Measurable Relationship between Bright Galaxies and Their Faint Companions in WHL J085910.0+294957, a Galaxy Cluster at z = 0.30: Vestiges of Infallen Groups?
The properties of satellite galaxies are closely related to their host galaxies in galaxy groups. In cluster environments, on the other hand, the interaction between close neighbors is known to be limited. Our goal is to examine the relationships between host and satellite galaxies in the harsh environment of a galaxy cluster. To achieve this goal, we study a galaxy cluster WHL J085910.0+294957 at z = 0.30 using deep images obtained with CQUEAN CCD camera mounted on the 2.1 m Otto Struve Telescope. After member selection based on the scaling relations of photometric and structural parameters, we investigate the relationship between bright (Mi <= -18) galaxies and their faint (-18 < Mi <= -15) companions. The weighted mean color of faint companion galaxies shows no significant dependence (<1σ to bootstrap uncertainties) on cluster-centric distance and local luminosity density as well as the luminosity and concentration of an adjacent bright galaxy. However, the weighted mean color shows marginal dependence (~2.2σ) on the color of an adjacent bright galaxy when the sample is limited to bright galaxies with at least two faint companions. By using a permutation test, we confirm that the correlation in color between bright galaxies and their faint companions in this cluster is statistically significant with a confidence level of 98.7%. The statistical significance increases if we additionally remove non-members using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey photometric redshift information (~2.6σ and 99.3%). Our results suggest three possible scenarios: (1) vestiges of infallen groups, (2) dwarf capturing, and (3) tidal tearing of bright galaxies.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- August 2014
- galaxies: clusters: individual: WHL J085910.0+294957;
- galaxies: dwarf;
- galaxies: elliptical and lenticular;
- galaxies: evolution;
- galaxies: formation;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 27 pages, 16 figures, accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal