Monday, July 22, 2013

1307.5107 (Shiyin Shen et al.)

How are the Brightest Group Galaxies Statistically Special?    [PDF]

Shiyin Shen, Xiaohu Yang, Houjun Mo, Frank van den Bosch, Surhud More
We examine the statistical properties of the brightest group galaxies (BGGs) using a complete spectroscopic sample of groups/clusters of galaxies selected from the Data Release 7 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We test whether BGGs and other bright members of groups are consistent with an ordered population among the total population of group galaxies. We find that the luminosity distributions of BGGs do not follow the predictions from the order statistics (OS). The average luminosities of BGGs are systematically brighter than OS predictions. On the other hand, by properly taking into account the brightening effect of the BGGs, the luminosity distributions of the second brightest galaxies are in excellent agreement with the expectations of OS. The brightening of BGGs relative to the OS expectation is consistent with a scenario that the BGGs on average have over-grown about 20 percent masses relative to the other member galaxies. The growth ($\Delta M$) is not stochastic but correlated with the magnitude gap ($G_{1,2}$) between the brightest and the second brightest galaxy. The growth ($\Delta M$) is larger for the groups having more prominent BGGs (larger $G_{1,2}$) and averagely contributes about 30 percent of the final $G_{1,2}$ of the groups of galaxies.
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