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Galaxy Clusters in the Presence of Substructure

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posted on 22.11.2019, 21:15 authored by Evan TuckerEvan Tucker
My thesis focused on developing an end-to-end program for dynamical analyses of galaxy clusters. The main interest of the thesis is to develop a dynamical mass estimator used for galaxy clusters that has the capability to account for substructure which is currently a limitation on most dynamical mass estimators. Through already established collaborations, I had access to a cutting-edge multi-object spectrograph, the Michigan/Magellan Fiber System (M2FS), on the 6.5m Clay-Magellan Telescope in Chile; therefore, a signi ant portion of my thesis involved the collection, data
reduction, and spectral analysis of new galaxy spectra. As part of this collaboration, I became a core member of the M2FS observation team, which sent me to Chile about
a half dozen times to aid in the observations with M2FS.
The early portions of my thesis project focused on the handling of newly obtained galaxy spectra with M2FS. The first M2FS observations of galaxies within clusters
were collected in November 2013 as a pilot program for testing this instruments capabilities at observing unresolved stellar populations. My goal with this portion of
the project was to familiarize myself with the M2FS instrument and it's observations as well as to learn how to reduce the collected data. As part of this familiarization,
I learned first-hand how to observe with M2FS and aid in the collection of other observations over a variety of scienti fic interests. While reducing my own observations, I developed a front-end GUI to simplify the data reduction process and help expedite the reduction of future observations. Although, the data reduction pipeline I developed works well at reducing a subset of M2FS observations, I was unable generalize the pipeline fully to handle all M2FS configurations. This is due to variations between configurations such as resolution settings, multi-order spectra, and wavelength coverages. I also helped in the collection of spectra with M2FS over a range of scientifi c
purposes. For projects more related to my own work, I collected spectra for galaxies within the clusters Abell 1689, MACS0429, and CL 1301. MACS0429 was part of my own research project and so I detail in this thesis the targeting, observation, data reduction, and spectral fi ts.




Degree Type




Degree Name

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Matthew G. Walker

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