An algorithm to build mock galaxy catalogues using MICE simulations

J. Carretero, F. J. Castander, E. Gaztañaga, M. Crocce, P. Fosalba

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    103 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2014 The Authors. We present a method to build mock galaxy catalogues starting from a halo catalogue that uses halo occupation distribution (HOD) recipes as well as the subhalo abundance matching (SHAM) technique. Combining both prescriptions we are able to push the absolute magnitude of the resulting catalogue to fainter luminosities than using just the SHAM technique and can interpret our results in terms of the HOD modelling. We optimize the method by populating with galaxies friends-of-friends dark matter haloes extracted from the Marenostrum Institut de Ciències de l'Espai dark matter simulations and comparing them to observational constraints. Our resulting mock galaxy catalogues manage to reproduce the observed local galaxy luminosity function and the colour-magnitude distribution as observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. They also reproduce the observed galaxy clustering properties as a function of luminosity and colour. In order to achieve that, the algorithm also includes scatter in the halo mass-galaxy luminosity relation derived from direct SHAM and a modified Navarro-Frenk-White mass density profile to place satellite galaxies in their host dark matter haloes. Improving on general usage of the HOD that fits the clustering for given magnitude limited samples, our catalogues are constructed to fit observations at all luminosities considered and therefore for any luminosity subsample. Overall, our algorithm is an economic procedure of obtaining galaxy mock catalogues down to faint magnitudes that are necessary to understand and interpret galaxy surveys.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)646-670
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2015


    • Astronomical data bases
    • Catalogues
    • Galaxies: evolution
    • Galaxies: haloes
    • Large-scale structure of Universe


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