The z0.1 Surface Brightness Distribution

Authors: K. O'Neil, S. Andreon, & J.-C. Cuillandre

Published: Accepted by Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters

The surface brightness distribution (SBD) function describes the number density of galaxies as measured against their central surface brightness. Because detecting galaxies with low central surface brightnesses is both time-consuming and complicated, determining the shape of this distribution function can be difficult. In a recent paper Cross, et al. suggested a bell-shaped SBD disk-galaxy function which peaks near the canonical Freeman value of 21.7 and then falls off significantly by 23.5 B mag arcsec-2. This is in contradiction to previous studies which have typically found flat (slope=0) SBD functions out to 24 - 25 B mag arcsec-2 (the survey limits). Here we take advantage of a recent surface-brightness limited survey by Andreon \& Cuillandre which reaches considerably fainter magnitudes than the Cross, sample (M$_B$ reaches fainter than -12 for Andreon \& Cuillandre while the Cross, sample is limited to MB < -16) to re-evaluate both the SBD function as found by their data and the SBD for a wide variety of galaxy surveys, including the Cross, et al. data. The result is a SBD function with a flat slope out through the survey limits of 24.5 B mag arcsec-2, with high confidence limits.

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