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The Massive and Distant Clusters of WISE Survey. I. Survey Overview and a Catalog of >2000 Galaxy Clusters at z ≃ 1


© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. We present the Massive and Distant Clusters of WISE Survey (MaDCoWS), a search for galaxy clusters at 0.7 ≲ z ≲ 1.5 based upon data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. MaDCoWS is the first cluster survey capable of discovering massive clusters at these redshifts over the full extragalactic sky. The search is divided into two regions - the region of the extragalactic sky covered by Pan-STARRS (δ > -30°) and the remainder of the southern extragalactic sky at δ < -30° for which shallower optical data from the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey is available. In this paper, we describe the search algorithm, characterize the sample, and present the first MaDCoWS data release - catalogs of the 2433 highest amplitude detections in the WISE-Pan-STARRS region and the 250 highest amplitude detections in the WISE-SuperCOSMOS region. A total of 1723 of the detections from the WISE-Pan-STARRS sample have also been observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope, providing photometric redshifts and richnesses, and an additional 64 detections within the WISE-SuperCOSMOS region also have photometric redshifts and richnesses. Spectroscopic redshifts for 38 MaDCoWS clusters with IRAC photometry demonstrate that the photometric redshifts have an uncertainty of σ z /(1 + z) ≃ 0.036. Combining the richness measurements with Sunyaev-Zel'dovich observations of MaDCoWS clusters, we also present a preliminary mass-richness relation that can be used to infer the approximate mass distribution of the full sample. The estimated median mass for the WISE-Pan-STARRS catalog is , with the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich data confirming that we detect clusters with masses up to M 500 ∼ 5 ×10 14 M (M 200 ∼ 10 15 M ).

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