The ROSAT Brightest Cluster Sample

The X-ray brightest clusters in the northern hemisphere from ROSAT All-Sky Survey data:

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The ROSAT Brightest Cluster Sample

The BCS team:

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Project overview:

The BCS is the first X-ray selected and X-ray flux limited sample of clusters of galaxies compiled from ROSAT All-Sky Survey data. Comprising 310 clusters the extended BCS sample is the largest statistically well defined cluster sample in the northern hemisphere. All BCS clusters have measured spectroscopic redshifts, the highest being z = 0.42; the subset of 300 clusters with z < 0.3 constitutes the statistical sample.

The BCS allows detailed studies of the statistical properties of galaxy clusters in the local Universe, such as the characteristics of their central cluster galaxies or the local cluster X-ray luminosity function. Providing a low-z reference point, the BCS is also of crucial importance for studies of much more distant clusters whose abundance and properties are sensitive cosmological probes.

BCS clusters have been the subject of numerous detailed follow-up studies in a variety of wavebands ranging from the sub-mm (SZ effect) to the X-ray regime. One example of an ongoing follow-up project is the HST snapshot survey of the central cluster galaxies in BCS clusters.

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The sample:

The distribution of all BCS clusters in the Lx-z plane as well as in the sky is shown in the following figures.

Here is an electronic version of the ROSAT Brightest Cluster Sample (BCS), consisting of the original sample (comprising 203 clusters) as published in Ebeling et al. (1998) and a low flux extension (comprising an additional 107 clusters) as published in Ebeling et al. (2000).

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BCS publications (by the BCS team):

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Note concerning the PDF offprint of Ebeling et al. 2000: "This is an electronic version of an article published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: complete citation information for the final version of the paper, as published in the print edition of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, is available on the Blackwell Science Synergy online delivery service, accessible via the journal's Website at:"

Important note: A formatting error caused the flux of the Virgo cluster to be misprinted in Table 3 of Ebeling et al. (1998). The table published in MNRAS lists 821.1 instead of the correct value of 1821.1 [both in units of 10^(-12) erg s^(-1) cm^(-2)]. This error has been corrected in the electronic version of the table that can be obtained from this Web site. Thanks to Don Horner of GSFC for pointing this out!

(page last updated by H. Ebeling, January 8, 2001)