X-ray spectra of clusters of galaxies


The X-ray emission from luminous clusters of galaxies is dominated by thermal bremsstrahlung from an intergalactic medium. The central density of the gas is strongly correlated with the X-ray surface brightness. The X-ray surface brightness S(sigma) of many clusters is well modeled by a law of the form S(sigma) alpha S(o) 1 + R(2)/A(2) to the minus 3 beta + 1/2 power with beta approximately equal to 0.66. However, this model does not fit the X-ray spectral or optical galaxy counts well. In clusters with cooling flows in their center there is a strong correlation between the cooling rates of X-ray emitting material and optical H alpha emission. It is not clear, at present, what percentage of the virial mass of the cluster is in hot gas but if beta = 0.66, it is possible for the values to be of the order of 1/2. Spatially resoled X-ray spectroscopy is necessary to determine this value with any accuracy

    Similar works