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Astron. Astrophys. 356, 815-826 (2000)

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Optical and X-ray analysis of the cluster of galaxies Abell 496 *

F. Durret 1,2, C. Adami 3,4, D. Gerbal 1,2 and V. Pislar 1,5

1 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98bis Bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
2 DAEC, Observatoire de Paris, Université Paris VII, CNRS (UA 173), 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
3 IGRAP, Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale, Traverse du Siphon, 13012 Marseille, France
4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Dearborn Observatory, 2131 Sheridan, 60208-2900 Evanston, USA
5 Université du Havre, 25 rue Philippe Lebon, 76600 Le Havre, France

Received 17 December 1999 / Accepted 29 February 2000


We present a detailed analysis of the cluster of galaxies Abell 496. The optical data include a redshift catalogue of 466 galaxies, out of which 274 belong to the main cluster and a CCD photometric catalogue in a much smaller region, with 239 and 610 galaxies in the V and R bands respectively. The X-ray analysis is based on an image obtained with the ROSAT PSPC.

Besides Abell 496 itself, the velocity distribution along the line of sight shows the existence of at least four structures at different redshifts, one of them seeming to be a poor cluster at a velocity of 30083 km s-1. The other of these structures have a too large spatial extent to be clusters but may be filaments along the line of sight or other young structures.

Various independent methods show that Abell 496 appears to be a quite relaxed cluster, except perhaps for the distribution of emission line galaxies. These appear to be distributed in two samples falling on to the main cluster, one from the back (the ELGs concentrated towards the west) and one from the front (the high velocity ELGs).

The bright part of the galaxy luminosity function, built from the redshift catalogue, shows a flattening at R[FORMULA] (M[FORMULA]), and can be accounted for by a gaussian distribution of bright galaxies and a power law or Schechter function for faint galaxies. The deeper galaxy counts derived from CCD imaging show a dip at R[FORMULA] (M[FORMULA]) which can be modelled assuming a cut-off in the luminosity function such as that observed in Coma.

We propose a model for the X-ray gas and derive the galaxy, X-ray gas and total dynamical masses, as well as the baryon fraction in the cluster. Abell 496 appears as a relaxed cluster which can be used as a prototype for further studies.

Key words: galaxies: clusters: individual: Abell 496 – galaxies: clusters: general

* Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile

Send offprint requests to: F. Durret (durret@iap.fr)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: April 17, 2000