The Northern Sky Optical Cluster Survey IV: An Intermediate Redshift Galaxy Cluster Catalog and the Comparison of Two Detection Algorithms


We present an optically selected galaxy cluster catalog from ~ 2,700 square degrees of the Digitized Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (DPOSS), spanning the redshift range 0.1 < z < 0.5, providing an intermediate redshift supplement to the previous DPOSS cluster survey. This new catalog contains 9,956 cluster candidates and is the largest resource of rich clusters in this redshift range to date. The candidates are detected using the best DPOSS plates based on seeing and limiting magnitude. The search is further restricted to high galactic latitude (|b| > 50), where stellar contamination is modest and nearly uniform. We also present a performance comparison of two different detection methods applied to this data, the Adaptive Kernel and Voronoi Tessellation techniques. In the regime where both catalogs are expected to be complete, we find excellent agreement, as well as with the most recent surveys in the literature. Extensive simulations are performed and applied to the two different methods, indicating a contamination rate of ~ 5%. These simulations are also used to optimize the algorithms and evaluate the selection function for the final cluster catalog. Redshift and richness estimates are also provided, making possible the selection of subsamples for future studies.