Spitzer observations of the brightest galaxies in x-ray-luminous clusters

E. Egami, K. A. Misselt, G. H. Rieke, M. W. Wise, G. Neugebauer, J. P. Kneib, E. L.E. Floc'h, G. P. Smith, M. Blaylock, H. Dole, D. T. Frayer, J. S. Huang, O. Krause, C. Papovich, P. G. Pérez-González, J. R. Rigby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


We have studied the infrared properties of the brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) located in the cores of X-ray-luminous clusters at 0.15 < z < 0.35. The majority of the BCGs are not particularly infrared-luminous compared with other massive early-type galaxies, suggesting that the cluster environment has little influence on the infrared luminosities of the BCGs. The exceptions, however, are the BCGs in the three X-ray-brightest clusters in the sample, A1835, Z3146, and A2390. These BCGs have a prominent far-infrared peak in their spectral energy distributions (SEDs), and two of them (those in A1835 and Z3146) can be classified as luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs: LIR > 10 11 L). Although radio AGNs (active galactic nuclei) are found to be prevalent among the BCGs, the infrared luminosities of these three BCGs, judged from the infrared SED signatures, are likely to be powered by star formation. Considering the overall trend that clusters with shorter radiative gas cooling times harbor more infraredluminous BCGs, the enhanced star formation may be caused by the cooling cluster gas accreting onto the BCGs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)922-931
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Aug 20 2006


  • Cooling flows
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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