Environment-based selection effects of Planck clusters

R. Kosyra, D. Gruen, S. Seitz, A. Mana, E. Rozo, E. Rykoff, A. Sanchez, R. Bender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We investigate whether the large-scale structure environment of galaxy clusters imprints a selection bias on Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) catalogues. Such a selection effect might be caused by line of sight (LoS) structures that add to the SZ signal or contain point sources that disturb the signal extraction in the SZ survey. We use the Planck PSZ1 union catalogue in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) region as our sample of SZ-selected clusters. We calculate the angular two-point correlation function (2pcf) for physically correlated, foreground and background structure in the RedMaPPer SDSS DR8 catalogue with respect to each cluster.We compare our results with an optically selected comparison cluster sample and with theoretical predictions. In contrast to the hypothesis of no environment-based selection, we find a mean 2pcf for background structures of -0.049 on scales of ≲40 arcmin, significantly non-zero at ~4s, which means that Planck clusters are more likely to be detected in regions of low background density.We hypothesize this effect arises either from background estimation in the SZ survey or from radio sources in the background.We estimate the defect in SZ signal caused by this effect to be negligibly small, of the order of ~10-4 of the signal of a typical Planck detection. Analogously, there are no implications on X-ray mass measurements. However, the environmental dependence has important consequences for weak lensing follow up of Planck galaxy clusters: we predict that projection effects account for half of the mass contained within a 15 arcmin radius of Planck galaxy clusters. We did not detect a background underdensity of CMASS LRGs, which also leaves a spatially varying redshift dependence of the Planck SZ selection function as a possible cause for our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2353-2366
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 27 2015


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: clusters: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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