Date of Award

Summer 8-20-2021

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




David Batuski

Second Committee Member

Neil Comins

Third Committee Member

George Bernhardt


We examine physical properties of several galaxy clusters located within the Aquarius (AQR) and Microscopium (MSC) super-cluster complexes via their luminosity functions, fitted using Schechter functions. Images of clusters were acquired via the DECam (Dark Energy Camera) imager of the 4-meter diameter telescope at CTIO (Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory). We observe six clusters in our sample; four from the Aquarius supercluster (AQR 2541, 2546, 2554, 2555) and two from the Microscopium supercluster (MSC 3695, 3696). Magnitude information and density of member galaxies in each cluster were extracted via the SExtractor software utility from obtained images. We correct for background by sampling and subtracting non-cluster regions of our images.

We construct luminosity functions (observations of magnitude vs cluster galaxy number density) for each cluster in our sample. Schechter functions are fitted to luminosity functions via chi-squared minimization. Fitted Schechter parameters α (characteristic slope) and M* (characteristic magnitude) of samples are compared to parameters given in other publications of clusters of different environments and redshift. Derived Schechter parameters for Aquarius clusters suggest low cluster richness, possibly due to an abundance of dwarf galaxies within the region.