120 research outputs found

    Cold fronts in galaxy clusters

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    Cold fronts have been observed in a large number of galaxy clusters. Understanding their nature and origin is of primary importance for the investigation of the internal dynamics of clusters. To gain insight on the nature of these features, we carry out a statistical investigation of their occurrence in a sample of galaxy clusters observed with XMM-Newton and we correlate their presence with different cluster properties. We have selected a sample of 45 clusters starting from the B55 flux limited sample by Edge et al. (1990) and performed a systematic search of cold fronts. We find that a large fraction of clusters host at least one cold front. Cold fronts are easily detected in all systems that are manifestly undergoing a merger event in the plane of the sky while the presence of such features in the remaining clusters is related to the presence of a steep entropy gradient, in agreement with theoretical expectations. Assuming that cold fronts in cool core clusters are triggered by minor merger events, we estimate a minimum of 1/3 merging events per halo per Gyr.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics. Version with full resolution figures available at: http://www.iasf-milano.inaf.it/~simona/pub/coldfronts/ghizzardi.pd

    ROSAT observations of radio-selected BL Lac objects

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    ROSAT observations of a homogeneous sample of radio--selected BL Lac objects are presented. Results of a detailed spectral analysis in the soft 0.1-2.0 keV energy range are discussed and compared with similar previously published results. The X--ray spectral shape is discussed in relation to the overall energy distribution with particular emphasys on the high energy gamma--ray emission recently detected by CGRO--EGRET for about half of the objects in the sample. Dividing the objects in our sample on the basis of the radio to X--ray flux ratio (alpha_rx) we show that objects with alpha_rx > 0.75 have flatter X--ray spectra and are likely to be stronger gamma--ray emitters than objects with alpha_rx < 0.75. Moreover we note that the value of the peak energy of the synchrotron component, in a E * F(E) plot, correlates with alpha_rx and alpha_x.Comment: to appear on MNRAS, 18 pages (latex file plus 5 tables and 3 figures) uuencoded compressed tar postscript file

    Metal distribution in sloshing galaxy clusters: the case of A496

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    We report results from a detailed study of the sloshing gas in the core of A496. We detect the low temperature/entropy spiral feature found in several cores, we also find that conduction between the gas in the spiral and the ambient medium must be suppressed by more than one order of magnitude with respect to Spitzer conductivity. Intriguingly, while the gas in the spiral features a higher metal abundance than the surrounding medium, it follows the entropy vs metal abundance relation defined by gas lying outside the spiral. The most plausible explanation for this behavior is that the low entropy metal rich plasma uplifted through the cluster atmosphere by sloshing, suffers little heating or mixing with the ambient medium. While sloshing appears to be capable of uplifting significant amounts of gas, the limited heat exchange and mixing between gas in and outside the spiral implies that this mechanism is not at all effective in: 1) permanently redistributing metals within the core region and 2) heating up the coolest and densest gas, thereby providing little or no contribution to staving of catastrophic cooling in cool cores.Comment: Accepted for publication on A&

    Self-similarity of temperature profiles in distant galaxy clusters: the quest for a Universal law

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    We present the XMM-Newton temperature profiles of 12 bright clusters of galaxies at 0.4<z<0.9, with 5<kT<11 keV. The normalized temperature profiles (normalized by the mean temperature T500) are found to be generally self-similar. The sample was subdivided in 5 cool-core (CC) and 7 non cool-core (NCC) clusters, by introducing a pseudo-entropy ratio sigma=(T_IN/T_OUT)X(EM_IN/EM_OUT)^-1/3 and defining the objects with sigma<0.6 as CC clusters and those with sigma>=0.6 as NCC clusters. The profiles of CC and NCC clusters differ mainly in the central regions, with the latters exhibiting a marginally flatter central profile. A significant dependence of the temperature profiles on the pseudo-entropy ratio sigma is detected by fitting a function of both r and sigma, showing an indication that the outer part of the profiles becomes steeper for higher values of sigma (i.e. transitioning towards the NCC clusters). No significant evidence of redshift evolution could be found within the redshift range sampled by our clusters (0.4<z<0.9). A comparison of our high-z sample with intermediate clusters at 0.1<z<0.3, showed how both the CC and NCC clusters temperature profiles have experienced some sort of evolution. This can be due by the fact that higher z clusters are at less advanced stage of their formation and did not have enough time to create a relaxed structure, characterized by a central temperature dip in CC clusters and by flatter profiles in NCC clusters. This is the first time that a systematic study of the temperature profiles of galaxy clusters at z>0.4 has been attempted, as we were able to define the closest possible relation to a Universal law for the temperature profiles of galaxy clusters at 0.1<z<0.9, showing a dependence on both the state of relaxation of the clusters and the redshift.Comment: 14 pages, 8 figures, A&A in press, minor changes (language editing
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