A deep near-infrared view of the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster

D. Galdeano, G. Coldwell, F. Duplancic, S. Alonso, L. Pereyra, D. Minniti, R. Zelada Bacigalupo, C. Valotto, L. Baravalle, M. V. Alonso, J. L. Nilo Castellón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Context. The Ophiuchus cluster of galaxies, located at low latitudes in the direction of the Galactic bulge, has been relatively poorly studied in comparison with other rich galaxy clusters, such as Coma, Virgo, and Fornax, despite being the second brightest X-ray cluster in the sky. Aims. Our aim is perform a study of the hidden galaxy population of the massive cluster Ophiuchus located in the Zone of Avoidance. Methods. Deep near-infrared images and photometry from the VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea eXtended (VVVX) survey were used to detect galaxy member candidates of the Ophiuchus cluster up to 2 Mpc from the cD galaxy 2MASX J17122774-2322108 using criteria from a past paper to select the galaxies among the foreground sources. We also perform a morphological visual classification and generate color-magnitude diagrams and density profiles. Results. We identify 537 candidate galaxy members of the Ophiuchus cluster up to 2 Mpc from the cD galaxy, increasing by a factor of seven the number of reported Ophiuchus galaxies. In addition, we performed a morphological classification of these galaxy candidates finding that the fraction of ellipticals reaches more than 60% in the central region of the cluster. On the other hand, the fraction of spirals fraction is lower than 20%, remaining almost constant throughout the cluster. Moreover, we study the red sequence of galaxy member candidates and use mock catalogs to explore the density profile of the cluster, finding that the value derived from the mock catalog toward an overdense region is in agreement with the galaxy excess of the central zone of the Ophiuchus cluster. Conclusions. Our investigation of the hidden population of Ophiuchus galaxies underscores the importance of this cluster as a prime target for future photometric and spectroscopic studies. Moreover the results of this work highlight the potential of the VVVX survey to study extragalactic objects in the Zone of Avoidance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA158
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Catalogs
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: clusters: individual: Ophiuchus
  • Galaxy: bulge
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A deep near-infrared view of the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this