A recent paper presents the analysis of the K-band Hubble diagram of 76 brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) in X-ray clusters and shows that the properties of BCGs depend on the X-ray luminosity (LX) of their host clusters. Unfortunately, the low numbers of nearby clusters in this sample makes it difficult to constrain evolutionary trends. In this letter we extend the Hubble diagram of Burke, Collins & Mann to a total of 155 clusters using new data on 79 BCGs at z<=0.1 from the 2MASS extended source catalogue. We show that the major division between BCGs in high- and low-LX clusters disappears at z<=0.1, with BCGs having similar absolute magnitudes independent of the X-ray luminosity of their host clusters. At larger redshifts, the K-band light of BCGs in high-LX systems is consistent with little or no merging back to z~0.8, whereas BCGs in the low-LX systems have a different evolutionary history, with many increasing their mass by a factor >=4 since z~=1. This provides direct evidence of hierarchical merging in a galaxy population.
|Journal||Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|