Posts Tagged galaxy cluster

Recent Postings from galaxy cluster

Determination of a pressure discontinuity at the position of the Coma relic from Planck Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect data

Radio relics are Mpc-scale diffuse synchrotron sources found in galaxy cluster outskirts. They are believed to be associated with large-scale shocks propagating through the intra-cluster medium, although the connection between radio relics and the cluster merger shocks is not yet proven conclusively. We present a first tentative detection of a pressure jump in the well-known relic of the Coma cluster through Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect imaging. The SZ data is extracted from the first public all-sky data release of Planck and we use high-frequency radio data at 2.3 GHz to constrain the shock-front geometry. The SZ data provides evidence for a pressure discontinuity, consistent with the relic position, without requiring any additional prior on the shock-front location. The derived Mach number M = 2.9 (+0.8/-0.6) is consistent with X-ray and radio results. A high-pressure "filament" without any pressure discontinuity is disfavoured by X-ray measurements and a "sub-cluster" model based on the infalling group NGC 4839 can be ruled out considering the published mass estimates for this group. These results signify a first attempt towards directly measuring the pressure discontinuity for a radio relic and the first SZ-detected shock feature observed near the virial radius of a galaxy cluster.

Source identification in the IGR J17448-3232 field: discovery of the Scorpius galaxy cluster

We use a 43-ks XMM-Newton observation to investigate the nature of sources first distinguished by a follow-up Chandra observation of the field surrounding INTEGRAL source IGR J17448-3232, which includes extended emission and a bright point source previously classified as a blazar. We establish that the extended emission is a heretofore unknown massive galaxy cluster hidden behind the Galactic bulge. The emission-weighted temperature of the cluster within the field of view is 8.8 keV, with parts of the cluster reaching temperatures of up to 12 keV; no cool core is evident. At a redshift of 0.055, the cluster is somewhat under-luminous relative to the X-ray luminosity-temperature relation, which may be attributable to its dynamical state. We present a preliminary analysis of its properties in this paper. We also confirm that the bright point source is a blazar, and we propose that it is either a flat spectrum radio quasar or a low-frequency peaked BL Lac object. We find four other fainter sources in the field, which we study and tentatively identify. Only one, which we propose is a foreground Galactic X-ray binary, is hard enough to contribute to IGR J17448-3232, but it is too faint to be significant. We thus determine that IGR J17448-3232 is in fact the galaxy cluster up to $\approx$45 keV and the blazar beyond.

A Radio and X-ray Study of the Merging Cluster A2319

A2319 is a massive, merging galaxy cluster with a previously detected radio halo that roughly follows the X-ray emitting gas. We present the results from recent observations of A2319 at 20 cm with the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and a re-analysis of the X-ray observations from XMM-Newton, to investigate the interactions between the thermal and nonthermal components of the ICM . We confirm previous reports of an X-ray cold front, and report on the discovery of a distinct core to the radio halo, 800 kpc in extent, that is strikingly similar in morphology to the X-ray emission, and drops sharply in brightness at the cold front. We detect additional radio emission trailing off from the core, which blends smoothly into the 2 Mpc halo detected with the Green Bank Telescope (GBT; Farnsworth et al., 2013). We speculate on the possible mechanisms for such a two-component radio halo, with sloshing playing a dominant role in the core. By directly comparing the X-ray and radio emission, we find that a hadronic origin for the cosmic ray electrons responsible for the radio halo would require a magnetic field and/or cosmic ray proton distribution that increases with radial distance from the cluster center, and is therefore disfavored.

Non-Equilibrium Electrons in the Outskirts of Galaxy Clusters

The analysis of X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel\’dovich measurements of the intracluster medium (ICM) assumes that electrons are in thermal equilibrium with ions in the plasma. However, electron-ion equilibration timescales can be comparable to the Hubble time in the low density galaxy cluster outskirts, leading to differences between the electron and ion temperatures. This temperature difference can lead to systematic biases in cluster mass estimates and mass-observable scaling relations. To quantify the impact of non-equilibrium electrons on the ICM profiles in cluster outskirts, we use a high resolution cosmological simulation with a two-temperature model assuming the Spitzer equilibration timescale for the electrons. First, we show how the radial profile of this temperature bias depends on both the mass and mass accretion rate of the cluster; the bias is most pronounced in the most massive and most rapidly accreting clusters. For the most extreme case in our sample, we find that the bias is of order 10% at half of the cluster virial radius and increases to 40% at the edge of the cluster. We also find that gas in filaments is less susceptible to the non-equilibrium effect, leading to azimuthal variations at large cluster-centric radii. By analyzing mock Chandra observations of simulated clusters, we show that such azimuthal variations can be probed with deep X-ray observations. Finally, the mass-dependent temperature bias introduces biases in hydrostatic mass and cluster temperature, which has implications for cluster-based cosmological inferences. We provide a mass-dependent model for the temperature bias profile which can be useful for modeling the effect of electron-ion equilibration in galaxy clusters.

Simulations of cm-wavelength Sunyaev-Zel'dovich galaxy cluster and point source blind sky surveys and predictions for the RT32/OCRA-f and the Hevelius 100-m radio telescope

We investigate the effectiveness of a blind galaxy cluster survey that will use the OCRA-f (four-pair, beam-switched) radiometer on the 32-metre radio telescope in Poland to detect the thermal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect (TSZE) at 30~GHz. We also calculate flux-density limits for the associated radio source survey. The reliability of the surveys is tested using mock maps that include the cosmic microwave background, TSZEs from from hydrodynamical simulations of large scale structure formation, and unresolved radio sources. We validate the mock maps against observational data, and examine the limitations imposed by the assumed physics. Using the Planck-selected cluster candidates and the NVSS survey we estimate the effects of source clustering towards galaxy clusters and include appropriate correlations in our mock maps. We quantify the effects of halo line-of-sight alignments, source confusion, and telescope angular resolution on the TSZE-detectable cluster count. We perform a similar analysis for the planned 100-m Hevelius radio telescope (RTH) equipped with a 49-beam radio camera and operating at frequencies up to 22 GHz. We find that RT32/OCRA-f will be suitable for small-field blind radio source surveys, and will detect $33^{+17}_{-11}$ new radio sources brighter than 0.87 mJy at 30~GHz in a $1 \rm deg^2$ field at >5\sigma CL during a one-year, non-continuous, observing campaign, taking account of Polish weather conditions. It is unlikely that a blind TSZE survey would detect any galaxy cluster at 3\sigma CL in the field. A similar survey, with field coverage of $1.5^2$ beams per pixel, at~15 GHz with the RTH, would find $4^{+2}_{-2}$ galaxy clusters per year above 6 $\mu$Jy in a $1 \rm deg^2$ field at 3\sigma CL and <1.5 clusters per year brighter than 60 $\mu$Jy (at 3\sigma CL) in a survey of a $60 \rm deg^2$ field. The same survey will detect…[ABRIDGED]

MC^2: Constraining the Dark Matter Distribution of the Violent Merging Galaxy Cluster CIZA J2242.8+5301 by Piercing through the Milky Way

