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Published March 15, 1989 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Shane Wirtanen counts: Observability of the galaxy correlation function


For an explicit test of the ability to recover the galaxy two-point correlation function from the Lick catalog of Shane and Wirtanen, we have applied the reduction and analysis methods of Seidner et al. and Groth and Peebles to model galaxy distributions that have known plate and field "errors" and that are high-fidelity simulations of the Lick sample. The model galaxy space distribution is constructed with the Soneira-Peebles prescription, which generates model distributions which have two-, three-, and four-point correlation functions in good agreement with the observed correlation functions. The space distribution is projected onto the sky with and without plate "errors." The Seidner et al. analysis recovers the plate factors in the former case with an error of 6.3%, as originally estimated. The two-point correlation function estimated from the "corrected" model catalog reproduces the built-in correlation function including the break from the power law. This is also true if the angular scale of the break is increased or decreased by a factor of 1.76 from the observed value. We also compare a map of the corrected counts with a map of the counts projected without plate errors and find that the corrected map is a good visual representation of the galaxy distribution. Finally, we construct a simulation which includes systematic variations in plate sensitivity with observer and time-so called "plate shape gradients." Once again, the correlation function of the model catalog reproduces the built in correlation function.

Additional Information

© 1989 American Astronomical Society. Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System. Received 1988 February 8; accepted 1988 August 23. This work is based partly on the Princeton University Senior Thesis of M. E. B. We thank Jim Peebles for a careful reading of this manuscript and several helpful suggestions. This research was supported in part by NASA (contract NASS-29142) and the NSF (grant PHY 8419908).

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Published - 1989ApJ_338_605B.pdf


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