Evolution in the cluster early-type galaxy size-surface brightness relation at z ≃ 1

B. P. Holden, J. P. Blakeslee, M. Postman, G. D. Illingworth, R. Demarco, M. Pranx, P. Rosati, R. J. Bouwens, A. R. Martel, H. Ford, M. Clampin, G. F. Hartig, N. Benítez, N. J.G. Cross, N. Homeier, C. Lidman, F. Menanteau, A. Zirm, D. R. Ardila, F. BartkoL. D. Bradley, T. J. Broadhurst, R. A. Brown, C. J. Burrows, E. S. Cheng, P. D. Feldman, D. A. Golimowski, T. Goto, C. Gronwall, L. Infante, R. A. Kimble, J. E. Krist, M. P. Lesser, D. Magee, S. Mei, G. R. Meurer, G. K. Miley, V. Motta, M. Sirianni, W. B. Sparks, H. D. Tran, Z. I. Tsvetanov, R. L. White, W. Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the evolution in the distribution of surface brightness, as a function of size, for elliptical and S0 galaxies in the two clusters RDCS J1252.9-2927 (z = 1.237) and RX J0152.7-1357 (z = 0.837). We use multi-color imaging with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope to determine these sizes and surface brightnesses. Using three different estimates of the surface brightnesses, we find that we reliably estimate the surface brightness for the galaxies in our sample with a scatter of <0.2 mag and with systematic shifts of ≲0.05 mag. We construct samples of galaxies with early-type morphologies in both clusters. For each cluster, we use a magnitude limit in a band that closely corresponds to the rest-frame B, to magnitude limit of MB = -18.8 at z = 0, and select only those galaxies within the color-magnitude sequence of the cluster or by using our spectroscopic redshifts. We measure evolution in the rest-frame B surface brightness and find -1.41 ± 0.14 mag from the Coma Cluster of galaxies for RDCS J1252.9-2927 and -0.90 ± 0.12 mag of evolution for RX J0152.7-1357, or an average evolution of (-1.13 ± 0.15)z mag. Our statistical errors are dominated by the observed scatter in the size-surface brightness relation, σ - 0.42 ± 0.05 mag for RX J0152.7-1357 and σ = 0.76 ± 0.10 mag for RDCS J1252.9-2927. We find no statistically significant evolution in this scatter, although an increase in the scatter could be expected. Overall, the pace of luminosity evolution we measure agrees with that of the fundamental plane of early-type galaxies, implying that the majority of massive early-type galaxies observed at z ≃ 1 formed at high redshifts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-822
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Jun 20 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: clusters: individual (RDCS J1252.9-2927, RX J1052.7-1357)
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: photometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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