CIZA J2242.8+5301 is a merging system with a prominent (~2 Mpc long) radio relic, which together with the morphology of the X-ray emission provides strong evidence for a violent collision along the N-S axis. We present our constraints on the dark matter distribution of this unusual system using Subaru and CFHT imaging data. Measuring a high S/N lensing signal from this cluster is potentially a challenging task because of its proximity to the Milky Way plane (|b|~5 deg). We overcome this challenge with careful observation planning and systematics control, which enables us to successfully map the dark matter distribution of the cluster with high fidelity. The resulting mass map shows that the mass distribution is highly elongated along the N-S merger axis inferred from the orientation of the radio relics. Based on our mass reconstruction, we identify two sub-clusters, which coincide with the cluster galaxy distributions. We determine their masses using MCMC analysis by simultaneously fitting two NFW halos without fixing their centroids. The resulting masses of the northern and southern systems are $M_{200}=11.0_{-3.2}^{+3.7}\times10^{14} M_{\sun}$ and $9.8_{-2.5}^{+3.8}\times10^{14} M_{\sun}$, respectively, indicating that we are witnessing a post-collision of two giant systems of nearly equal mass. When the mass and galaxy centroids are compared in detail, we detect ~ 1′ (~190 kpc) offsets in both northern and southern sub-clusters. We find that the galaxy luminosity-mass offset for the northern clump is statistically significant at the ~2 sigma level whereas the detection is only marginal for the southern sub-cluster in part because of a relatively large mass centroid error. We conclude that it is yet premature to uniquely attribute the galaxy-mass misalignment to SIDM and discuss caveats.

The extended ROSAT-ESO Flux-Limited X-ray Galaxy Cluster Survey (REFLEX II) V. Exploring a local underdensity in the Southern Sky

Several claims have been made that we are located in a locally underdense region of the Universe based on observations of supernovae and galaxy density distributions. Two recent studies of K-band galaxy surveys have provided new support for a local underdensity in the galaxy distribution out to distances of 200 – 300 Mpc. If confirmed, such large local underdensities would have important implications on the interpretation of local measurements of cosmological parameters. Galaxy clusters have been shown to be ideal probes to trace the large-scale structure of the Universe. In this paper we study the local density distribution in the southern sky with the X-ray detected galaxy clusters from the REFLEX II cluster survey. From the normalized comoving number density of clusters we find an average underdensity of ~30 – 40% in the redshift range out to z ~0.04 (~170 Mpc) in the southern extragalactic sky with a significance larger than 3.4sigma. On larger scales from 300 Mpc to over 1 Gpc the density distribution appears remarkably homogeneous. The local underdensity seems to be dominated by the South Galactic Cap region. A comparison of the cluster distribution with that of galaxies in the K-band from a recent study shows that galaxies and clusters trace each other very closely in density. In the South Galactic Cap region both surveys find a local underdensity in the redshift range z= 0 to 0.05 and no significant underdensity in the North Galactic Cap at southern latitudes. Our results to not support cosmological models that attempt to interpret the cosmic acceleration by a large local void, since the local underdensity we find is not isotropic and limited to a size significantly smaller than 300 Mpc radius.

Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA): Selection of the Most Massive Clusters

We have developed a galaxy cluster finding technique based on the Delaunay Tessellation Field Estimator (DTFE) combined with caustic analysis. Our method allows us to recover clusters of galaxies within the mass range of 10^12 to 10^16 Msun. We have found a total of 113 galaxy clusters in the Galaxy and Mass Assembly survey (GAMA). In the corresponding mass range, the density of clusters found in this work is comparable to the density traced by clusters selected by the thermal Sunyaev Zel’dovich Effect; however, we are able to cover a wider mass range. We present the analysis of the two-point correlation function for our cluster sample.

KECK/MOSFIRE spectroscopic confirmation of a Virgo-like cluster ancestor at z=2.095

We present the spectroscopic confirmation of a galaxy cluster at $z=2.095$ in the COSMOS field. This galaxy cluster was first reported in the ZFOURGE survey as harboring evolved massive galaxies using photometric redshifts derived with deep near-infrared (NIR) medium-band filters. We obtain medium resolution ($R \sim$ 3600) NIR spectroscopy with MOSFIRE on the Keck 1 telescope and secure 180 redshifts in a $12′\times12′$ region. We find a prominent spike of 57 galaxies at $z=2.095$ corresponding to the galaxy cluster. The cluster velocity dispersion is measured to be $\sigma_{\rm v1D}$ = 552 $\pm$ 52 km/s. This is the first study of a galaxy cluster in this redshift range ($z \gt 2.0$) with the combination of spectral resolution ($\sim$26 km/s) and the number of confirmed members (${>}50$) needed to impose a meaningful constraint on the cluster velocity dispersion and map its members over a large field of view. Our $\Lambda$CDM cosmological simulation suggests that this cluster will most likely evolve into a Virgo-like cluster with ${\rm M_{vir}}{=}10^{14.4\pm0.3} {\rm M_\odot}$ ($68\%$ confidence) at $z\sim$ 0. The theoretical expectation of finding such a cluster is $\sim$ $4\%$. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of studying galaxy clusters at $z > 2$ in the same detailed manner using multi-object NIR spectrographs as has been done in the optical in lower redshift clusters.

The Matryoshka Run (II): Time Dependent Turbulence Statistics, Stochastic Particle Acceleration and Microphysics Impact in a Massive Galaxy Cluster

We use the Matryoshka run to study the time dependent statistics of structure-formation driven turbulence in the intracluster medium of a 10$^{15}M_\odot$ galaxy cluster. We investigate the turbulent cascade in the inner Mpc for both compressional and incompressible velocity components. The flow maintains approximate conditions of fully developed turbulence, with departures thereof settling in about an eddy-turnover-time. Turbulent velocity dispersion remains above $700$ km s$^{-1}$ even at low mass accretion rate, with the fraction of compressional energy between $10\%$ and $40\%$. Normalisation and slope of compressional turbulence is susceptible to large variations on short time scales, unlike the incompressible counterpart. A major merger occurs around redshift $z\simeq0$ and is accompanied by a long period of enhanced turbulence, ascribed to temporal clustering of mass accretion related to spatial clustering of matter. We test models of stochastic acceleration by compressional modes for the origin of diffuse radio emission in galaxy clusters. The turbulence simulation model constrains an important unknown of this complex problem and brings forth its dependence on the elusive micro-physics of the intracluster plasma. In particular, the specifics of the plasma collisionality and the dissipation physics of weak shocks affect the cascade of compressional modes with strong impact on the acceleration rates. In this context radio halos emerge as complex phenomena in which a hierarchy of processes acting on progressively smaller scales are at work. Stochastic acceleration scenarios implies statistical correlation of radio power and spectral index with merging cores distance, both testable in principle with radio surveys.

