A study of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich increment using archival SCUBA data

Michael Zemcov, Colin Borys, Mark Halpern, Philip Mauskopf, Douglas Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In a search for evidence of the short wavelength increment in the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect, we have analysed archival galaxy cluster data from the Submillimetre Common User Bolometer Array (SCUBA) on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, resulting in the most complete pointed survey of clusters at 850 (am to date. SCUBA's 850-μm passband overlaps the peak of the SZ increment. The sample consists of 44 galaxy clusters in the range 0 < z < 1.3. Maps of each of the clusters have been made and sources have been extracted; as an ancillary product, we generate the most thorough galaxy cluster point source list yet from SCUBA. 17 of these clusters are free of obvious active galactic nuclei (AGN) and have data deep enough to provide interesting measurements of the expected SZ signal. Specialized analysis techniques are employed to extract the SZ effect signal from these SCUBA data, including using SCUBA's short wavelength band as an atmospheric monitor and fitting the long wavelength channel to a model of the spatial distribution of each cluster's SZ effect. By explicitly excising the exact cluster centre from our analysis, we demonstrate that emission from galaxies within the cluster does not contaminate our measurement. The SZ amplitudes from our measurements are consistently higher than the amplitudes inferred from low-frequency measurements of the SZ decrement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1098
Number of pages26
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Submillimetre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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