717 research outputs found

    Strong Magnetization Measured in the Cool Cores of Galaxy Clusters

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    Tangential discontinuities, seen as X-ray edges known as cold fronts (CFs), are ubiquitous in cool-core galaxy clusters. We analyze all 17 deprojected CF thermal profiles found in the literature, including three new CFs we tentatively identify (in clusters A2204 and 2A0335). We discover small but significant thermal pressure drops below all nonmerger CFs, and argue that they arise from strong magnetic fields below and parallel to the discontinuity, carrying 10%-20% of the pressure. Such magnetization can stabilize the CFs, and explain the CF-radio minihalo connection.Comment: PRL accepted, additional control tests adde

    Chemical Gradients in Galaxy Clusters and the Multiple Ways of Making a Cold Front

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    Cold fronts were originally interpreted as being the result of subsonic/transonic motions of head-on merging substructures. This merger core remnant model is theoretically justified and hold relatively well for clusters that have clear signs of merging, such as 1E0657-56, but they do not work well for the increasing number of cold fronts found in clusters that do not show clear merging signs, such as A496. Here we report the results of a deeper observation of that cluster that allowed us to produce high quality maps of the gas parameters and to compare more closely the observations with the predictions given by different models for cold front formation. We found for the first time a ``cold arm'' characteristic of a flyby of a massive DM halo near the core of the cluster. The cold arm is accompanied by an enhanced SN II Fe mass fraction, inconsistent with the merger core remnant scenario.Comment: 3 pages, 1 figures, to appear in the Proceedings of "Heating vs. Cooling in Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies", August 2006, Garching (Germany

    Cold fronts in cool core clusters

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    Cold fronts have been detected both in merging and in cool core clusters, where little or no sign of a merging event is present. A systematic search of sharp surface brightness discontinuities performed on a sample of 62 galaxy clusters observed with XMM-Newton shows that cold fronts are a common feature in galaxy clusters. Indeed most (if not all) of the nearby clusters (z < 0.04) host a cold front. Understanding the origin and the nature of a such frequent phenomenon is clearly important. To gain insight on the nature of cold fronts in cool core clusters we have undertaken a systematic study of all contact discontinuities detected in our sample, measuring surface brightness, temperature and when possible abundance profiles across the fronts. We measure the Mach numbers for the cold fronts finding values which range from 0.2 to 0.9; we also detect a discontinuities in the metal profile of some clusters.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figures, for proceedings of "Heating vs. Cooling in Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies," eds H. Boehringer, P. Schuecker, G. W. Pratt & A. Finoguenov, in Springer-Verlag series "ESO Astrophysics Symposia.

    Cluster Core Heating from Merging Subclusters

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    Though feedback from central active galactic nuclei provides an attractive solution to the problem of overcooling in galaxy cluster cores, another possible source of heating may come from ``sloshing'' of the cluster core gas initiated by mergers. We present a set of simulations of galaxy cluster mergers with subclusters in order to determine the amount of heating provided by the mechanism of sloshing, exploring a parameter space over mass ratio, impact parameter, and viscosity of the intracluster medium (ICM). Our results show that for sloshing caused by mergers with gasless subclusters cooling may be partially offset by heating from sloshing, but this mechanism is less effective if the ICM is viscous.Comment: To appear in proceedings of "The Monster's Fiery Breath", Eds. Sebastian Heinz & Eric Wilcots (AIP conference series). 4 pages, 3 figure

    Mapping the Gas Turbulence in the Coma Cluster: Predictions for Astro-H

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    Astro-H will be able for the first time to map gas velocities and detect turbulence in galaxy clusters. One of the best targets for turbulence studies is the Coma cluster, due to its proximity, absence of a cool core, and lack of a central active galactic nucleus. To determine what constraints Astro-H will be able to place on the Coma velocity field, we construct simulated maps of the projected gas velocity and compute the second-order structure function, an analog of the velocity power spectrum. We vary the injection scale, dissipation scale, slope, and normalization of the turbulent power spectrum, and apply measurement errors and finite sampling to the velocity field. We find that even with sparse coverage of the cluster, Astro-H will be able to measure the Mach number and the injection scale of the turbulent power spectrum--the quantities determining the energy flux down the turbulent cascade and the diffusion rate for everything that is advected by the gas (metals, cosmic rays, etc.). Astro-H will not be sensitive to the dissipation scale or the slope of the power spectrum in its inertial range, unless they are outside physically motivated intervals. We give the expected confidence intervals for the injection scale and the normalization of the power spectrum for a number of possible pointing configurations, combining the structure function and velocity dispersion data. Importantly, we also determine that measurement errors on the line shift will bias the velocity structure function upward, and show how to correct this bias.Comment: 18 pages, 13 figures. Matches published ApJ version, except that it fixes an error in the left panel of Figure 5 that is being addressed in an ApJ erratu

    Turbulence Generation by Substructure Motion in Clusters of Galaxies

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    Clusters of galaxies form through major merger and/or absorption of smaller groups. In fact, some characteristic structures such as cold fronts, which are likely relevant to moving substructures, are found by {\it Chandra}. It is expected that moving substructures generate turbulence in the intracluster medium (ICM). Such turbulence probably plays a crucial role in mixture and transport of gas energy and heavy elements, and particle acceleration. The {\it Astro-E2} satellite, which is planned to be launched in 2005, will detect broadened lines due to turbulent motion. In order to explore the above-mentioned issues, it is important to investigate the generation processes and structure of ICM turbulence. We investigate the ICM dynamical evolution in and around a moving substructure with three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. Eddy-like structures develop near the boundary between the substructure and the ambient ICM through Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. Because of these structures, characteristic patterns appear in the line-of-sight velocity distribution of the ICM.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figures, Accepted for publication in Advances in Space Research (Proceedings of COSPAR-2004

    Connection between a possible fifth force and the direct detection of Dark Matter

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    If there is a fifth force in the dark sector and dark sector particles interact non-gravitationally with ordinary matter, quantum corrections generically lead to a fifth force in the visible sector. We show how the strong experimental limits on fifth forces in the visible sector constrain the direct detection cross section, and the strength of the fifth force in the dark sector. If the latter is comparable to gravity, the spin-independent direct detection cross section must typically be <~ 10^{-55} cm^2. The anomalous acceleration of ordinary matter falling towards dark matter is also constrained: \eta_{OM-DM} <~ 10^{-8}.Comment: 4 pages, 2 figures. v3: contains a more detailed treatment of the spin-dependence of the effective interaction between dark matter and ordinary matte
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