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Preparing for low surface brightness science with the Vera C. Rubin Observatory: a comparison of observable and simulated intracluster light fractions

Brough, S, Ahad, SL, Bahé, YM, Ellien, A, Gonzalez, AH, Jiménez-Teja, Y, Kimmig, LC, Martin, G, Martínez-Lombilla, C, Montes, M, Pillepich, A, Ragusa, R, Remus, RS, Collins, CA, Knapen, JH and Mihos, JC (2023) Preparing for low surface brightness science with the Vera C. Rubin Observatory: a comparison of observable and simulated intracluster light fractions. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 528 (1). pp. 771-795. ISSN 0035-8711

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Intracluster light (ICL) provides an important record of the interactions galaxy clusters have undergone. However, we are limited in our understanding by our measurement methods. To address this, we measure the fraction of cluster light that is held in the Brightest Cluster Galaxy and ICL (BCG+ICL fraction) and the ICL alone (ICL fraction) using observational methods (surface brightness threshold-SB, non-parametric measure-NP, composite models-CM, and multi-galaxy fitting-MGF) and new approaches under development (wavelet decomposition-WD) applied to mock images of 61 galaxy clusters (14 <log10M200c/M☉ < 14.5) from four cosmological hydrodynamical simulations. We compare the BCG+ICL and ICL fractions from observational measures with those using simulated measures (aperture and kinematic separations). The ICL fractions measured by kinematic separation are significantly larger than observed fractions. We find the measurements are related and provide equations to estimate kinematic ICL fractions from observed fractions. The different observational techniques give consistent BCG+ICL and ICL fractions but are biased to underestimating the BCG+ICL and ICL fractions when compared with aperture simulation measures. Comparing the different methods and algorithms, we find that the MGF algorithm is most consistent with the simulations, and CM and SB methods show the smallest projection effects for the BCG+ICL and ICL fractions, respectively. The Ahad (CM), MGF, and WD algorithms are best set up to process larger samples; however, the WD algorithm in its current form is susceptible to projection effects. We recommend that new algorithms using these methods are explored to analyse the massive samples that Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time will provide.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences; Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2024 10:11
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2024 10:15
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/mnras/stad3810
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22540
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