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G. H. Rudnick (NOAO), S. D. M. White (MPA, Garching), D. I. Clowe (Steward Observatory), L. Simard (HIA, Victoria), G. De Lucia (MPA, Garching), A. Aragón-Salamanca (Univ. of Nottingham), R. Bender (MPE, Garching), P. Best (Royal Observatory Edinburgh), M. Bremer (Bristol University), S. Charlot (MPA, Garching), J. Dalcanton (Univ. of Washington), M. Dantel (Observatoire de Paris, Meudon), V. Desai (IPAC, Caltech), B. Fort (IAP, Paris), C. Halliday (Osservatorio Astronomico, Padova), P. Jablonka (Observatoire de Paris, Meudon), G. Kauffmann (MPA, Garching), Y. Mellier (IAP, Paris), B. Milvang-Jensen (MPE, Garching), R. Pelló (Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees, Toulouse), B. Poggianti (Osservatorio Astronomico, Padova), S. Poirier (Observatoire de Paris, Meudon), H. Rottgering (Sterrewacht Leiden), R. Saglia (MPE, Garching), P. Schneider (Univ. of Bonn), D. Zaritsky (Steward Observatory)
We present the ESO Distant Cluster Survey (EDisCS), a survey of distant galaxy clusters between redshifts of z=0.4 and 0.8. Candidate clusters were chosen from among the brightest objects identified in the Las Campanas Distant Cluster Survey (LCDCS), half with estimated redshift zest~ 0.5 and half with zest~0.8. The sample of 20 clusters was confirmed using two-color data from the VLT/FORS2, with the requirement that an overdensity of galaxies was present with the expected color of the red sequence at zest and with a position corresponding to the LCDCS candidate. Very deep follow-up imaging was then performed in three optical bands with the VLT/FORS2 and in one or two near-infrared bands with NTT/SOFI. Deep optical spectroscopy was performed on all clusters using VLT/FORS2, yielding ~45 confirmed members per cluster. In addition we have obtained wide-field imaging with the ESO Wide Field Imager and have HST/ACS mosaics for 10 of the most distant clusters.
We show first science results from EDisCS including: the weak lensing analysis of the galaxy clusters, a study of the buildup of red sequence galaxies in our highest redshift clusters, the morphology-color-magnitude galaxy distributions, and the evolution of the rest-frame optical cluster galaxy luminosity function. Crucially important for the interpretation of the observational data are the detailed mock observations being produced by our team members from N-body simulations coupled with state-of-the-art semi-analytic models.
All catalogs and reduced data will be made public through our web site at http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/galform/ediscs/index.shtml as the scientific papers are published.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.