Contribution of stripped nuclear clusters to globular cluster and ultra-compact dwarf galaxy populations

We use the Millennium II cosmological simulation combined with the semi-analytic galaxy formation model of Guo et al. (2011) to predict the contribution of galactic nuclei formed by the tidal stripping of nucleated dwarf galaxies to globular cluster (GC) and ultra-compact dwarf galaxy (UCD) populations of galaxies. We follow the merger trees of galaxies in clusters back in time and determine the absolute number and stellar masses of disrupted galaxies. We assume that at all times nuclei have a distribution in nucleus-to-galaxy mass and nucleation fraction of galaxies similar to that observed in the present day universe. Our results show stripped nuclei follow a mass function $N(M) \sim M^{-1.5}$ in the mass range $10^6 < M/M_\odot < 10^8$, significantly flatter than found for globular clusters. The contribution of stripped nuclei will therefore be most important among high-mass GCs and UCDs. For the Milky Way we predict between 1 and 3 star clusters more massive than $10^5 M_\odot$ come from tidally disrupted dwarf galaxies, with the most massive cluster formed having a typical mass of a few times $10^6 M_\odot$, like omega Centauri. For a galaxy cluster with a mass $7 \times 10^{13} M_\odot$, similar to Fornax, we predict $\sim$19 UCDs more massive than $2\times10^6 M_\odot$ and $\sim$9 UCDs more massive than $10^7 M_\odot$ within a projected distance of 300 kpc come from tidally stripped dwarf galaxies. The observed number of UCDs are $\sim$200 and 23, respectively. We conclude that most UCDs in galaxy clusters are probably simply the high mass end of the GC mass function.

The first Murchison Widefield Array low frequency radio observations of cluster scale non-thermal emission: the case of Abell 3667

We present the first Murchison Widefield Array observations of the well-known cluster of galaxies Abell 3667 (A3667) between 105 and 241 MHz. A3667 is one of the best known examples of a galaxy cluster hosting a double radio relic and has been reported to contain a faint radio halo and bridge. The origins of radio halos, relics and bridges is still unclear, however galaxy cluster mergers seems to be an important factor. We clearly detect the North-West (NW) and South-East (SE) radio relics in A3667 and find an integrated flux density at 149 MHz of 28.1 +/- 1.7 and 2.4 +/- 0.1 Jy, respectively, with an average spectral index, between 120 and 1400 MHz, of -0.9 +/- 0.1 for both relics. We find evidence of a spatial variation in the spectral index across the NW relic steepening towards the centre of the cluster, which indicates an ageing electron population. These properties are consistent with higher frequency observations. We detect emission that could be associated with a radio halo and bridge. How- ever, due to the presence of poorly sampled large-scale Galactic emission and blended point sources we are unable to verify the exact nature of these features.

Feedback, scatter and structure in the core of the PKS 0745-191 galaxy cluster

We present Chandra X-ray Observatory observations of the core of the galaxy cluster PKS 0745-191. Its centre shows X-ray cavities caused by AGN feedback and cold fronts with an associated spiral structure. The cavity energetics imply they are powerful enough to compensate for cooling. Despite the evidence for AGN feedback, the Chandra and XMM-RGS X-ray spectra are consistent with a few hundred solar masses per year cooling out of the X-ray phase, sufficient to power the emission line nebula. The coolest X-ray emitting gas and brightest nebula emission is offset by around 5 kpc from the radio and X-ray nucleus. Although the cluster has a regular appearance, its core shows density, temperature and pressure deviations over the inner 100 kpc, likely associated with the cold fronts. After correcting for ellipticity and projection effects, we estimate density fluctuations of ~4 per cent, while temperature, pressure and entropy have variations of 10-12 per cent. We describe a new code, MBPROJ, able to accurately obtain thermodynamical cluster profiles, under the assumptions of hydrostatic equilibrium and spherical symmetry. The forward-fitting code compares model to observed profiles using Markov Chain Monte Carlo and is applicable to surveys, operating on 1000 or fewer counts. In PKS0745 a very low gravitational acceleration is preferred within 40 kpc radius from the core, indicating a lack of hydrostatic equilibrium, deviations from spherical symmetry or non-thermal sources of pressure.

Weighing the Giants IV: Cosmology and Neutrino Mass

(Abridged) We employ robust weak gravitational lensing measurements to improve cosmological constraints from measurements of the galaxy cluster mass function and its evolution, using X-ray selected clusters detected in the ROSAT All-Sky Survey. Our lensing analysis provides a constraint on the absolute mass scale of such clusters at the 8 per cent level (including both statistical and systematic uncertainties), a factor of $\sim 2$ improvement over the best previous work. In combination with the survey data and extensive X-ray follow-up observations, our weak lensing measurements lead to a tight constraint on a combination of the mean matter density and late-time normalization of the matter power spectrum, $\sigma_8(\Omega_m/0.3)^{0.17}=0.81\pm0.03$, with marginalized, one-dimensional constraints of $\Omega_m=0.26\pm0.03$ and $\sigma_8=0.83\pm0.04$. These constraints are consistent with our own previous work, but are offset from some independent cluster studies. Our new results are in good agreement with constraints from cosmic microwave background (CMB) data under the assumption of a flat $\Lambda$CDM cosmology with minimal neutrino mass. Consequently, we find no evidence for non-minimal neutrino mass from the combination of cluster data with CMB, supernova and BAO measurements, regardless of whether WMAP or Planck data are used (and independent of the recent claimed detection of B-modes on degree scales). We also present improved constraints on models of dark energy (both constant and evolving) and modifications of gravity, for which our cluster measurements provide some of the tightest and most robust constraints to date, as well as primordial non-Gaussianity. In all cases, we find results consistent with the standard model of cosmology. Assuming flatness, the constraints for a constant dark energy equation of state from the cluster data alone are at the 15 per cent level.

Merger Signatures in the Galaxy Cluster Abell 98

We present results from Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of Abell 98 (A98), a galaxy cluster with three major components: a relatively bright subcluster to the north (A98N), a disturbed subcluster to the south (A98S), and a fainter subcluster to the far south (A98SS). We find evidence for surface brightness and temperature asymmetries in A98N consistent with a shock-heated region to the south, which could be created by an early stage merger between A98N and A98S. Deeper observations are required to confirm this result. We also find that A98S has an asymmetric core temperature structure, likely due to a separate ongoing merger. Evidence for this is also seen in optical data. A98S hosts a wide-angle tail (WAT) radio source powered by a central active galactic nucleus (AGN). We find evidence for a cavity in the intracluster medium (ICM) that has been evacuated by one of the radio lobes, suggesting that AGN feedback is operating in this system. Examples of cavities in non-cool core clusters are relatively rare. The three subclusters lie along a line in projection, suggesting the presence of a large-scale filament. We observe emission along the filament between A98N and A98S, and a surface brightness profile shows emission consistent with the overlap of the subcluster extended gas haloes. We find the temperature of this region is consistent with the temperature of the gas at similar radii outside this bridge region. Lastly, we examine the cluster dynamics using optical data. We conclude A98N and A98S are likely bound to one another, with a 67% probability, while A98S and A98SS are not bound at a high level of significance.

