Photometric studies of abell 1664: The subtle effect a minor merger has on cluster galaxies

Dane Kleiner*, Kevin A. Pimbblet, Matt S. Owers, D. Heath Jones, Andrew P. Stephenson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A combination of BRI photometry and archival Chandra X-ray data have been used to analyse the effects a minor merger has on the galaxy population of A1664.We utilize adaptive smoothing techniques in the 2D spatial distribution of cluster galaxies to reveal substructure~800 kpc south of the cluster core. We identify this substructure as most likely the remnant core of a merging group which has passed pericentre and responsible for triggering a cold front in the cluster core. We define two samples to represent two different environments within A1664 in accordance with the location of the substructure. We apply a morphological analysis using concentration-asymmetry-clumpiness, M20 and Gini to these samples to deduce if there has been any significant effect on the cluster galaxies due to this interaction. We find that there are more asymmetric galaxies found in the inner sample (at the 3.7 σ level) which are likely due to galaxy-galaxy interactions as the merging group passed through core passage. No other differences were found between the inner and outer cluster in our morphological analysis, which we attribute to the limited resolution of our imagery. The colour profiles of the galaxies are found to be consistent with the morphology-density relation suggesting that there is no unique environmental effect in A1664 that has enhanced galaxy transformations. This study favours the star formation of cluster galaxies being quenched well before they are able to interact with the merging group and demonstrates that a minor cluster merger has little effect on the observable parameters of cluster galaxies such as morphology and colour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2755-2764
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


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