Journal Article

Galaxy triplets in Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 – I. Catalogue

Ana Laura O’Mill, Fernanda Duplancic, Diego García Lambas, Carlos Valotto and Laerte Sodré

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 421, issue 3, pages 1897-1907
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20301.x
Galaxy triplets in Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 – I. Catalogue

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We present a new catalogue of galaxy triplets derived from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7. The identification of systems was performed considering galaxies brighter than Mr=−20.5 and imposing constraints over the projected distances, radial velocity differences of neighbouring galaxies and isolation. To improve the identification of triplets, we employed a data pixelization scheme, which allows us to handle large amounts of data as in the SDSS photometric survey. Using spectroscopic and photometric data in the redshift range 0.01 ≤z≤ 0.40, we obtain 5901 triplet candidates. We have used a mock catalogue to analyse the completeness and contamination of our methods. The results show a high level of completeness (∼80 per cent) and low contamination (∼5 per cent). By using photometric and spectroscopic data, we have also addressed the effects of fibre collisions in the spectroscopic sample. We have defined an isolation criterion considering the distance of the triplet brightest galaxy to the closest neighbour cluster, to describe a global environment, as well as the galaxies within a fixed aperture, around the triplet brightest galaxy, to measure the local environment. The final catalogue comprises 1092 isolated triplets of galaxies in the redshift range 0.01 ≤z≤ 0.40. Our results show that photometric redshifts provide very useful information, allowing us to complete the sample of nearby systems whose detection is affected by fibre collisions, as well as extending the detection of triplets to large distances, where spectroscopic redshifts are not available.

Keywords: galaxies: general

Journal Article.  6645 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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