High confidence optical confirmations among the high signal-to-noise planck cluster candidates

Steven Boada, John P. Hughes, Felipe Menanteau, Peter Doze, L. Felipe Barrientos, L. Infante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on newly identified galaxy clusters from the high signal-to-noise (>5σ) end of the second all-sky Planck Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) catalog (PSZ2). The clusters are identified in deep, optical imaging from the Kitt Peak National Observatory 4 m Mayall telescope taken between 2014 and 2017. Here we focus on the highest richness systems, and identify galaxy clusters through a combination of the maxBCG algorithm and visual image inspection. Galaxy clusters are considered to be confirmed if they are both rich and spatially coincident (≲6′) with the reported PSZ2 position. Of the 85 fields containing unconfirmed PSZ2 candidates observed, we find 15 (17.6% of the observed sample) corresponding galaxy clusters (0.13 < z < 0.78), 12 of which are previously unrecognized as counterparts. To explain this low identification fraction, we consider three possible scenarios: That clusters are (1) mostly at low-z, (2) mostly at high-z, or (3) located in fields with high object density. None of these scenarios alone can account for the low purity of rich galaxy clusters among the high signal-to-noise PSZ2 unconfirmed candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number188
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • cosmology: Observations
  • galaxies: Clusters: General

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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