Tests of the Las Campanas Distant Cluster Survey from confirmation observations for the ESO Distant Cluster Survey

Anthony H. Gonzalez, Dennis Zaritsky, Luc Simard, Doug Clowe, Simon D.M. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The ESO Distant Cluster Survey (EDisCS) is a photometric and spectroscopic study of the galaxy cluster population at two epochs, z ≃ 0.5 and z ≃ 0.8, drawn from the Las Campanas Distant Cluster Survey (LCDCS). We report results from the initial candidate-confirmation stage of the program and use these results to probe the properties of the LCDCS. Of the 30 candidates targeted, we find statistically significant overdensities of red galaxies near 28. Of the 10 additional candidates serendipitously observed within the fields of the targeted 30, we detect red galaxy overdensities near six. We test the robustness of the published LCDCS estimated redshifts to misidentification of the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in the survey data and measure the spatial alignment of the published cluster coordinates, the peak red galaxy overdensity, and the BCG. We conclude that for LCDCS clusters out to z ∼ 0.8, (1) the LCDCS coordinates agree with the centroid of the red galaxy overdensity to within 25″ (∼ 150 h-1 kpc) for 34 out of 37 candidates with 3 σ galaxy overdensities, (2) BCGs are typically coincident with the centroid of the red galaxy population to within a projected separation of 200 h-1 kpc (32 out of 34 confirmed candidates), (3) the red galaxy population is strongly concentrated, and (4) the misidentification of the BCG in the LCDCS causes a redshift error greater than 0.1 in 15%-20% of the LCDCS candidates. These findings together help explain the success of the surface brightness fluctuations detection method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-586
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Nov 10 2002


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • Galaxies: high-redshift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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