Possible Ongoing Merger Discovered by Photometry and Spectroscopy in the Field of the Galaxy Cluster PLCK G165.7+67.0

Massimo Pascale, Brenda L. Frye, Liang Dai, Nicholas Foo, Yujing Qin, Reagen Leimbach, Adam Michael Bauer, Emiliano Merlin, Dan Coe, Jose Diego, Haojing Yan, Adi Zitrin, Seth H. Cohen, Christopher J. Conselice, Herve Dole, Kevin Harrington, Rolf A. Jansen, Patrick Kamieneski, Rogier A. Windhorst, Min S. Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We present a detailed study of the Planck-selected binary galaxy cluster PLCK G165.7+67.0 (G165; z = 0.348). A multiband photometric catalog is generated incorporating new imaging from the Large Binocular Telescope/Large Binocular Camera and Spitzer/IRAC to existing imaging. To cope with the different image characteristics, robust methods are applied in the extraction of the matched-aperture photometry. Photometric redshifts are estimated for 143 galaxies in the 4 arcmin2 field of overlap covered by these data. We confirm that strong-lensing effects yield 30 images of 11 background galaxies, of which we contribute new photometric redshift estimates for three image multiplicities. These constraints enable the construction of a revised lens model with a total mass of M 600 kpc = (2.36 ± 0.23) × 1014 M ⊙. In parallel, new spectroscopy using MMT/Binospec and archival data contributes thirteen galaxies that meet our velocity and transverse radius criteria for cluster membership. The two cluster components have a pair-wise velocity of ≲100 km s-1, favoring an orientation in the plane of the sky with a transverse velocity of 100-1700 km s-1. At the same time, the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) is offset in velocity from the systemic mean value, suggesting dynamical disturbance. New LOFAR and Very Large Array data uncover head-tail radio galaxies in the BCG and a large red galaxy in the northeast component. From the orientation and alignment of the four radio trails, we infer that the two cluster components have already traversed each other, and are now exiting the cluster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number85
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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