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Forecasting the success of the WEAVE Wide-Field Cluster Survey on the extraction of the cosmic web filaments around galaxy clusters

Cornwell, Daniel J; Kuchner, Ulrike; Aragón-Salamanca, Alfonso; Gray, Meghan E; Pearce, Frazer R; Aguerri, J Alfonso L; Cui, Weiguang; Méndez-Abreu, J; de Arriba, Luis Peralta; Trager, Scott C


Daniel J Cornwell

Professor of Astronomy

J Alfonso L Aguerri

Weiguang Cui

J Méndez-Abreu

Luis Peralta de Arriba

Scott C Trager


Next-generation wide-field spectroscopic surveys will observe the infall regions around large numbers of galaxy clusters with high sampling rates for the first time. Here we assess the feasibility of extracting the large-scale cosmic web around clusters using forthcoming observations, given realistic observational constraints. We use a sample of 324 hydrodynamic zoom-in simulations of massive galaxy clusters from TheThreeHundred project to create a mock-observational catalogue spanning 5𝑅200 around 160 analogue clusters. These analogues are matched in mass to the 16 clusters targetted by the forthcoming WEAVE Wide-Field Cluster Survey (WWFCS). We consider the effects of the fibre allocation algorithm on our sampling completeness and find that we successfully allocate targets to 81.7 %± 1.3 of the members in the cluster outskirts. We next test the robustness of the filament extraction algorithm by using a metric, 𝐷skel, which quantifies the distance to the filament spine. We find that the median positional offset between reference and recovered filament networks is 𝐷skel = 0.13 ± 0.02 Mpc, much smaller than the typical filament radius of ∼ 1 Mpc. Cluster connectivity of the recovered network is not substantially affected. Our findings give confidence that the WWFCS will be able to reliably trace cosmic web filaments in the vicinity around massive clusters, forming the basis of environmental studies into the effects of pre-processing on galaxy evolution.


Cornwell, D. J., Kuchner, U., Aragón-Salamanca, A., Gray, M. E., Pearce, F. R., Aguerri, J. A. L., …Trager, S. C. (2022). Forecasting the success of the WEAVE Wide-Field Cluster Survey on the extraction of the cosmic web filaments around galaxy clusters. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 517(2), 1678–1694.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 20, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 29, 2022
Publication Date 2022-12
Deposit Date Oct 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 4, 2022
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 517
Issue 2
Pages 1678–1694
Keywords Space and Planetary Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics
Public URL
Publisher URL


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