Cosmological tests using the angular size of galaxy clusters

Jun Jie Wei, Xue Feng Wu, Fulvio Melia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We use measurements of the galaxy-cluster angular size versus redshift to test and compare the standard model (ΔCDM) and the Rh = ct Universe. We show that the latter fits the data with a reduced χ2 dof = 0.786 for a Hubble constant H0 = 72.6+3.8 -3.4 km s-1 Mpc-1, and H0 is the sole parameter in this model. By comparison, the optimal flat cold dark matter (ΔCDM) model, with two free parameters (including ωm = 0.50 and H0 = 73.9+10.6 -9.5 km s-1Mpc-1), fits the angular-size data with a reduced x2 dof = 0.806. On the basis of their x2 dof values alone, both models appear to account for the data very well in spite of the fact that the Rh = ct Universe expands at a constant rate, while ΔCDM does not. However, because of the different number of free parameters in these models, selection tools, such as the Bayes Information Criterion, favour Rh = ct over CDM with a likelihood of ~86 per cent versus ~14 per cent. These results impact the question of galaxy growth at large redshifts. Previous work suggested an inconsistency with the underlying cosmological model unless elliptical and disc galaxies grew in size by a surprisingly large factor ~6 from z ~ 3 to 0. The fact that both CDM and Rh = ct fit the cluster-size measurements quite well casts some doubt on the suggestion that the unexpected result with individual galaxies may be due to the use of an incorrect expansion scenario, rather than astrophysical causes, such as mergers and/or selection effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-485
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 11 2015


  • Cosmological parameters
  • Cosmology: theory
  • Distance scale
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Large-scale structure of universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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