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Low Luminosity Galaxies in Large Surveys

  • John P. Huchra (a1)

Abstract

The debate about the slope and amplitude of the galaxy luminosity function at the faint end is discussed w.r.t. faint galaxies in large surveys, in particular the second CfA (CfA2) and the Las Campanas (LCRS) redshift surveys. Large surveys are necessary to determine the statistics of rare objects or objects that can only be seen out to limited volumes. Both surveys show excesses of faint galaxies over Schechter function fits, but the parent sample for the LCRS survey generally does not contain large or low surface brightness galaxies which do appear in the CfA2 survey. The objects that comprise the relatively large excess of faint galaxies in the CfA2 survey are shown to be primarily of low surface brightness and late morphological type and are generally emission line galaxies. Galaxy samples constructed like the LCRS will generally always be deficient in low luminosity galaxies and thus are not useful for constraining the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function.

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