[Abridged] In this paper, we carry out a detailed analysis of the performance of two different methods to identify the diffuse stellar light in cosmological hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy clusters. One method is based on a dynamical analysis of the stellar component. The second method is closer to techniques commonly employed in observational studies. Both the dynamical method and the method based on the surface brightness limit criterion are applied to the same set of hydrodynamical simulations for a large sample about 80 galaxy clusters.
We find significant differences between the ICL and DSC fractions computed with the two corresponding methods, which amounts to about a factor of two for the AGN simulations, and a factor of four for the CSF set. We also find that the inclusion of AGN feedback boosts the DSC and ICL fractions by a factor of 1.5-2, respectively, while leaving the BCG+ICL and BCG+DSC mass fraction almost unchanged. The sum of the BCG and DSC mass stellar mass fraction is found to decrease from ~80 per cent in galaxy groups to ~60 per cent in rich clusters, thus in excess of what found from observational analysis.
We identify the average surface brightness limits that yields the ICL fraction from the SBL method close to the DSC fraction from the dynamical method. These surface brightness limits turn out to be brighter in the CSF than in the AGN simulations. This is consistent with the finding that AGN feedback makes BCGs to be less massive and with shallower density profiles than in the CSF simulations. The BCG stellar component, as identified by both methods, are slightly older and more metal-rich than the stars in the diffuse component.
Date added: Tue, 8 Oct 13