A First Site of Galaxy Cluster Formation: Complete Spectroscopy of a Protocluster at $z=6.01$

We performed a systematic spectroscopic observation of a protocluster at $z=6.01$ in the Subaru Deep Field. We took spectroscopy for all 53 $i’$-dropout galaxies down to $z’=27.09\,\mathrm{mag}$ in/around the protocluster region. From these observations, we confirmed that 28 galaxies are at $z\sim6$, of which ten are clustered in a narrow redshift range of $\Delta z<0.06$. To trace the evolution of this primordial structure, we applied the same $i’$-dropout selection and the same overdensity measurements used in the observations to a semi-analytic model built upon the Millennium Simulation. We obtain a relation between the significance of overdensities observed at $z\sim6$ and the predicted dark matter halo mass at $z=0$. This protocluster with $6\sigma$ overdensity is expected to grow into a galaxy cluster with a mass of $\sim5\times10^{14}\,\mathrm{M_\odot}$ at $z=0$. Ten galaxies within $10\,\mathrm{comoving\>Mpc}$ of the overdense region can, with more than an 80% probability, merge into a single dark matter halo by $z=0$. No significant differences appeared in UV and Ly$\alpha$ luminosities between the protocluster and field galaxies, suggesting that this protocluster is still in the early phase of cluster formation before the onset of any obvious environmental effects. However, further observations are required to study other properties, such as stellar mass, dust, and age. We do find that galaxies tend to be in close pairs in this protocluster. These pair-like subgroups will coalesce into a single halo and grow into a more massive structure. We may witness an onset of cluster formation at $z\sim6$ toward a cluster as seen in local universe.

No Shock Across Part of a Radio Relic in the Merging Galaxy Cluster ZwCl 2341.1+0000?

The galaxy cluster ZwCl 2341.1+0000 is a merging system at z=0.27, which hosts two radio relics and a central, faint, filamentary radio structure. The two radio relics have unusually flat integrated spectral indices of -0.49 +/- 0.18 and -0.76 +/- 0.17, values that cannot be easily reconciled with the theory of standard diffusive shock acceleration of thermal particles at weak merger shocks. We present imaging results from XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of the cluster, aimed to detect and characterise density discontinuities in the ICM. As expected, we detect a density discontinuity near each of the radio relics. However, if these discontinuities are the shock fronts that fuelled the radio emission, then their Mach numbers are surprisingly low, both <=2. We studied the aperture of the density discontinuities, and found that while the NW discontinuity spans the whole length of the NW radio relic, the arc spanned by the SE discontinuity is shorter than the arc spanned by the SE relic. This startling result is in apparent contradiction with our current understanding of the origin of radio relics. Deeper X-ray data are required to confirm our results and to determine the nature of the density discontinuities.

Measurable Relationship Between Bright Galaxies and Their Faint Companions in WHL J085910.0+294957, a Galaxy Cluster at z = 0.30: Vestiges of Infallen Groups?

The properties of satellite galaxies are closely related to their host galaxies in galaxy groups. In cluster environments, on the other hand, the interaction between close neighbors is known to be limited. Our goal is to examine the relationships between host and satellite galaxies in the harsh environment of a galaxy cluster. To achieve this goal, we study a galaxy cluster WHL J085910.0+294957 at z = 0.30 using deep images obtained with CQUEAN CCD camera mounted on the 2.1-m Otto Struve telescope. After member selection based on the scaling relations of photometric and structural parameters, we investigate the relationship between bright (M_i < -18) galaxies and their faint (-18 < M_i < -15) companions. The weighted mean color of faint companion galaxies shows no significant dependence (< 1 sigma to Bootstrap uncertainties) on cluster-centric distance and local luminosity density as well as the luminosity and concentration of an adjacent bright galaxy. However, the weighted mean color shows marginal dependence (~ 2.2 sigma) on the color of an adjacent bright galaxy, when the sample is limited to bright galaxies with at least 2 faint companions. By using a permutation test, we confirm that the correlation in color between bright galaxies and their faint companions in this cluster is statistically significant with a confidence level of 98.7%. The statistical significance increases if we additionally remove non-members using the SDSS photometric redshift information (~ 2.6 sigma and 99.3%). Our results suggest three possible scenarios: (1) vestiges of infallen groups, (2) dwarf capturing, and (3) tidal tearing of bright galaxies.

The Layzer-Irvine equation in theories with non-minimal coupling between matter and curvature

We derive the Layzer-Irvine equation for alternative gravitational theories with non-minimal coupling between curvature and matter for an homogeneous and isotropic Universe. As an application, we study the case of Abell 586, a relaxed and spherically symmetric galaxy cluster, assuming some matter density profiles.

Galaxy population properties of the massive X-ray luminous galaxy cluster XDCP J0044.0-2033 at z=1.58: red-sequence formation, massive galaxy assembly, and central star formation activity

We investigate various galaxy population properties of the massive X-ray luminous galaxy cluster XDCP J0044.0-2033 at z=1.58, which constitutes the most extreme matter density peak at this redshift currently known. We analyze deep VLT/HAWK-I NIR data in the J- and Ks-bands, complemented by Subaru imaging in i and V, Spitzer observations at 4.5 micron, and new spectroscopic observations with VLT/FORS2. We detect a cluster-associated excess population of about 90 galaxies, which follows a centrally peaked, compact NFW galaxy surface density profile with a concentration of c200~10. Based on the Spitzer 4.5 micron imaging data, we measure a stellar mass fraction of fstar,500=(3.3+-1.4)% consistent with local values. The total J- and Ks-band galaxy luminosity functions of the core region yield characteristic magnitudes J* and Ks* consistent with expectations from simple z_f=3 burst models. However, a detailed look at the morphologies and color distributions of the spectroscopically confirmed members reveals that the most massive galaxies are undergoing a very active mass assembly epoch through merging processes. Consequently, the bright end of the cluster red-sequence is not in place, while at intermediate magnitudes [Ks*,Ks*+1.6] a red-locus population is present, which is then sharply truncated at magnitudes fainter than Ks*+1.6. The dominant cluster core population comprises post-quenched galaxies transitioning towards the red-sequence at intermediate magnitudes, while additionally a significant blue cloud population of faint star-forming galaxies is present even in the densest central regions. Our observations lend support to the scenario in which the dominant effect of the dense z~1.6 cluster environment is an accelerated mass assembly timescale through merging activity that is responsible for driving core galaxies across the mass quenching threshold of log(Mstar/Msun)~10.4.

Galaxy population properties of the massive X-ray luminous galaxy cluster XDCP J0044.0-2033 at z=1.58: red-sequence formation, massive galaxy assembly, and central star formation activity [Replacement]

We investigate various galaxy population properties of the massive X-ray luminous galaxy cluster XDCP J0044.0-2033 at z=1.58, which constitutes the most extreme matter density peak at this redshift currently known. We analyze deep VLT/HAWK-I NIR data in the J- and Ks-bands, complemented by Subaru imaging in i and V, Spitzer observations at 4.5 micron, and new spectroscopic observations with VLT/FORS2. We detect a cluster-associated excess population of about 90 galaxies, which follows a centrally peaked, compact NFW galaxy surface density profile with a concentration of c200~10. Based on the Spitzer 4.5 micron imaging data, we measure a stellar mass fraction of fstar,500=(3.3+-1.4)% consistent with local values. The total J- and Ks-band galaxy luminosity functions of the core region yield characteristic magnitudes J* and Ks* consistent with expectations from simple z_f=3 burst models. However, a detailed look at the morphologies and color distributions of the spectroscopically confirmed members reveals that the most massive galaxies are undergoing a very active mass assembly epoch through merging processes. Consequently, the bright end of the cluster red-sequence is not in place, while at intermediate magnitudes [Ks*,Ks*+1.6] a red-locus population is present, which is then sharply truncated at magnitudes fainter than Ks*+1.6. The dominant cluster core population comprises post-quenched galaxies transitioning towards the red-sequence at intermediate magnitudes, while additionally a significant blue cloud population of faint star-forming galaxies is present even in the densest central regions. Our observations lend support to the scenario in which the dominant effect of the dense z~1.6 cluster environment is an accelerated mass assembly timescale through merging activity that is responsible for driving core galaxies across the mass quenching threshold of log(Mstar/Msun)~10.4.

