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Astron. Astrophys. 317, 670-675 (1997)

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Structure and kinematics of galaxy clusters

II. Substructures and luminosity segregation

P. Stein 1, 2

1 Astronomisches Institut der Universität Basel, Venusstrasse 7, CH-4102 Binningen, Switzerland
2 Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Avenida Diagonal 647, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain

Received 24 January 1996 / Accepted 13 June 1996


A homogeneous sample of galaxy redshifts in the core regions (R [FORMULA] 0.5 h-1 Mpc) of 12 clusters is used to measure the frequency of substructure with different tests. In 50% of the cases substructure is detected, a frequency which agrees well with previous studies of cluster cores. Magnitude information and rough morphological classes are also available for 80% of the sample, allowing us to confirm that bright galaxies ([FORMULA] [FORMULA]) have a significantly lower velocity dispersion than the rest. Elliptical galaxies are the main responsibles for this luminosity segregation in velocity space, whereas no segregation can be seen for spiral galaxies. Given the coincidence of substructure and luminosity segregation, a cluster model with an old population of ellipticals which are under the effect of dynamical friction in each subcluster is thus favoured by these observations. Spiral galaxies seem to be late arrivals, or are passing in front or behind the core of the cluster.

Key words: galaxies: clusters: general – galaxies: interactions

Send offprint requests to: P. Stein (Universitat de Barcelona)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 8, 1998