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Near-infrared evolution of brightest cluster galaxies in the most X-ray luminous clusters since z = 1

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • J. P. Stott
  • A. C. Edge
  • G. P. Smith
  • A. M. Swinbank
  • H. Ebeling
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/03/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)1502-1510
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date4/02/08
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We investigate the near-infrared evolution of brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) from a sample of rich galaxy clusters since z ∼ 1. By employing an X-ray selection of L X > 10 44 erg s -1, we limit environmental effects by selecting BCGs in comparably high-density regions. We find a positive relationship between X-ray and near-infrared luminosity for BCGs in clusters with L X > 5 × 10 44 erg s -1. Applying a correction for this relation, we reduce the scatter in the BCG absolute magnitude by a factor of 30 per cent. The near-infrared J - K colour evolution demonstrates that the stellar population in BCGs has been in place since at least z = 2, and that we expect a shorter period of star formation than that predicted by current hierarchical merger models. We also confirm that there is a relationship between 'blue' J - K colour and the presence of BCG emission lines associated with star formation in cooling flows.