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Surface photometry of brightest cluster galaxies and intracluster stars in ΛCDM

Cooper, A.P.; Gao, L.; Guo, Q.; Frenk, C.S.; Jenkins, A.; Springel, V.; White, S.D.M.

Surface photometry of brightest cluster galaxies and intracluster stars in ΛCDM Thumbnail


A.P. Cooper

L. Gao

Q. Guo

V. Springel

S.D.M. White


We simulate the phase-space distribution of stellar mass in nine massive Λ cold dark matter galaxy clusters by applying the semi-analytic particle tagging method of Cooper et al. to the Phoenix suite of high-resolution N-body simulations (M200 ≈ 7.5–33 × 1014 M⊙). The resulting surface brightness (SB) profiles of brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) match well to observations. On average, stars formed in galaxies accreted by the BCG account for ≳90 per cent of its total mass (the remainder is formed in situ). In circular BCG-centred apertures, the superposition of multiple debris clouds (each ≳10 per cent of the total BCG mass) from different progenitors can result in an extensive outer diffuse component, qualitatively similar to a ‘cD envelope'. These clouds typically originate from tidal stripping at z ≲ 1 and comprise both streams and the extended envelopes of other massive galaxies in the cluster. Stars at very low SB contribute a significant fraction of the total cluster stellar mass budget: in the central 1 Mpc2 of a z ∼ 0.15 cluster imaged at SDSS-like resolution, our fiducial model predicts 80–95 per cent of stellar mass below a SB of μV ∼ 26.5 mag arcsec−2 is associated with accreted stars in the envelope of the BCG. The ratio of BCG stellar mass (including this diffuse component) to total cluster stellar mass is ∼30 per cent.


Cooper, A., Gao, L., Guo, Q., Frenk, C., Jenkins, A., Springel, V., & White, S. (2015). Surface photometry of brightest cluster galaxies and intracluster stars in ΛCDM. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 451(3), 2703-2722.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 7, 2015
Publication Date Aug 11, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 11, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 16, 2016
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 451
Issue 3
Pages 2703-2722
Keywords Methods: numerical, Galaxies: clusters: general, Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD, Galaxies: haloes, Galaxies: photometry, Galaxies: structure.


Published Journal Article (6.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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