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The First Galaxy Cluster Discovered by the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea Survey

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The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 874, Number 1
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Science Citation Index Expanded
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We report the first confirmed detection of the galaxy cluster VVV-J144321-611754 at very low latitudes (l = 315fdg836, b = −1fdg650) located in the tile d015 of the VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) survey. We defined the region of 30 × 30 arcmin2 centered in the brightest galaxy finding 25 galaxies. For these objects, extinction-corrected median colors of (H−Ks) = 0.34 ± 0.05 mag, (J−H) = 0.57 ± 0.08 mag, and (J−Ks) = 0.87 ± 0.06 mag; R1/2 = 1.59 ± 0farcs16; C = 3.01 ± 0.08; and Sérsic index n = 4.63 ± 0.39 were estimated. They were visually confirmed showing characteristics of early-type galaxies in the near-IR images. An automatic clustering analysis performed in the whole tile found that the concentration of galaxies VVV-J144321-611754 is a real, compact concentration of early-type galaxies. Assuming a typical galaxy cluster with low X-ray luminosity, the photometric redshift of the brightest galaxy is z = 0.196 ± 0.025. Follow-up near-IR spectroscopy with FLAMINGOS-2 at the Gemini-South telescope revealed that the two brighter cluster galaxies have typical spectra of early-type galaxies and the estimated redshift for the brightest galaxy VVV-J144321.06-611753.9 is z = 0.234 ± 0.022 and that for VVV-J144319.02-611746.1 is z = 0.232 ± 0.019. Finally, these galaxies clearly follow the cluster red sequence in the rest-frame near-IR color–magnitude diagram with a slope similar to a galaxy cluster at a redshift of 0.2. These results are consistent with the presence of a bona fide galaxy cluster beyond the Milky Way disk.

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Atribución-SinDerivadas 3.0 Chile
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