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Astron. Astrophys. 338, 874-880 (1998)

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The composite luminosity function of A 496 *

Emilio Molinari 1, Guido Chincarini 1, 2, Alberto Moretti 1 and Sabrina De Grandi 1

1 Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via Bianchi 46, I-23807 Merate (LC), Italy
2 Università degli Studi, Via Celoria 16, Milano, Italy (molinari@merate.mi.astro.it)

Received 22 April 1998 / Accepted 16 July 1998


Deep photometric observations in three colours of the cluster A 496 show that the luminosity function is bimodal with a deep gap at [FORMULA]. That is there is a net separation between E/SO galaxies that are nicely fitted by a gaussian distribution curve and the dwarfs that better match a Shechter function. This is the first cluster observed and reduced out of a sample of 19 clusters which we have in our program. However comparison with the data of Virgo and Coma might suggest a correlation between cluster morphology and amplitude of the two distributions: normal and dwarf population. This would have strong implication for the understanding of cluster formation and evolution so that we are pursuing the estimate of the LF in various colours and to faint magnitudes both for low and high redshift clusters.

Key words: galaxies: clusters: general – galaxies: luminosity function – galaxies: photometry – galaxies: clusters: individual: A 496

* Based on observations made at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), La Silla, Chile

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: September 17, 1998