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|A Minnesota Automated Plate Scanner Catalog of Galaxies behind the Virgo Cluster and toward Its Antipode|
We present a catalog of 1268 galaxies, essentially complete to B <=17.0, found by scanning glass copies of several fields of the originalPalomar Sky Survey using the Minnesota Automated Plate Scanner in itsisodensitometric mode (as opposed to the threshold densitometric modeused in the APS Catalog of the POSS I). In addition to the differentscanning mode, we have employed a different star-galaxy separationmethod and have visually inspected POSS prints to verify that each imageremaining in the catalog is nonstellar. The scanned fields aredistributed generally in two areas, one around the outskirts of theVirgo Cluster, the other toward the antipode of the cluster (but stillin the northern celestial hemisphere). The catalog gives the position ofthe center of each galaxy; estimates of the blue and red magnitudeswithin the outermost threshold crossing and of the blue magnitudeextrapolated to zero surface brightness; and the blue and red diametersof four ellipses fitted to the four threshold crossings (approximately23.8,23.6,23.2, and 22.7 mag arcsec 2 in blue, and 22.5,22.4,21.5, and21.2 mag arcsec^-2^ in red), and the ellipticities of those fourellipses. The catalog has served as a base from which to draw targetsfor a Tully-Fisher study of the Virgocentric infall velocity of theLocal Group.
|An image database. II. Catalogue between δ=-30deg and δ=70deg.|
A preliminary list of 68.040 galaxies was built from extraction of35.841 digitized images of the Palomar Sky Survey (Paper I). For eachgalaxy, the basic parameters are obtained: coordinates, diameter, axisratio, total magnitude, position angle. On this preliminary list, weapply severe selection rules to get a catalog of 28.000 galaxies, wellidentified and well documented. For each parameter, a comparison is madewith standard measurements. The accuracy of the raw photometricparameters is quite good despite of the simplicity of the method.Without any local correction, the standard error on the total magnitudeis about 0.5 magnitude up to a total magnitude of B_T_=17. Significantsecondary effects are detected concerning the magnitudes: distance toplate center effect and air-mass effect.
|Brightest cluster galaxies as standard candles|
We investigate the use of brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) as standardcandles for measuring galaxy peculiar velocities on large scales. Wehave obtained precise large-format CCD surface photometry and redshiftsfor an all-sky, volume-limited (z less than or = 0.05) sample of 199BCG. We reinvestigate the Hoessel (1980) relationship between the metricluminosity, Lm, within the central 10 kpc/h of the BCGs andthe logarithmic slope of the surface brightness profile, alpha. TheLm-alpha relationship reduces the cosmic scatter inLm from 0.327 mag to 0.244 mag, yielding a typical distanceaccuracy of 17% per BCG. Residuals about the Lm-alpharelationship are independent of BCG luminosity, BCG B - Rccolor, BCG location within the host cluster, and richness of the hostcluster. The metric luminosity is independent of cluster richness evenbefore correcting for its dependence on alpha, which provides furtherevidence for the unique nature of the BCG luminosity function. Indeed,the BCG luminosity function, both before and after application of thealpha-correction, is consistent with a single Gaussian distribution.Half the BCGs in the sample show some evidence of small color gradientsas a function of radius within their central 50 kpc/h regions but withalmost equal numbers becoming redder as becoming bluer. However, withthe central 10 kpc/h the colors are remarkably constant -- the mean B -Rc color is 1.51 with a dispersion of only 0.06 mag. Thenarrow photometric and color distributions of the BCGs, the lack of'second-parameter' effects, as well as the unique rich clusterenvironment of BCGs, argue that BCGs are the most homogeneous distanceindicators presently available for large-scale structure research.
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