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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 134, 393-400

The use of minimal spanning tree to characterize the 2D cluster galaxy distribution[*]

C. Adami 1,2 and A. Mazure 1

Send offprint request: C. Adami

1 - IGRAP, Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale, Marseille, France
2 - Northwestern University, Chicago, U.S.A.

Received July 23; accepted August 5, 1998


We use the Minimal Spanning Tree to characterize the aggregation level of given sets of points. We test 3 distances based on the histogram of the MST edges to discriminate between the distributions. We calibrate the method by using artificial sets following Poisson, King or NFW distributions. The distance using the mean, the dispersion and the skewness of the histogram of MST edges provides the more efficient results. We apply this distance to a subsample of the ENACS clusters and we show that the bright galaxies are significantly more aggregated than the faint ones. The contamination provided by uniformly distributed field galaxies is negligible. On the other hand, we show that the presence of clustered groups on the same cluster line of sight masked the variation of the distance with the considered magnitude.

Key words: Cosmology: observations -- (Cosmology:) large-scale structure of Universe -- galaxies: clusters -- methods: data analysis

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