Clash-Vlt: Dissecting the frontier fields galaxy cluster macs j0416.1-2403 with ∼800 spectra of member galaxies

I. Balestra, A. Mercurio, B. Sartoris, M. Girardi, C. Grillo, M. Nonino, P. Rosati, A. Biviano, S. Ettori, W. Forman, C. Jones, A. Koekemoer, E. Medezinski, J. Merten, G. A. Ogrean, P. Tozzi, K. Umetsu, E. Vanzella, R. J. Van Weeren, A. ZitrinM. Annunziatella, G. B. Caminha, T. Broadhurst, D. Coe, M. Donahue, A. Fritz, B. Frye, D. Kelson, M. Lombardi, C. Maier, M. Meneghetti, A. Monna, M. Postman, M. Scodeggio, S. Seitz, B. Ziegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


We present VIMOS-Very Large Telescope (VLT) spectroscopy of the Frontier Fields cluster MACS J0416.1-2403 (z = 0.397). Taken as part of the CLASH-VLT survey, the large spectroscopic campaign provided more than 4000 reliable redshifts over ∼600 arcmin2, including ∼800 cluster member galaxies. The unprecedented sample of cluster members at this redshift allows us to perform a highly detailed dynamical and structural analysis of the cluster out to ∼2.2 r 200 (∼4 Mpc). Our analysis of substructures reveals a complex system composed of a main massive cluster (M 200 ∼ 0.9 1015 M Ȯ and σ V,r200 ∼ 1000 km s-1) presenting two major features: (i) a bimodal velocity distribution, showing two central peaks separated by ΔVrf ∼ 1100 km s-1 with comparable galaxy content and velocity dispersion, and (ii) a projected elongation of the main substructures along the NE-SW direction, with a prominent sub-clump ∼600 kpc SW of the center and an isolated BCG approximately halfway between the center and the SW clump. We also detect a low-mass structure at z ∼ 0.390, ∼10′ south of the cluster center, projected at ∼3 Mpc, with a relative line-of-sight velocity of ΔVrf ∼ -1700 kms-1. The cluster mass profile that we obtain through our dynamical analysis deviates significantly from the "universal" NFW, being best fit by a Softened Isothermal Sphere model instead. The mass profile measured from the galaxy dynamics is found to be in relatively good agreement with those obtained from strong and weak lensing, as well as with that from the X-rays, despite the clearly unrelaxed nature of the cluster. Our results reveal an overall complex dynamical state of this massive cluster and support the hypothesis that the two main subclusters are being observed in a pre-collisional phase, in agreement with recent findings from radio and deep X-ray data. In this article, we also release the entire redshift catalog of 4386 sources in the field of this cluster, which includes 60 identified Chandra X-ray sources and 105 JVLA radio sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number33
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: clusters: individual (MACS J0416.1-2403)
  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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  • CLASH-VLT: the FF cluster MACS J0416.1-2403

    Balestra, I. (Creator), Mercurio, A. (Creator), Sartoris, B. (Creator), Girardi, M. (Creator), Grillo, C. (Creator), Nonino, M. (Creator), Rosati, P. (Creator), Biviano, A. (Creator), Ettori, S. (Creator), Forman, W. (Creator), Jones, C. (Creator), Koekemoer, A. (Creator), Medezinski, E. (Creator), Merten, J. (Creator), Ogrean, G. A. (Creator), Tozzi, P. (Creator), Umetsu, K. (Creator), Vanzella, E. (Creator), Van Weeren, W. R. J. (Creator), Zitrin, A. (Creator), Annunziatella, M. (Creator), Caminha, G. B. (Creator), Broadhurst, T. (Creator), Coe, D. (Creator), Donahue, M. (Creator), Fritz, A. (Creator), Frye, B. L. (Creator), Kelson, D. (Creator), Lombardi, M. (Creator), Maier, C. (Creator), Meneghetti, M. (Creator), Monna, A. (Creator), Postman, M. (Creator), Scodeggio, M. (Creator), Seitz, S. (Creator), Ziegler, B. (Creator), Mercurio, A. (Creator), Grillo, C. (Creator), Rosati, P. (Creator), Tozzi, P. (Creator), Umetsu, K. (Creator), Coe, D. (Creator), Fritz, A. (Creator) & Meneghetti, M. (Creator), Centre de Donnees Strasbourg (CDS), 2016


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