Hubble Frontier Fields: The Geometry and Dynamics of the Massive Galaxy Cluster Merger MACSJ0416.1-2403 [Replacement]

We use a joint optical/X-ray analysis to constrain the geometry and history of the ongoing merging event in the massive galaxy cluster MACSJ0416.1-2403 (z=0.397). Our investigation of cluster substructure rests primarily on a combined strong- and weak-lensing mass reconstruction based on the deep, high-resolution images obtained for the Hubble Frontier Fields initiative. To reveal the system’s dynamics, we complement this lensing analysis with a study of the intra-cluster gas using shallow Chandra data, and a three-dimensional model of the distribution and motions of cluster galaxies derived from over 100 spectroscopic redshifts. The multi-scale grid model obtained from our combined lensing analysis extends the high-precision strong-lensing mass reconstruction recently performed to cluster-centric distances of almost 1 Mpc. Our analysis detects the two well known mass concentrations in the cluster core. A pronounced offset between collisional and collisionless matter is only observed for the SW cluster component, while excellent alignment is found for the NE cluster. Both the lensing analysis and the distribution of cluster light strongly suggest the presence of a third massive structure, almost 2 arcmin SW of the cluster centre. Since no X-ray emission is detected in this region, we conclude that this structure is non-virialised and speculate that it might be part of a large-scale filament almost aligned with our line of sight. Combining all evidence from the distribution of dark and luminous matter, we propose two alternative scenarios for the trajectories of the components of MACSJ0416.1-2403. Upcoming deep X-ray observations that allow the detection of shock fronts, cold cores, and sloshing gas (all key diagnostics for studies of cluster collisions) will allow us to test, and distinguish between these two scenarios.

Hubble Frontier Fields: The Geometry and Dynamics of the Massive Galaxy Cluster Merger MACSJ0416.1-2403

We use a joint optical/X-ray analysis to constrain the geometry and history of the ongoing merging event in the massive galaxy cluster MACSJ0416.1-2403 (z=0.397). Our investigation of cluster substructure rests primarily on a strong- and weak-lensing mass reconstruction based on the deep, high-resolution images obtained for the Hubble Frontier Fields initiative. To reveal the system’s dynamics, we complement this lensing analysis with a study of the intra-cluster gas using shallow Chandra data, and a three-dimensional model of the distribution and motions of cluster galaxies derived from over 100 spectroscopic redshifts. The multi-scale grid model obtained from our combined weak- and strong-lensing analysis provides a high-precision mass reconstruction to cluster-centric distances of almost 1 Mpc. Our analysis detects the two well known mass concentrations near the centre of the field. A pronounced offset between collisional and collisionless matter is only observed for the SW cluster component, while excellent alignment is found for the NE cluster. Both the lensing analysis and the distribution of cluster light strongly suggest the presence of a third massive structure, almost 2 arcmin SW of the cluster centre. As no X-ray emission is detected in this region, one hypothesis is that this structure is non-virialized and possibly part of an attached large-scale filament that would then be almost aligned with our line of sight. Combining all evidence from the distribution of dark and luminous matter, we propose that MACSJ0416.1-2403 is in the early stages of a merger that features a significant impact parameter and is proceeding along an axis that is highly inclined with respect to the plane of the sky. Upcoming deep X-ray observations that allow the detection of shock fronts, cold cores, and sloshing gas will allow us to test this merger scenario.

Hubble Frontier Fields: The Geometry and Dynamics of the Massive Galaxy Cluster Merger MACSJ0416.1-2403 [Replacement]

We use a joint optical/X-ray analysis to constrain the geometry and history of the ongoing merging event in the massive galaxy cluster MACSJ0416.1-2403 (z=0.397). Our investigation of cluster substructure rests primarily on a strong and weak lensing mass reconstruction based on the deep, high-resolution images obtained for the HFF initiative. To reveal the system’s dynamics, we complement this lensing analysis with a study of the intra-cluster gas using Chandra data, and a 3D model of the distribution and motions of cluster galaxies derived from >100 spectroscopic redshifts. The multi-scale grid model obtained from our combined weak and strong lensing analysis extends high-precision mass reconstruction for the cluster core to cluster-centric distances of almost 1 Mpc. Our analysis detects the two well known mass concentrations near the centre of the field. A pronounced offset between collisional and collisionless matter is only observed for the SW cluster component, while excellent alignment is found for the NE cluster. Both the lensing analysis and the distribution of cluster light strongly suggest the presence of a third massive structure, almost 2arcmin SW of the cluster centre. Since no X-ray emission is detected in this region, we conclude that this structure is non-virialised and speculate that it might be part of a large-scale filament that is almost aligned with our line of sight. Combining all evidence from the distribution of dark and luminous matter, we propose two alternative scenarios for the trajectories of the components of MACSJ0416.1-2403 (one pre-, the other post-collision), a merger that features a significant impact parameter and is proceeding along an axis that is highly inclined with respect to the plane of the sky.

Hubble Frontier Fields : High Precision Strong Lensing Analysis of the Cluster MACSJ0416.1-2403 using ~200 Multiple Images

We present a high precision strong lensing mass model of the massive galaxy cluster MACSJ0416.1-2403 using the new Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Fields (HFF) data. With the exquisite and unprecedented depth offered by the 3-band HST/ACS observations, we have discovered 51 new multiply-imaged systems, bringing the total number of systems to 68, for a total of 194 images. This dramatic increase in the number of previously known multiple systems provides critical additional constraints that helps derive the mass distribution in the cluster core below the percent level. In comparison, the earlier published mass model used the CLASH survey data with only 23 multiple systems. Using the LENSTOOL software, we build a high precision mass model that comprises of 2 cluster-scale dark matter halos and 98 galaxy-scale halos to describe the mass distribution of MACSJ0416. Concentrating on the subset of 57 multiply imaged systems used in the optimisation, our best-fit mass model has an average error on the predicted image positions of rms = 0.68", almost a factor of two improvement compared to the rms = 1.17" obtained with our pre-HFF mass model (using only 17 multiply imaged systems). The total mass within an aperture of 200 kpc is found to be M = 1.60\pm0.01x1e14 Msun. Finally, we quantify the gain in precision on the magnification of high-redshift galaxies, and find an improvement by a factor of ~2.5x in the statistical error. With the new $Hubble Frontier Fields$, we are entering into the domain of high-precision mass measurement for massive galaxy clusters.

