AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 42. Galaxies and Clusters
Poster, Tuesday, January 7, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[42.05] A Comparative Study of the Galaxy Luminosity Function in 5 Nearby Abell Clusters

K. Chiboucas, M. Mateo (University of Michigan)

We are investigating the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function (LF) in rich clusters. Much work has been done on the cluster LF, with researchers finding variations in the shape and a range in the faint-end slope of \alpha = -1.3 to -2.3 among different clusters. This range could be due to intrinsic cluster differences, such as the initial conditions at the time of cluster formation, or environmental factors affecting galaxy populations. However, it may also be a consequence of the selection effects and the different techniques used to probe the low surface brightness population. We employ the same methods to derive LFs for our sample of nearby (z < 0.03) Abell clusters to establish whether intrinsic variations in the LF do exist between clusters. We present the results for 5 of those clusters - A1367, A262, A3537, A3656, and A3526. Because we have imaged large areas (up to 1 square degree) for each cluster, we investigate any radial dependence in the LFs to probe environmental effects and determine which specific envionmental factors may play a role in modifying dwarf galaxy properties.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
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