Galaxy clustering in the completed sdss redshift survey: The dependence on color and luminosity

Idit Zehavi, Zheng Zheng, David H. Weinberg, Michael R. Blanton, Neta A. Bahcall, Andreas A. Berlind, Jon Brinkmann, Joshua A. Frieman, James E. Gunn, Robert H. Lupton, Robert C. Nichol, Will J. Percival, Donald P. Schneider, Ramin A. Skibba, Michael A. Strauss, Max Tegmark, Donald G. York

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We measure the luminosity and color dependence of galaxy clustering in the largest-ever galaxy redshift survey, the main galaxy sample of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Seventh Data Release. We focus on the projected correlation function wp (rp ) of volume-limited samples, extracted from the parent sample of 700,000 galaxies over 8000 deg2, extending up to redshift of 0.25. We interpret our measurements using halo occupation distribution (HOD) modeling assuming a ΛCDM cosmology (inflationary cold dark matter with a cosmological constant). The amplitude of wp (rp ) grows slowly with luminosity for L < L* and increases sharply at higher luminosities, with a large-scale bias factor b(> L) × (σ8/0.8) = 1.06 + 0.21(L/L*) 1.12, where L is the sample luminosity threshold. At fixed luminosity, redder galaxies exhibit a higher amplitude and steeper correlation function, a steady trend that runs through the "blue cloud" and "green valley" and continues across the "red sequence." The cross-correlation of red and blue galaxies is close to the geometric mean of their autocorrelations, dropping slightly below at rp < 1 h -1 Mpc. The luminosity trends for the red and blue galaxy populations separately are strikingly different. Blue galaxies show a slow but steady increase of clustering strength with luminosity, with nearly constant shape of wp (rp ). The large-scale clustering of red galaxies shows little luminosity dependence until a sharp increase at L > 4 L *, but the lowest luminosity red galaxies (0.04-0.25 L *) show very strong clustering on small scales (rp < 2 h -1 Mpc). Most of the observed trends can be naturally understood within the ΛCDM+HOD framework. The growth of wp (rp ) for higher luminosity galaxies reflects an overall shift in the mass scale of their host dark matter halos, in particular an increase in the minimum host halo mass Mmin. The mass at which a halo has, on average, one satellite galaxy brighter than L is M1 ≈ 17 M min(L) over most of the luminosity range, with a smaller ratio above L*. The growth and steepening of wp (rp ) for redder galaxies reflects the increasing fraction of galaxies that are satellite systems in high-mass halos instead of central systems in low-mass halos, a trend that is especially marked at low luminosities. Our extensive measurements, provided in tabular form, will allow detailed tests of theoretical models of galaxy formation, a firm grounding of semiempirical models of the galaxy population, and new constraints on cosmological parameters from combining real-space galaxy clustering with mass-sensitive statistics such as redshift-space distortions, cluster mass-to-light ratios, and galaxy-galaxy lensing.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number59
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jul 20 2011


    • cosmology: observations
    • cosmology: theory
    • galaxies: distances and redshifts
    • galaxies: halos
    • galaxies: statistics
    • large-scale structure of universe

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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