A galaxy populations study of a radio-selected protocluster at z ∼ 3.1

E. Kuiper, N. A. Hatch, H. J.A. Röttgering, G. K. Miley, R. A. Overzier, B. P. Venemans, C. De Breuck, S. Croft, M. Kajisawa, T. Kodama, J. D. Kurk, L. Pentericci, S. A. Stanford, I. Tanaka, A. W. Zirm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


We present a population study of several types of galaxies within the protocluster surrounding the radio galaxy MRC 0316-257 at z ∼ 3.1. In addition to the known population of Lyα emitters and [O iii] emitters, we use colour-selection techniques to identify protocluster candidates that are Lyman break galaxies (LBG) and Balmer break galaxies (BBGs). The radio galaxy field contains an excess of LBG candidates, with a surface density 1.6 ± 0.3 times larger than found for comparable blank fields. This surface overdensity corresponds to an LBG volume overdensity of ∼8 ± 4. The BBG photometric redshift distribution peaks at the protocluster's redshift, but we detect no significant surface overdensity of BBG. This is not surprising because a volume overdensity similar to the LBGs would have resulted in a surface density of ∼1.2 that found in the blank field. This could not have been detected in our sample. Masses and star formation rates of the candidate protocluster galaxies are determined using spectral energy distribution fitting. These properties are not significantly different from those of field galaxies. The galaxies with the highest masses and star formation rates are located near the radio galaxy, indicating that the protocluster environment influences galaxy evolution at z ∼ 3. We conclude that the protocluster around MRC 0316-257 is still in the early stages of formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-986
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Early Universe
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: high-redshift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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