Large-scale motions in the universe: Using clusters of galaxies as tracers

Mirt Gramann, Neta A. Bahcall, Renyue Cen, J. Richard Gott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Can clusters of galaxies be used to trace the large-scale peculiar velocity field of the universe? We answer this question by using large-scale cosmological simulations to compare the motions of rich clusters of galaxies with the motion of the underlying matter distribution. Three models are investigated: Ω = 1 and Ω = 0.3 CDM, and Ω = 0.3 PBI models, all normalized to the COBE background fluctuations. We compare the cluster and mass distribution of peculiar velocities, bulk motions, velocity dispersions, and Mach numbers as a function of scale for R ≥ 50 h-1 Mpc. We also present the large-scale velocity and potential maps of clusters and of the matter. We find that clusters of galaxies trace well the large-scale velocity field and can serve as an efficient tool to constrain cosmological models. The recently reported bulk motion of clusters 689 ± 178 km s-1 on ∼150 h-1 Mpc scale (Lauer & Postman 1994) is larger than expected in any of the models studied (≤190 ± 78 km s-1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-457
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Galaxies: clustering
  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • Large-scale structure of universe


Dive into the research topics of 'Large-scale motions in the universe: Using clusters of galaxies as tracers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this