Diffuse optical intracluster light as a measure of stellar tidal stripping: the cluster CL0024+17 at $z\sim $0.4 observed at LBT
We have evaluated the diffuse intracluster light (ICL) in the central core of the galaxy cluster CL0024+17 at $z\sim 0.4$ observed with the prime focus camera (LBC) at LBT. The measure required an accurate removal of the galaxies light within $\sim 200$ kpc from the center. The residual background intensity has then been integrated in circular apertures to derive the average ICL intensity profile. The latter shows an approximate exponential decline as expected from theoretical cold dark matter models. The radial profile of the ICL over the galaxies intensity ratio (ICL fraction) is increasing with decreasing radius but near the cluster center it starts to bend and then decreases where the overlap of the halos of the brightest cluster galaxies becomes dominant. Theoretical expectations in a simplified CDM scenario show that the ICL fraction profile can be estimated from the stripped over galaxy stellar mass ratio in the cluster. It is possible to show that the latter quantity is almost independent of the properties of the individual host galaxies but mainly depends on the average cluster properties. The predicted ICL fraction profile is thus very sensitive to the assumed CDM profile, total mass and concentration parameter of the cluster. Adopting values very similar to those derived from the most recent lensing analysis in CL0024+17 we find a good agreement with the observed ICL fraction profile. The galaxy counts in the cluster core have then been compared with that derived from composite cluster samples in larger volumes, up to the clusters virial radius. The galaxy counts in the CL0024+17 core appear flatter and the amount of bending respect to the average cluster galaxy counts imply a loss of total emissivity in broad agreement with the measured ICL fraction.