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Published August 2007 | Published
Journal Article Open

Diffuse Optical Light in Galaxy Clusters. II. Correlations with Cluster Properties


We have measured the flux, profile, color, and substructure in the diffuse intracluster light (ICL) in a sample of 10 galaxy clusters with a range of mass, morphology, redshift, and density. Deep, wide-field observations for this project were made in two bands at the 1 m Swope and 2.5 m du Pont telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory. Careful attention in reduction and analysis was paid to the illumination correction, background subtraction, point-spread function determination, and galaxy subtraction. ICL flux is detected in both bands in all 10 clusters ranging from 7.6 × 10^(10) to 7.0 × 10^(11) h^(-1)_(70) L_⊙ in r and 1.4 × 10^(10) to 1.2 × 10^(11) h^(-1)_(70) L_⊙ in the B band. These fluxes account for 6%-22% of the total cluster light within one-quarter of the virial radius in r and 4%-21% in the B band. Average ICL B - r colors range from 1.5 to 2.8 mag when k- and evolution corrected to the present epoch. In several clusters we also detect ICL in group environments near the cluster center and up to 1 h^(-1)_(70) Mpc distant from the cluster center. Our sample, having been selected from the Abell sample, is incomplete in that it does not include high-redshift clusters with low density, low flux, or low mass, and it does not include low-redshift clusters with high flux, high mass, or high density. This bias makes it difficult to interpret correlations between ICL flux and cluster properties. Despite this selection bias, we do find that the presence of a cD galaxy corresponds to both centrally concentrated galaxy profiles and centrally concentrated ICL profiles. This is consistent with ICL either forming from galaxy interactions at the center or forming at earlier times in groups and later combining in the center.

Additional Information

© 2007 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2006 November 1; accepted 2007 April 8. We acknowledge J. Dalcanton and V. Desai for observing support and R. Dupke, E. De Filippis, and J. Kempner for help with X-ray data. We thank the anonymous referee for useful suggestions on the manuscript. Partial support for J. E. K. was provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the University of Michigan's NSF ADVANCE program. Partial support for R.A. B. was provided by NASA Hubble Fellowship grant HF-01088.01-97A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA under contract NAS 5-2655. This research has made use of data from the following sources: USNOFS Image and Catalogue Archive, operated by the US Naval Observatory, Flagstaff Station (http://www.nofs.navy.mil / data/fchpix/); NASA/ IPAC Extragalactic Database, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation; the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France; and the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center Online Service, provided by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

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