1,125 research outputs found

    Model-independent X-ray mass determinations

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    A new method is introduced for making X-ray mass determinations of spherical clusters of galaxies. Treating the distribution of gravitating matter as piecewise constant and the cluster atmosphere as piecewise isothermal, X-ray spectra of a hydrostatic atmosphere are determined up to a single overall normalizing factor. In contrast to more conventional approaches, this method relies on the minimum of assumptions, apart from the conditions of hydrostatic equilibrium and spherical symmetry. The method has been implemented as an XSPEC mixing model called CLMASS, which was used to determine masses for a sample of nine relaxed X-ray clusters. Compared to conventional mass determinations, CLMASS provides weak constraints on values of M_500, reflecting the quality of current X-ray data for cluster regions beyond r_500. At smaller radii, where there are high quality X-ray spectra inside and outside the radius of interest to constrain the mass, CLMASS gives confidence ranges for M_2500 that are only moderately less restrictive than those from more familiar mass determination methods. The CLMASS model provides some advantages over other methods and should prove useful for mass determinations in regions where there are high quality X-ray data.Comment: 12 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in Ap

    Chandra Observation of a 300 kpc Hydrodynamic Instability in the Intergalactic Medium of the Merging Cluster of Galaxies A3667

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    We present results from the combination of two Chandra pointings of the central region of the cluster of galaxies A3667. From the data analysis of the first pointing Vikhlinin et al. reported the discovery of a prominent cold front which is interpreted as the boundary of a cool gas cloud moving through the hotter ambient gas. Vikhlinin et al. discussed the role of the magnetic fields in maintaining the apparent dynamical stability of the cold front over a wide sector at the forward edge of the moving cloud and suppressing transport processes across the front. In this Letter, we identify two new features in the X-ray image of A3667: i) a 300 kpc arc-like filamentary X-ray excess extending from the cold gas cloud border into the hotter ambient gas; ii) a similar arc-like filamentary X-ray depression that develops inside the gas cloud. The temperature map suggests that the temperature of the filamentary excess is consistent with that inside the gas cloud while the temperature of the depression is consistent with that of the ambient gas. We suggest that the observed features represent the first evidence for the development of a large scale hydrodynamic instability in the cluster atmosphere resulting from a major merger. This result confirms previous claims for the presence of a moving cold gas cloud into the hotter ambient gas. Moreover it shows that, although the gas mixing is suppressed at the leading edge of the subcluster due to its magnetic structure, strong turbulent mixing occurs at larger angles to the direction of motion. We show that this mixing process may favor the deposition of a nonnegligible quantity of thermal energy right in the cluster center, affecting the development of the central cooling flow.Comment: Replaced to match version accepted for publication in ApJL; some changes on text. 4 pages, 3 color figures and 2 BW figures, emulateapj

    Non-hydrostatic gas in the core of the relaxed galaxy cluster A1795

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    Chandra data on A1795 reveal a mild edge-shaped discontinuity in the gas density and temperature in the southern sector of the cluster at r=60/h kpc. The gas inside the edge is 1.3-1.5 times denser and cooler than outside, while the pressure is continuous, indicating that this is a "cold front", the surface of contact between two moving gases. The continuity of the pressure indicates that the current relative velocity of the gases is near zero, making the edge appear to be in hydrostatic equilibrium. However, a total mass profile derived from the data in this sector under the equilibrium assumption, exhibits an unphysical jump by a factor of 2, with the mass inside the edge being lower. We propose that the cooler gas is "sloshing" in the cluster gravitational potential well and is now near the point of maximum displacement, where it has zero velocity but nonzero centripetal acceleration. The distribution of this non-hydrostatic gas should reflect the reduced gravity force in the accelerating reference frame, resulting in the apparent mass discontinuity. Assuming that the gas outside the edge is hydrostatic, the acceleration of the moving gas can be estimated from the mass jump, a ~ 800 h km/s/(10^8 yr). The gravitational potential energy of this gas that is available for dissipation is about half of its current thermal energy. The length of the cool filament extending from the cD galaxy (Fabian et al.) may give the amplitude of the gas sloshing, 30-40/h kpc. Such gas bulk motion might be caused by a disturbance of the central gravitational potential by past subcluster infall.Comment: Minor text clarifications to correspond to published version. 5 pages, 1 figure in color, uses emulateapj.sty. ApJ Letters in pres

    (No) dimming of X-ray clusters beyond z~1 at fixed mass: crude redhshifts and masses from raw X-ray and SZ data

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    Scaling relations in the LCDM Cosmology predict that for a given mass the clusters formed at larger redshift are hotter, denser and therefore more luminous in X-rays than their local z~0 counterparts. This effect overturns the decrease in the observable X-ray flux so that it does not decrease at z > 1, similar to the SZ signal. Provided that scaling relations remain valid at larger redshifts, X-ray surveys will not miss massive clusters at any redshift, no matter how far they are. At the same time, the difference in scaling with mass and distance of the observable SZ and X-ray signals from galaxy clusters at redshifts zâ‰Č2z\lesssim 2 offers a possibility to crudely estimate the redshift and the mass of a cluster. This might be especially useful for preselection of massive high-redshift clusters and planning of optical follow-up for overlapping surveys in X-ray (e.g., by SRG/eRosita) and SZ (e.g. Planck, SPT and ACT).Comment: 7 pages, 5 figures, MNRAS accepte

