance from the cluster centre). This ‘fair region’ is unambiguously defined through statistical and geometrical assumptions based on the SCM. These results are used to develop a new technique for estimating the mass profiles of observed clusters and subsequently their masses. We tested our technique on a sample of simulated clusters; the mass profiles estimates are proved to be efficient from 1 up to 7 virialization radii, within a typical uncertainty factor of 1.5, for more than 90 per cent of the clusters considered. Moreover, as an example, we used our technique to estimate the mass profiles and the masses of some observed clusters of the Cluster Infall Regions in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey catalogue. The technique is shown to be reliable also when it is applied to sparse populated clusters. These characteristics make our technique suitable to be used in clusters of large observational catalogues.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: general; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  6110 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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