Hubble Frontier Fields : A High Precision Strong Lensing Analysis of the Cluster MACSJ0416.1-2403 using ~200 Multiple Images [Replacement]

We present a high-precision mass model of the galaxy cluster MACSJ0416.1–2403, based on a strong-gravitational-lensing analysis of the recently acquired \textit{Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Fields} (HFF) imaging data. Taking advantage of the unprecedented depth provided by HST/ACS observations in three passbands, we identify 51 new multiple-image systems, quadrupling the previous census and bringing the grand total to 68, comprising 194 individual lensed images. Having selected a subset of the 57 most securely identified multiple-image systems, we use the {\sc Lenstool} software package to constrain a lens model comprised of two cluster-scale dark-matter halos and 98 galaxy-scale halos. Our best-fit model predicts image positions with an $RMS$ error of 0.68", which constitutes an improvement of almost a factor of two over previous, pre-HFF models of this cluster. We find the total mass inside a 200~kpc aperture to be $(1.60\pm0.01)\times 10^{14}\ M_\odot$, a measurement that offers a three-fold improvement in precision and drives the mass uncertainty below $1\%$ for the first time in any cluster. Finally, we quantify the increase in precision of the derived gravitational magnification of high-redshift galaxies and find an improvement by a factor of $\sim$2.5 in the statistical uncertainty. Our findings impressively confirm that HFF imaging has indeed opened the domain of high-precision mass measurements for massive clusters of galaxies.

Hubble Frontier Fields : A High Precision Strong Lensing Analysis of Galaxy Cluster MACSJ0416.1-2403 using ~200 Multiple Images [Replacement]

We present a high-precision mass model of the galaxy cluster MACSJ0416.1-2403, based on a strong-gravitational-lensing analysis of the recently acquired Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Fields (HFF) imaging data. Taking advantage of the unprecedented depth provided by HST/ACS observations in three passbands, we identify 51 new multiply imaged galaxies, quadrupling the previous census and bringing the grand total to 68, comprising 194 individual lensed images. Having selected a subset of the 57 most securely identified multiply imaged galaxies, we use the Lenstool software package to constrain a lens model comprised of two cluster-scale dark-matter halos and 98 galaxy-scale halos. Our best-fit model predicts image positions with an $RMS$ error of 0.68”, which constitutes an improvement of almost a factor of two over previous, pre-HFF models of this cluster. We find the total projected mass inside a 200~kpc aperture to be $(1.60\pm0.01)\times 10^{14}\ M_\odot$, a measurement that offers a three-fold improvement in precision, reaching the percent level for the first time in any cluster. Finally, we quantify the increase in precision of the derived gravitational magnification of high-redshift galaxies and find an improvement by a factor of $\sim$2.5 in the statistical uncertainty. Our findings impressively confirm that HFF imaging has indeed opened the domain of high-precision mass measurements for massive clusters of galaxies.

A Hydrodynamical Solution for the "Twin-Tailed" Colliding Galaxy Cluster "El Gordo" [Replacement]

The distinctive cometary X-ray morphology of the recently discovered massive galaxy cluster "El Gordo" (ACT-CT J0102-4915; z=0.87) indicates that an unusually high-speed collision is ongoing between two massive galaxy clusters. A bright X-ray "bullet" leads a "twin-tailed" wake, with the SZ centroid at the end of the Northern tail. We show how the physical properties of this system can be determined using our FLASH-based, N-body/hydrodynamic model, constrained by detailed X-ray, Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ), and Hubble lensing and dynamical data. The X-ray morphology and the location of the two Dark Matter components and the SZ peak are accurately described by a simple binary collision viewed about 480 million years after the first core passage. We derive an impact parameter of ~300 kpc, and a relative initial infall velocity of ~2250 km/sec when separated by the sum of the two virial radii assuming an initial total mass of 2.15×10^(15) Msun and a mass ratio of 1.9. Our model demonstrates that tidally stretched gas accounts for the Northern X-ray tail along the collision axis between the mass peaks, and that the Southern tail lies off axis, comprising compressed and shock heated gas generated as the massive component plunges through the main cluster. The challenge for LCDM will be to find out if this physically extreme event can be plausibly accommodated when combined with the similarly massive, high infall velocity case of the "Bullet cluster" and other such cases being uncovered in the new SZ based surveys.

A Hydrodynamical Solution for the "Twin-Tailed" Colliding Galaxy Cluster "El Gordo"

The distinctive cometary X-ray morphology of the recently discovered massive galaxy cluster "El Gordo" (ACT-CT J0102-4915; z=0.87) indicates that an unusually high-speed collision is ongoing between two massive galaxy clusters. A bright X-ray "bullet" leads a "twin-tailed" wake, with the SZ centroid at the end of the Northern tail. We show how the physical properties of this system can be determined using our FLASH-based, N-body/hydrodynamic model, constrained by detailed X-ray, Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ), and Hubble lensing and dynamical data. The X-ray morphology and the location of the two Dark Matter components and the SZ peak are accurately described by a simple binary collision viewed about 480 million years after the first core passage. We derive an impact parameter of ~300 kpc, and a relative initial infall velocity of ~2250 km/sec when separated by the sum of the two virial radii assuming an initial total mass of 2.15×10^(15) Msun and a mass ratio of 1.9. Our model demonstrates that tidally stretched gas accounts for the Northern X-ray tail along the collision axis between the mass peaks, and that the Southern tail lies off axis, comprising compressed and shock heated gas generated as the massive component plunges through the main cluster. The challenge for LCDM will be to find out if this physically extreme event can be plausibly accommodated when combined with the similarly massive, high infall velocity case of the "Bullet cluster" and other such cases being uncovered in the new SZ based surveys.

Shape Profiles and Orientation Bias for Weak and Strong Lensing Cluster Halos [Replacement]

We study the intrinsic shape and alignment of isodensities of galaxy cluster halos extracted from the MultiDark MDR1 cosmological simulation. We find that the simulated halos, are extremely prolate on small scales, and increasingly spherical on larger ones. Due to this trend, analytical projection along the line of sight produces an overestimate of the concentration index as a decreasing function of radius, which we quantify by using both the intrinsic distribution of 3D concentrations ($c_{200}$) and isodensity shape on weak and strong lensing scales. We find this difference to be $\sim 18\%$ ($\sim 9\%$) for low (medium) mass cluster halos with intrinsically low concentrations ($c_{200}=1-3$), while we find virtually no difference for halos with intrinsically high concentrations. Isodensities are found to be fairly well-aligned throughout the entirety of the radial scale of each halo population. However, major axes of individual halos have been found to deviate by as much as $\sim 30^{\circ}$. We also present a value-added catalog of our analysis results, which we have made publicly available to download.

Shape Profiles and Orientation Bias for Weak and Strong Lensing Cluster Halos

We study the intrinsic shape and alignment of isodensities of galaxy cluster halos extracted from the MultiDark MDR1 cosmological simulation. We find that the simulated halos are extremely prolate on small scales, and increasingly spherical on larger ones. Due to this trend, projection along the line of sight produces an overestimate of the concentration index as a decreasing function of radius. Based on this result, we predict that the selection of clusters based upon their strong lensing features will tend to produce a larger over-concentration bias when compared with weak lensing of this same population, a difference of $\sim 17\%$. Isodensities are found to be fairly well-aligned throughout the entirety of the radial scale of each halo population. However, major axes of individual halos have been found to deviate by as much as $\sim 30^{\circ}$. We also present a value-added catalog of our analysis results, which we have made publicly available to download.

