Distant galaxy clusters identified from optical background fluctuations

Dennis Zaritsky, Amy E. Nelson, Julianne J. Dalcanton, Anthony H. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We present the first high-redshift (0.3 < z < 1.1) galaxy clusters found by systematically identifying optical low surface brightness fluctuations in the background sky. Using spectra obtained with the Keck I telescope and I-band images from the Palomar 1.5 m telescope, we conclude that at least eight of the 10 candidates examined are high-redshift galaxy clusters. The identification of such clusters from low surface brightness fluctuations provides a complement to classic selection methods based on overdensities of resolved galaxies and enables us to search efficiently for rich high-redshift clusters over large areas of the sky. The detections described here are the first in a survey that covers a total of nearly 140 deg2 of the sky and should yield, if these preliminary results are representative, over 300 such clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L91-L94
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART II
StatePublished - 1997


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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