A GMBCG galaxy cluster catalog of 55,424 rich clusters from SDSS DR7

Jiangang Hao, Timothy A. McKay, Benjamin P. Koester, Eli S. Rykoff, Eduardo Rozo, James Annis, Risa H. Wechsler, August Evrard, Seth R. Siege, Matthew Becker, Michael Busha, David Gerdes, David E. Johnston, Erin Sheldon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


We present a large catalog of optically selected galaxy clusters from the application of a new Gaussian Mixture Brightest Cluster Galaxy (GMBCG) algorithm to SDSS Data Release 7 data. The algorithm detects clusters by identifying the red-sequence plus brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) feature, which is unique for galaxy clusters and does not exist among field galaxies. Red-sequence clustering in color space is detected using an Error Corrected Gaussian Mixture Model. We run GMBCG on 8240 deg2 of photometric data from SDSS DR7 to assemble the largest ever optical galaxy cluster catalog, consisting of over 55,000 rich clusters across the redshift range from 0.1 < z < 0.55. We present Monte Carlo tests of completeness and purity and perform cross-matching with X-ray clusters and with the maxBCG sample at low redshift. These tests indicate high completeness and purity across the full redshift range for clusters with 15 or more members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-274
Number of pages21
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Catalogs
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Methods: statistical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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