Brightest Cluster Galaxies at the Present Epoch

Tod R. Lauer, Marc Postman, Michael A. Strauss, Genevieve J. Graves, Nora E. Chisari

Research output: Working paperPreprintAcademic


We have observed 433 z100 kpc. The absolute cluster-dispersion normalized BCG peculiar velocity |Delta V_1|/sigma_c follows an exponential distribution with scale length 0.39+/-0.03. Both L_m and alpha increase with sigma_c. The alpha parameter is further moderated by both the spatial and velocity offset from the cluster center, with larger alpha correlated with the proximity of the BCG to the cluster mean velocity or potential center. At the same time, position in the cluster has little effect on L_m. The luminosity difference between the BCG and second-ranked galaxy, M2, increases as the peculiar velocity of the BCG within the cluster decreases. Further, when M2 is a close luminosity "rival" of the BCG, the galaxy that is closest to either the velocity or X-ray center of the cluster is most likely to have the larger alpha. We conclude that the inner portions of the BCGs are formed outside the cluster, but interactions in the heart of the galaxy cluster grow and extend the envelopes of the BCGs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2014


  • astro-ph.GA


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