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Ophiuchus: An optical view of a very massive cluster of galaxies hidden behind the Milky Way

Abstract : Context. The Ophiuchus cluster, at a redshift z = 0.0296, is known from X-rays to be one of the most massive nearby clusters, but its optical properties have not been investigated in detail because of its very low Galactic latitude. Aims. We discuss the optical properties of the galaxies in the Ophiuchus cluster, in particular, with the aim of understanding its dynamical properties better. Methods. We have obtained deep optical imaging in several bands with various telescopes, and applied a sophisticated method to model and subtract the contributions of stars to measure galaxy magnitudes as accurately as possible. The colour-magnitude relations obtained show that there are hardly any blue galaxies in Ophiuchus (at least brighter than r' \textless= 19.5), and this is confirmed by the fact that we only detect two galaxies in Ha. We also obtained a number of spectra with ESO-FORS2, which we combined with previously available redshifts. Altogether, we have 152 galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts in the 0.02 \textless= z \textless= 0.04 range, and 89 galaxies with both a redshift within the cluster redshift range and a measured r' band magnitude (limited to the Megacam 1 x 1 deg(2) field). Results. A complete dynamical analysis based on the galaxy redshifts available shows that the overall cluster is relaxed and has a mass of 1.1 x 10(15) M-circle dot. The Sernal-Gerbal method detects a main structure and a much smaller substructure, which are not separated in projection. Conclusions. From its dynamical properties derived from optical data, the Ophiuchus cluster seems overall to be a relaxed structure, or at most a minor merger, though in X-rays the central region (radius similar to 150 kpc) may show evidence for merging effects.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 4:52:56 PM
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F. Durret, K. Wakamatsu, T. Nagayama, C. Adami, A. Biviano. Ophiuchus: An optical view of a very massive cluster of galaxies hidden behind the Milky Way. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2015, 583, pp.A124. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201526531⟩. ⟨hal-01439766⟩

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