The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey: galaxy luminosity functions per spectral type

D S Madgwick, O Lahav, I K Baldry, C M Baugh, J Bland-Hawthorn, T Bridges, R Cannon, S Cole, M Colless, C Collins, W Couch, G Dalton, R De Propris, S P Driver, G Efstathiou, R S Ellis, C S Frenk, K Glazebrook, C Jackson, I LewisS Lumsden, S Maddox, P Norberg, J A Peacock, B A Peterson, W Sutherland, K Taylor

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278 Citations (Scopus)


We calculate the optical b (J) luminosity function (LF) of the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS) for different subsets defined by their spectral properties. These spectrally selected subsets are defined using a new parameter, eta , which is a linear combination of the first two projections derived from a Principal Component Analysis. This parameter eta identifies the average emission- and absorption-line strength in the galaxy rest frame spectrum, and hence is a useful indicator of the present star formation. We use a total of 75 000 galaxies in our calculations, chosen from a sample of high signal-to-noise ratio, low-redshift galaxies observed before 2001 January. We find that there is a systematic steepening of the faint-end slope (alpha ) as one moves from passive (alpha =-0.54) to active (alpha =-1.50) star-forming galaxies, and that there is also a corresponding faintening of the rest frame characteristic magnitude M *-5 log(10) (h ) (from -19.6 to -19.2). We also show that the Schechter function provides a poor fit to the quiescent (Type 1) LF for very faint galaxies [M (b J) -5 log(10) (h ) fainter than -16.0], perhaps suggesting the presence of a significant dwarf population. The LFs presented here give a precise confirmation of the trends seen previously in a much smaller preliminary 2dFGRS sample, and in other surveys. We also present a new procedure for determining self-consistent k -corrections, and investigate possible fibre-aperture biases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-144
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002


  • galaxies : distances and redshifts
  • galaxies : elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • galaxies : evolution
  • galaxies : formation
  • galaxies : stellar content


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