    XMM-Newton Observations of Evolution of Cluster X-Ray Scaling Relations at z=0.4-0.7

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    We present a spatially-resolved analysis of the temperature and gas density profiles of galaxy clusters at z=0.4-0.7 observed with XMM-Newton. These data are used to derive the total cluster mass within the radius r_500 without assuming isothermality, and also to measure the average temperature and total X-ray luminosity excluding the cooling cores. We derive the high-redshift M-T and L-T relations and compare them with the local measurements. The high-redshift L-T relation has low scatter and evolves as L ~ (1+z)^{1.8\pm0.3} for a fixed T, in good agreement with several previous Chandra and XMM-Newton studies (Vikhlinin et al., Lumb et al., Maughan et al.). The observed evolution of the M-T relation follows M_500 = A T^{3/2} E(z)^{-alpha}, where we measure alpha=0.88\pm0.23. This is in good agreement with predictions of the self-similar theory, alpha=1.Comment: ApJ in press, updated to match the accepted versio

    Chandra Cluster Cosmology Project II: Samples and X-ray Data Reduction

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    We discuss the measurements of the galaxy cluster mass functions at z=~0.05 and z=~0.5 using high-quality Chandra observations of samples derived from the ROSAT PSPC All-Sky and 400deg^2 surveys. We provide a full reference for the data analysis procedures, present updated calibration of relations between the total cluster mass and its X-ray indicators (T_X, Mgas, and Y_X) based on a subsample of low-z relaxed clusters, and present a first measurement of the evolving L_X-Mtot relation (with Mtot estimated from Y_X) obtained from a well-defined statistically complete cluster sample and with appropriate corrections for the Malmquist bias applied. Finally, we present the derived cluster mass functions, estimate the systematic uncertainties in this measurement, and discuss the calculation of the likelihood function. We confidently measure the evolution in the cluster comoving number density at a fixed mass threshold, e.g., by a factor of 5.0 +- 1.2 at M_500=2.5e14 h^-1 Msun between z=0 and 0.5. This evolution reflects the growth of density perturbations and can be used for the cosmological constraints complementing those from the distance-redshift relation.Comment: ApJ in press (Feb 10, 2009 issue); replacement to match accepted version, includes revisions in response to referee's and community comment

    QSOS and the hard x-ray background

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    We calculate the contribution to the cosmic x-ray background (CXB) of a population of power law spectrum sources with spectral indices distributed over a broad range of values. The composite spectrum of this source population is significantly harder than that given by the power law having the average value of spectral indices. Starting from spectral distributions which are approximately those observed from quasars, it is possible to reproduce the CXB spectrum from ~0.5 keV to ~20 keV. If the spectra of quasars steepen at around 100 keV, the resulting composite spectrum nearly perfectly fits the CXB in the even broader energy range, up to ~100 keV. The QSO population with broadly distributed spectral parameters is also characterized by a significant discrepancy between the results of hard and soft x-ray source counts. The same population of sources yields about three times more sources at 10 keV than at the corresponding flux at 1 keV, similarly to what is found from the comparison of HEAO A-1/Ginga and Einstein/ROSAT measurements. Thus, by allowing the spectra of QSO's to span a broad range of spectral indices, it is possible to reproduce both the CXB spectrum and account for the apparent differences in number counts in different energy bands

    Pressure profiles of distant galaxy clusters in the Planck catalog

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    Successive releases of Planck data have demonstrated the strength of the Sunyaev--Zeldovich (SZ) effect in detecting hot baryons out to the galaxy cluster peripheries. To infer the hot gas pressure structure from nearby galaxy clusters to more distant objects, we developed a parametric method that models the spectral energy distribution and spatial anisotropies of both the Galactic thermal dust and the Cosmic Microwave Background, that are mixed-up with the cluster SZ and dust signals. Taking advantage of the best angular resolution of the High Frequency Instrument channels (5 arcmin) and using X-ray priors in the innermost cluster regions that are not resolved with Planck, this modelling allowed us to analyze a sample of 61 nearby members of the Planck catalog of SZ sources (0<z<0.50 < z < 0.5, z~=0.15\tilde{z} = 0.15) using the full mission data, as well as to examine a distant sample of 23 clusters (0.5<z<10.5 < z < 1, z~=0.56\tilde{z} = 0.56) that have been recently followed-up with XMM-Newton and Chandra observations. We find that (i) the average shape of the mass-scaled pressure profiles agrees with results obtained by the Planck collaboration in the nearby cluster sample, and that (ii) no sign of evolution is discernible between averaged pressure profiles of the low- and high-redshift cluster samples. In line with theoretical predictions for these halo masses and redshift ranges, the dispersion of individual profiles relative to a self-similar shape stays well below 10 % inside r500r_{500} but increases in the cluster outskirts.Comment: 12 pages, 10 figure
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