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The optical/X-ray connection: intra-cluster medium iron content and galaxy optical luminosity in 20 galaxy clusters

By T. F. Laganá, R. A. Dupke, L. Sodré Jr, G. B. Lima Neto and F. Durret


X-ray observations of galaxy clusters have shown that the intra-cluster gas has iron abundances of about one-third of the solar value. These observations also show that part (if not all) of the intra-cluster gas metals was produced within the member galaxies. We present a systematic analysis of 20 galaxy clusters to explore the connection between the iron mass and the total luminosity of early- and late-type galaxies, and of the brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). From our results, the intra-cluster medium (ICM) iron mass seems to correlate better with the luminosity of the BCGs than with that of the red and blue galaxy populations. As the BCGs cannot produce alone the observed amount of iron, we suggest that ram-pressure plus tidal stripping acts together to enhance, at the same time, the BCG luminosities and the iron mass in the ICM. Through the analysis of the iron yield, we have also estimated that SN Ia are responsible for more than 50 per cent of the total iron in the ICM. This result corroborates the fact that ram-pressure contributes to the gas removal from galaxies to the ICM, being very efficient for clusters in the temperature range 2 < kT (keV) < 10

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14285.x
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