Abstract

Using the full 6 years of imaging data from the Dark Energy Survey, we study the surface brightness profiles of galaxy cluster central galaxies and intra-cluster light. We apply a ‘stacking’ method to over 4000 galaxy clusters identified by the redMaPPer cluster finder in the redshift range of 0.2−0.5. This yields high-signal-to-noise circularly averaged profile measurements of the central galaxy and intra-cluster light out to 1 Mpc from the cluster centre. Using redMaPPer richness as a cluster mass indicator, we find that the brightness of the intra-cluster light has a strong mass dependence throughout the 0.2−0.5 redshift range, and this dependence grows stronger at a larger radius. In terms of redshift evolution, we find some evidence that the central galaxy, as well as the diffuse light within the transition region between the cluster central galaxy and intra-cluster light within 80 kpc from the centre, may be growing over time. At larger radii, more than 80 kpc away from the cluster centre, we do not detect evidence of additional redshift evolution beyond the cluster mass dependence, consistent with the findings from the IllustrisTNG hydrodynamic simulation. We speculate that the major driver of intra-cluster light growth, especially at large radii, is associated with cluster mass growth. Finally, we find that the colour of the cluster central galaxy and intra-cluster light displays a radial gradient that becomes bluer at a larger radius, which is consistent with a stellar stripping and disruption origin of intra-cluster light as suggested by simulation studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-529
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume531
Issue number1
Early online date15 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • UKRI
  • STFC

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