The impact of galaxy cluster environment on the deflection properties of extragalactic gravitational lenses

In this paper the influence of a galaxy cluster halo on the deflection properties of its galaxies is investigated. For this purpose triaxial cluster halo models are developed based on the Einasto and Navarro-Frenk-White density profiles. Applying Monte-Carlo technique external shear and convergence are modelled for random positions of a test galaxy within the cluster. In the simulations the following parameters of the cluster and galaxies are varied: density profile, its slope, mass, characteristic and outer radii. Also, galaxies in the close vicinity are treated separately, whereas distant objects are contributed to the smooth mass distribution. As a result of the multiple simulations robust estimations of external shear and convergence as well as their constraints relatively to variable cluster parameters and observer location effects are derived. It is demonstrated that the external deflection by the cluster mass strongly depends on the applied density profile.

Brightest Cluster Galaxies in Cosmological Simulations with Adaptive Mesh Refinement: Successes and Failures

A large sample of cosmological hydrodynamical zoom-in simulations with Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) is analysed to study the properties of simulated Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs). Following the formation and evolution of BCGs requires modeling an entire galaxy cluster, because the BCG properties are largely influenced by the state of the gas in the cluster and by interactions and mergers with satellites. BCG evolution is also deeply influenced by the presence of gas heating sources such as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) that prevent catastrophic cooling of large amounts of gas. We show that AGN feedback is one of the most important mechanisms in shaping the properties of BCGs at low redshift by analysing our statistical sample of simulations with and without AGN feedback. When AGN feedback is included BCG masses, sizes, star formation rates and kinematic properties are closer to those of the observed systems. Some small discrepancies are observed only for the most massive BCGs, an effect that might be due to physical processes that are not included in our model.

Brightest Cluster Galaxies in Cosmological Simulations with Adaptive Mesh Refinement: Successes and Failures [Replacement]

A large sample of cosmological hydrodynamical zoom-in simulations with Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) is analysed to study the properties of simulated Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs). Following the formation and evolution of BCGs requires modeling an entire galaxy cluster, because the BCG properties are largely influenced by the state of the gas in the cluster and by interactions and mergers with satellites. BCG evolution is also deeply influenced by the presence of gas heating sources such as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) that prevent catastrophic cooling of large amounts of gas. We show that AGN feedback is one of the most important mechanisms in shaping the properties of BCGs at low redshift by analysing our statistical sample of simulations with and without AGN feedback. When AGN feedback is included BCG masses, sizes, star formation rates and kinematic properties are closer to those of the observed systems. Some small discrepancies are observed only for the most massive BCGs and in the fraction of star-forming BCGs, effects that might be due to physical processes that are not included in our model.

Galaxy cluster scaling relations measured with APEX-SZ

We present thermal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect (SZE) measurements for 42 galaxy clusters observed at 150 GHz with the APEX-SZ experiment. For each cluster, we model the pressure profile and calculate the integrated Comptonization $Y$ to estimate the total thermal energy of the intracluster medium (ICM). We compare the measured $Y$ values to X-ray observables of the ICM from the literature (cluster gas mass $M_{gas}$, temperature $T_X$, and $Y_X =M_{gas}T_X$) that relate to total cluster mass. We measure power law scaling relations, including an intrinsic scatter, between the SZE and X-ray observables for both the X-ray selected and uniform REFLEX-DXL cluster sample and the full ad hoc APEX-SZ sample. We observe that the lack of uniform X-ray analysis for the full cluster sample introduces significant variability into the measured scaling relations and dominates the level of intrinsic scatter. For the REFLEX-DXL sample, we find results consistent with a self-similar model of cluster evolution dominated by gravitational effects. Comparing to predictions from numerical simulations, these scaling relations prefer models that include cooling and feedback in the ICM. Lastly, we find that the $Y-Y_X$ scaling relation has the lowest measured intrinsic scatter.

Constraining galaxy cluster temperatures and redshifts with eROSITA survey data

The nature of dark energy is imprinted in the large-scale structure of the Universe and thus in the mass and redshift distribution of galaxy clusters. The upcoming eROSITA mission will exploit this method of probing dark energy by detecting roughly 100,000 clusters of galaxies in X-rays. For a precise cosmological analysis the various galaxy cluster properties need to be measured with high precision and accuracy. To predict these characteristics of eROSITA galaxy clusters and to optimise optical follow-up observations, we estimate the precision and the accuracy with which eROSITA will be able to determine galaxy cluster temperatures and redshifts from X-ray spectra. Additionally, we present the total number of clusters for which these two properties will be available from the eROSITA survey directly. During its four years of all-sky surveys, eROSITA will determine cluster temperatures with relative uncertainties of Delta(T)/T<10% at the 68%-confidence level for clusters up to redshifts of z~0.16 which corresponds to ~1,670 new clusters with precise properties. Redshift information itself will become available with a precision of Delta(z)/(1+z)<10% for clusters up to z~0.45. Additionally, we estimate how the number of clusters with precise properties increases with a deepening of the exposure. Furthermore, the biases in the best-fit temperatures as well as in the estimated uncertainties are quantified and shown to be negligible in the relevant parameter range in general. For the remaining parameter sets, we provide correction functions and factors. The eROSITA survey will increase the number of galaxy clusters with precise temperature measurements by a factor of 5-10. Thus the instrument presents itself as a powerful tool for the determination of tight constraints on the cosmological parameters.

Hydrodynamic Simulation of Non-thermal Pressure Profiles of Galaxy Clusters [Replacement]

Cosmological constraints from X-ray and microwave observations of galaxy clusters are subjected to systematic uncertainties. Non-thermal pressure support due to internal gas motions in galaxy clusters is one of the major sources of astrophysical uncertainties. Using a mass-limited sample of galaxy clusters from a high-resolution hydrodynamical cosmological simulation, we characterize the non-thermal pressure fraction profile and study its dependence on redshift, mass, and mass accretion rate. We find that the non-thermal pressure fraction profile is universal across redshift when galaxy cluster radii are defined with respect to the mean matter density of the universe instead of the commonly used critical density. We also find that the non-thermal pressure is predominantly radial, and the gas velocity anisotropy profile exhibits strong universality when galaxy cluster radii are defined with respect to the mean matter density of the universe. However, we find that the non-thermal pressure fraction is strongly dependent on the mass accretion rate of the galaxy cluster. We provide fitting formulae for the universal non-thermal pressure fraction and velocity anisotropy profiles of gas in galaxy clusters, which should be useful in modeling astrophysical uncertainties pertinent to using galaxy clusters as cosmological probes.

