Deep spectroscopic luminosity function of Abell 85: no evidence for a steep upturn of the faint-end slope

I. Agulli*, J. A. L. Aguerri, R. Sanchez-Janssen, R. Barrena, A. Diaferio, A. L. Serra, Jairo Mendez Abreu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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We present a new deep determination of the spectroscopic luminosity function (LF) within the virial radius of the nearby and massive Abell 85 (A85) cluster down to the dwarf regime (M* + 6) using Very Large Telescope/Visible Multi-Object Spectrograph (VLT/VIMOS) spectra for ∼2000 galaxies with mr ≤ 21 mag and 〈μe,r〉 ≤ 24 mag arcsec−2. The resulting LF from 438 cluster members is best modelled by a double Schechter function due to the presence of a statistically significant upturn at the faint end. The amplitude of this upturn (αf ~ -1.58+0.19-0.15), however, is much smaller than that of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) composite photometric cluster LF by Popesso et al., αf ∼ −2. The faint-end slope of the LF in A85 is consistent, within the uncertainties, with that of the field. The red galaxy population dominates the LF at low luminosities, and is the main factor responsible for the upturn. The fact that the slopes of the spectroscopic LFs in the field and in a cluster as massive as A85 are similar suggests that the cluster environment does not play a major role in determining the abundance of low-mass galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L34-L38
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Early online date4 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2014


  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: clusters: individual: Abell 85
  • galaxies: dwarfs
  • galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • Dwarf galaxy population
  • Color-magnitude relation
  • Digital sky survey
  • Mass profiles
  • Infall regions
  • fornax cluster
  • Outer regions
  • Virgo
  • Satellites
  • SDSS-DR4


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