The velocity field predicted by the optical redshift survey

Jonathan E. Baker, Marc Davis, Michael A. Strauss, Ofer Lahav, Basílio X. Santiago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We have used the Optical Redshift Survey (ORS) of Santiago et al. to construct the gravity field due to fluctuations in the galaxy density field out to distances of 8000 km s-1. At large scales where linear theory applies, the comparison of this gravity field with the observed peculiar velocity field offers a powerful cosmological probe because the predicted flow field is proportional to the parameter Ω0.6/b, where Ω is the matter density and b is the bias of the galaxy distribution. The more densely sampled ORS gravity field, to excellent approximation, matches that of the earlier IRAS 1.2 Jy redshift survey of Fisher et al., provided β is reduced by a factor of bopt/bIRAS ≈ 1.4. Apart from this scaling, the most significant difference between the ORS and IRAS fields is induced by differing estimates of the overdensity of the Virgo cluster. Neither of these gravity fields is consistent with the peculiar velocity field constructed from the full Mark III sample. We find that a simple but plausible nonlinear bias algorithm for the galaxy distribution relative to the mass has a negligible effect on the derived fields. We conclude that the substitution of optical for IRAS catalogs cannot alone resolve the discrepancies between the IRAS gravity field and the Mark III peculiar velocity field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-16
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART I
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Cosmology: Observations
  • Galaxies: Clusters: General galaxies: Distances and redshifts
  • Large-scale structure of universe


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