The ultraviolet luminosity function and star formation rate of the Coma cluster

Luca Cortese, G. Gavazzi, A. Boselli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


We present estimates of the GALEX near-ultraviolet (NUV) and far-ultraviolet (FUV) luminosity functions (LFs) of the Coma cluster, over a total area of ~9 deg2 (~25 Mpc2), i.e. from the cluster centre to the virial radius. Our analysis represents the widest and deepest UV investigation of a nearby cluster of galaxies made to date. The Coma UV LFs show a faint-end slope steeper than the one observed in the local field. This difference, more evident in NUV, is entirely due to the contribution of massive quiescent systems (e.g. ellipticals, lenticulars and passive spirals), more frequent in high-density environments. On the contrary, the shape of the UV LFs for Coma star-forming galaxies does not appear to be significantly different from that of the field, consistently with previous studies of local and high-redshift clusters. We demonstrate that such similarity is only a selection effect, not providing any information on the role of the environment on the star formation history of cluster galaxies. By integrating the UV LFs for star-forming galaxies (corrected for the first time for internal dust attenuation), we show that the specific star formation rate (SSFR) of Coma is significantly lower than the integrated SSFR of the field and that Coma-like clusters contribute only
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1282-1296
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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