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Mapping substructure in the HST Frontier Fields cluster lenses and in cosmological simulations

Natarajan, Priyamvada; Chadayammuri, Urmila; Jauzac, Mathilde; Richard, Johan; Kneib, Jean-Paul; Ebeling, Harald; Jiang, Fangzhou; van den Bosch, Frank; Limousin, Marceau; Jullo, Eric; Atek, Hakim; Pillepich, Annalisa; Popa, Cristina; Marinacci, Federico; Hernquist, Lars; Meneghetti, Massimo; Vogelsberger, Mark

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Priyamvada Natarajan

Urmila Chadayammuri

Johan Richard

Jean-Paul Kneib

Harald Ebeling

Fangzhou Jiang

Frank van den Bosch

Marceau Limousin

Eric Jullo

Hakim Atek

Annalisa Pillepich

Cristina Popa

Federico Marinacci

Lars Hernquist

Massimo Meneghetti

Mark Vogelsberger


We map the lensing-inferred substructure in the first three clusters observed by the Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Fields (HSTFF) Initiative: Abell 2744 (z = 0.308), MACSJ 0416, (z = 0.396) and MACSJ 1149 (z = 0.543). Statistically resolving dark matter subhaloes down to ∼109.5M⊙ ∼109.5M⊙ , we compare the derived subhalo mass functions (SHMFs) to theoretical predictions from analytical models and with numerical simulations in a Lambda cold dark matter (LCDM) cosmology. Mimicking our observational cluster member selection criteria in the HSTFF, we report excellent agreement in both amplitude and shape of the SHMF over four decades in subhalo mass ( 109−13M⊙ 109−13M⊙ ). Projection effects do not appear to introduce significant errors in the determination of SHMFs from simulations. We do not find evidence for a substructure crisis, analogous to the missing satellite problem in the Local Group, on cluster scales, but rather excellent agreement of the count-matched HSTFF SHMF down to Msubhalo/Mhalo ∼ 10−5. However, we do find discrepancies in the radial distribution of subhaloes inferred from HSTFF cluster lenses compared to determinations from simulated clusters. This suggests that although the selected simulated clusters match the HSTFF sample in mass, they do not adequately capture the dynamical properties and complex merging morphologies of these observed cluster lenses. Therefore, HSTFF clusters are likely observed in a transient evolutionary stage that is presently insufficiently sampled in cosmological simulations. The abundance and mass function of dark matter substructure in cluster lenses continues to offer an important test of the LCDM paradigm, and at present we find no tension between model predictions and observations.


Natarajan, P., Chadayammuri, U., Jauzac, M., Richard, J., Kneib, J., Ebeling, H., …Vogelsberger, M. (2017). Mapping substructure in the HST Frontier Fields cluster lenses and in cosmological simulations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 468(2), 1962-1980.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 30, 2016
Online Publication Date Feb 6, 2017
Publication Date Jun 21, 2017
Deposit Date Aug 24, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 24, 2017
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 468
Issue 2
Pages 1962-1980


Published Journal Article (4.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2017 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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