Characterising the optical properties of galaxy clusters with GMPhoRCC

R. J. Hood, R. G. Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce the Gaussian Mixture full Photometric Red sequence Cluster Characteriser (GMPhoRCC), an algorithm for determining the redshift and richness of a galaxy cluster candidate. By using data from a multi-band sky survey with photometric redshifts, a red sequence colour magnitude relation (CMR) is isolated and modelled and used to characterise the optical properties of the candidate. GMPhoRCC provides significant advantages over existing methods including, treatment of multi-modal distributions, variable width full CMR red sequence, richness extrapolation and quality control in order to algorithmically identify catastrophic failures. We present redshift comparisons for clusters from the GMBCG, NORAS, REFLEX and XCS catalogues, where the GMPhoRCC estimates are in excellent agreement with spectra, showing accurate, unbiased results with low scatter ($\sigma_{\delta z / (1+z)} \sim 0.014$). We conclude with the evaluation of GMPhoRCC performance using empirical Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) like mock galaxy clusters. GMPhoRCC is shown to produce highly pure characterisations with very low probabilities ($
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017


  • Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics

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