A halo-based galaxy group finder: calibration and application to the 2dFGRS

Yang, Xiaohu ; Mo, H. J. ; van den Bosch, Frank C. ; Jing, Y. P.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2005, vol. 356, no. 4, p. 1293-1307

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    Summary
    We use the halo occupation model to calibrate galaxy group finders in magnitude limited redshift surveys. Because, according to the current scenario of structure formation, galaxy groups are associated with cold dark matter (CDM) haloes, we make use of the properties of the halo population in the design of our group finder. The method starts with an assumed mass-to-light ratio to assign a tentative mass to each group. This mass is used to estimate the size and velocity dispersion of the underlying halo that hosts the group, which in turn is used to determine group membership (in redshift space). This procedure is repeated until no further changes occur in group memberships. We find that the final groups selected this way are insensitive to the mass-to-light ratio assumed. We use mock catalogues, constructed using the conditional luminosity function (CLF), to test the performance of our group finder in terms of completeness of true members and contamination by interlopers. Our group finder is more successful than the conventional friends-of-friends (FOF) group finder in assigning galaxies in common dark matter haloes to a single group. We apply our group finder to the 2-degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS) and compare the resulting group properties with model predictions based on the CLF. For the ΛCDM concordance cosmology, we find a clear discrepancy between the model and data in the sense that the model predicts too many rich groups. In order to match the observational results, we have to either increase the mass-to-light ratios of rich clusters to a level significantly higher than current observational estimates, or to assume σ8≃ 0.7, compared with the concordance value of 0.9