Pixel Color-Magnitude Diagram Analysis of the Brightest Cluster Galaxies in Dynamically Young and Old Clusters Abell 1139 and Abell 2589

Joon Hyeop Lee, Sree Oh, Hyunjin Jeong, Sukyoung K. Yi, Jaemann Kyeong, Byeong Gon Park

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4 Citations (Scopus)


As a case study to understand the coevolution of Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs) and their host clusters, we investigate the BCGs in dynamically young and old clusters Abell 1139 (A1139) and Abell 2589 (A2589). We analyze the pixel color-magnitude diagrams (pCMDs) using deep g- and r-band images, obtained from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope observations. After masking foreground/background objects and smoothing pixels in consideration of the observational seeing size, detailed pCMD features are compared between the two BCGs. (1) Although the overall shapes of the pCMDs are similar to those of typical early-type galaxies, the A2589-BCG tends to have redder mean pixel color and smaller pixel color deviation at given surface brightness than the A1139-BCG. (2) The mean pixel color distribution as a function of pixel surface brightness (pCMD backbone) indicates that the A2589-BCG formed a larger central body (∼2.0 kpc in radius) via major dry mergers at an early epoch than the A1139-BCG (a central body ∼1.3 kpc in radius), whereas they have grown commonly in subsequent minor mergers. (3) The spatial distributions of the pCMD outliers reveal that the A1139-BCG experienced considerable tidal events more recently than the A2589-BCG, whereas the A2589-BCG has an asymmetric compact core, possibly resulting from a major dry merger at an early epoch. (4) The A2589-BCG shows a very large faint-to-bright pixel number ratio, compared to early-type non-BCGs, whereas the ratio for the A1139-BCG is not distinctively large. These results are consistent with the idea that the BCG in the dynamically older cluster (A2589) formed earlier and is better relaxed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 20

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has used data obtained under the K-GMT Science Program, funded through the Korea GMT Project operated by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI). H.J. acknowledges support from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2013R1A6A3A04064993). S.K.Y. acknowledges support from the Korean National Research Foundation (NRF-2014R1A2A1A01003730).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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