The clustering of colour-selected galaxies

M. J.I. Brown, R. L. Webster, B. J. Boyle

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    We present measurements of the angular correlation function of galaxies selected from a BJ ∼ 23.5 multicolour survey of two 5° × 5° fields located at high galactic latitudes. The galaxy catalogue of ∼ 4 × 105 galaxies is comparable in size to catalogues used to determine the galaxy correlation function at low redshift. Measurements of the z ∼ 0.4 correlation function at large angular scales show no evidence for a break from a power law, although our results are not inconsistent with a break at ≳ 15h-1 Mpc. Despite the large fields-of-view, there are large discrepancies between the measurements of the correlation function in each field, possibly caused by dwarf galaxies within z ∼ 0.11 clusters near the South Galactic Pole. Colour selection is used to study the clustering of galaxies from z ∼ 0 to z ∼ 0.4. The galaxy correlation function is found to depend strongly on colour, with red galaxies more strongly clustered than blue galaxies by a factor of ≳5 at small scales. The slope of the correlation function is also found to vary with colour, with γ ∼ 1.8 for red galaxies and γ ∼ 1.5 for blue galaxies. The clustering of red galaxies is consistently strong over the entire magnitude range studied, although there are large variations between the two fields. The clustering of blue galaxies is extremely weak over the observed magnitude range, with clustering consistent with r0 ∼ 2 h-1 Mpc. This is weaker than the clustering of late-type galaxies in the local Universe, and suggests that galaxy clustering is more strongly correlated with colour than morphology. This may also be the first detection of a substantial low-redshift galaxy population with clustering properties similar to faint blue galaxies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)782-794
    Number of pages13
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2000


    • Cosmology: observations
    • Galaxies: evolution
    • Large-scale structure of Universe

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