The Ursa Major cluster of galaxies - III. Optical observations of dwarf galaxies and the luminosity function down to MR=-11

Neil Trentham, R. Brent Tully, Marc A. W. Verheijen

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Abstract

Results are presented of a deep optical survey of the Ursa Major cluster, a spiral-rich cluster of galaxies at a distance of 18.6Mpc which contains about 30 per cent of the light but only 5 per cent of the mass of the nearby Virgo cluster. Fields around known cluster members and a pattern of blind fields along the major and minor axes of the cluster were studied with mosaic CCD cameras on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. The dynamical crossing time for the Ursa Major cluster is only slightly less than a Hubble time. Most galaxies in the local Universe exist in similar moderate-density environments. The Ursa Major cluster is therefore a good place to study the statistical properties of dwarf galaxies, since this structure is at an evolutionary stage representative of typical environments, yet has enough galaxies that reasonable counting statistics can be accumulated. The main observational results of our survey are as follows. (i) The galaxy luminosity function is flat, with a logarithmic slope α=-1.1 for -17
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-404
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume325
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jul-2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • GALAXIES: CLUSTERS: INDIVIDUAL: URSA MAJOR
  • GALAXIES: LUMINOSITY FUNCTION
  • MASS FUNCTION
  • GALAXIES: PHOTOMETRY

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