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Astron. Astrophys. 361, 827-840 (2000)

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An excess of mid-IR luminous galaxies in Abell 1689? *

D. Fadda 1, D. Elbaz 1, P.-A. Duc 2,3, H. Flores 1, A. Franceschini 4, C.J. Cesarsky 5 and A.F.M. Moorwood 5

1 CEA Saclay - Service d'Astrophysique, Orme des Merisiers, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cédex, France
2 CNRS URA 2052 and CEA Saclay - Service d'Astrophysique, Orme des Merisiers, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cédex, France
3 University of Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK
4 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio, 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
5 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany

Received 29 February 2000 / Accepted 20 July 2000


We present the results of infrared observations of Abell 1689, an exceptionally rich cluster of galaxies at intermediate redshift ([FORMULA]). It was observed with ISOCAM, at 6.7 µm and 15 µm, and ISOPHOT at 200 µm from the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). The cluster galaxies detected above a sensitivity limit of 0.15 mJy in the 6.7 µm band, whose emission is mostly dominated by their stellar component, show optical colors similar to the overall cluster population and are gathered in the center of the cluster, following the distribution of the cluster early-types. In the 15 µm band, above a sensitivity limit of 0.3 mJy, the galaxies spectroscopically confirmed to be cluster members are blue outliers of the cluster color-magnitude relation and become brighter going from the center to the outer parts of the cluster.

We compare the 6.7 µm and 15 µm fluxes and the cumulative distributions of the B-[6.75] and B-[15] colors of the A1689 galaxies, above our 90% completeness limits of 0.2 and 0.4 mJy for 6.7 µm and 15 µm respectively, to the galaxies of two nearby clusters, Virgo and Coma, and to the field galaxies at the same redshift of the cluster. Although the B-[6.7] color distributions of the three clusters are compatible, we find a systematic excess of B-[15] color distribution for the galaxies located in Abell 1689 with respect to Coma or Virgo galaxies. This result proves the existence of a mid-infrared equivalent of the Butcher-Oemler effect measured in the optical. The comparison of 15 µm flux and B-[15] color distributions of A1689 and field galaxies does not show strong differences between the population of starburst galaxies in the cluster and in the field.

Key words: galaxies: clusters: individual: A 1689 – galaxies: evolution – cosmology: observations – infrared: galaxies

* Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) with the participation of ISAS and NASA

Send offprint requests to: D. Fadda (dfadda@cea.fr)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: October 10, 2000