We present a new, objectively defined catalog of candidate galaxy clusters based on the galaxy catalogs from the digitized Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey. This cluster catalog, derived from the best calibrated plates in the high-latitude (|b| > 30°) northern Galactic cap region, covers 5800 deg2 and contains 8155 candidate clusters. A simple adaptive kernel density mapping technique, combined with the SExtractor object detection algorithm, is used to detect galaxy overdensities, which we identify as clusters. Simulations of the background galaxy distribution and clusters of varying richnesses and redshifts allow us to optimize detection parameters and measure the completeness and contamination rates for our catalog. Cluster richnesses and photometric redshifts are measured, using integrated colors and magnitudes for each cluster. An extensive spectroscopic survey is used to confirm the photometric results. This catalog, with well-characterized sample properties, provides a sound basis for future studies of cluster physics and large-scale structure.
- Galaxies: clusters: general
- Large-scale structure of universe
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science