Testing X-ray Measurements of Galaxy Cluster Outskirts with Cosmological Simulations [Replacement]

The study of galaxy cluster outskirts has emerged as one of the new frontiers in extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology with the advent of new observations in X-ray and microwave. However, the thermodynamic properties and chemical enrichment of this diffuse and azimuthally asymmetric component of the intracluster medium (ICM) are still not well understood. This work, for the first time, systematically explores potential observational biases in these regions. To assess X-ray measurements of galaxy cluster properties at large radii ($>{R}_{500c}$), we use mock Chandra analyses of cosmological galaxy cluster simulations. The pipeline is identical to that used for Chandra observations, but the biases discussed in this paper are relevant for all X-ray observations outside of ${R}_{500c}$. We find the following from our analysis: (1) filament regions can contribute as much as $50%$ at $R_{200c}$ to the emission measure; (2) X-ray temperatures and metal abundances from model fitted mock X-ray spectra in a multi-temperature ICM respectively vary to the level of $10%$ and $50%$; (3) resulting density profiles vary to within $10%$ out to $R_{200c}$, and gas mass, total mass, and baryon fractions all vary to within a few percent; (4) the bias from a metal abundance extrapolated a factor of five higher than the true metal abundance results in total mass measurements biased high by $20%$ and total gas measurements biased low by $10%$; and (5) differences in projection and dynamical state of a cluster can lead to gas density slope measurements that differ by a factor of $15%$ and $30%$, respectively. The presented results can partially account for some of the recent gas profile measurements in cluster outskirts by, e.g., Suzaku. Our findings are pertinent to future X-ray cosmological constraints from cluster outskirts.

Testing X-ray Measurements of Galaxy Cluster Outskirts with Cosmological Simulations [Replacement]

The study of galaxy cluster outskirts has emerged as one of the new frontiers in extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology with the advent of new observations in X-ray and microwave. However, the thermodynamic properties and chemical enrichment of this diffuse and azimuthally asymmetric component of the intracluster medium (ICM) are still not well understood. This work, for the first time, systematically explores potential observational biases in these regions. To assess X-ray measurements of galaxy cluster properties at large radii ($>{R}_{500c}$), we use mock Chandra analyses of cosmological galaxy cluster simulations. The pipeline is identical to that used for Chandra observations, but the biases discussed in this paper are relevant for all X-ray observations outside of ${R}_{500c}$. We find the following from our analysis: (1) filament regions can contribute as much as $50\%$ at $R_{200c}$ to the emission measure; (2) X-ray temperatures and metal abundances from model fitted mock X-ray spectra in a multi-temperature ICM respectively vary to the level of $10\%$ and $50\%$; (3) resulting density profiles vary to within $10\%$ out to $R_{200c}$, and gas mass, total mass, and baryon fractions all vary to within a few percent; (4) the bias from a metal abundance extrapolated a factor of five higher than the true metal abundance results in total mass measurements biased high by $20\%$ and total gas measurements biased low by $10\%$; and (5) differences in projection and dynamical state of a cluster can lead to gas density slope measurements that differ by a factor of $15\%$ and $30\%$, respectively. The presented results can partially account for some of the recent gas profile measurements in cluster outskirts by, e.g., Suzaku. Our findings are pertinent to future X-ray cosmological constraints from cluster outskirts.

Testing X-ray Measurements of Galaxy Cluster Outskirts with Cosmological Simulations

The study of galaxy cluster outskirts has emerged as one of the new frontiers in extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology with the advent of new observations in X-ray and microwave. However, the thermodynamic properties and chemical enrichment of this diffuse and azimuthally asymmetric component of the intra-cluster medium are still not well understood. This work, for the first time, systematically explores potential observational biases in these regions. To assess X-ray measurements of galaxy cluster properties at large radii ($>{R}_{500c}$), we use mock Chandra analyses of cosmological galaxy cluster simulations. The pipeline is identical to that used for Chandra observations, but the biases discussed in this paper are relevant for all X-ray observations outside of ${R}_{500c}$. We find the following from our analysis: (1) filament regions can contribute as much as a factor of 3 to the emission measure, (2) X-ray temperatures and metal abundances from model fitted mock X-ray spectra respectively vary to the level of $10\%$ and $50\%$, (3) resulting density profiles vary to within $15\%$ out to $3\times{R}_{200c}$, and gas mass, total mass, and baryon fractions vary all to within a few percent, and (4) differences in projection and dynamical state of a cluster can lead to gas density slope measurements that differ by a factor of $15\%$ and $30\%$, respectively. The presented results can partially account for some of the recent gas profile measurements in cluster outskirts by e.g., Suzaku. Our findings are pertinent to future X-ray cosmological constraints with cluster outskirts, which are least affected by non-gravitational gas physics, as well as to measurements probing gas properties in filamentary structures.

A distant radio mini-halo in the Phoenix galaxy cluster

We report the discovery of extended radio emission in the Phoenix cluster (SPT-CL J2344-4243, z=0.596) with the GMRT at 610 MHz. The diffuse emission extends over a region of at least 400-500 kpc and surrounds the central radio source of the Brightest Cluster Galaxy, but does not appear to be directly associated with it. We classify the diffuse emission as a radio mini-halo, making it the currently most distant mini-halo known. Radio mini-halos have been explained by synchrotron emitting particles re-accelerated via turbulence, possibly induced by gas sloshing generated from a minor merger event. Chandra observations show a non-concentric X-ray surface brightness distribution, which is consistent with this sloshing interpretation. The mini-halo has a flux density of $17\pm5$ mJy, resulting in a 1.4 GHz radio power of ($10.4\pm3.5) \times 10^{24}$ W Hz$^{-1}$. The combined cluster emission, which includes the central compact radio source, is also detected in a shallow GMRT 156 MHz observation and together with the 610 MHz data we compute a spectral index of $-0.84\pm0.12$ for the overall cluster radio emission. Given that mini-halos typically have steeper radio spectra than cluster radio galaxies, this spectral index should be taken as an upper limit for the mini-halo.

Scattering of emission lines in galaxy cluster cores: measuring electron temperature

The central galaxies of some clusters can be strong emitters in the Ly$\alpha$ and H$\alpha$ lines. This emission may arise either from the cool/warm gas located in the cool core of the cluster or from the bright AGN within the central galaxy. The luminosities of such lines can be as high as $10^{42} – 10^{44}$ erg/s. This emission originating from the core of the cluster will get Thomson scattered by hot electrons of the intra-cluster medium (ICM) with an optical depth $\sim$ 0.01 giving rise to very broad ($\Delta \lambda / \lambda \sim$ 15%) features in the scattered spectrum. We discuss the possibility of measuring the electron density and temperature using information on the flux and width of the highly broadened line features.

The Blanco Cosmology Survey: An Optically-Selected Galaxy Cluster Catalog and a Public Release of Optical Data Products

The Blanco Cosmology Survey is 4-band (griz) optical-imaging survey that covers ~80 square degrees of the southern sky. The survey consists of two fields roughly centered at (RA,DEC) = (23h,-55d) and (5h30m,-53d) with imaging designed to reach depths sufficient for the detection of L* galaxies out to a redshift of one. In this paper we describe the reduction of the survey data, the creation of calibrated source catalogs and a new method for the separation of stars and galaxies. We search these catalogs for galaxy clusters at z< 0.75 by identifying spatial over-densities of red-sequence galaxies. We report the coordinates, redshift, and optical richness, Lambda, for 764 detected galaxy clusters at z < 0.75. This sample, >85% of which are new discoveries, has a median redshift of 0.52 and median richness Lambda(0.4L*) of 16.4. Accompanying this paper we also release data products including the reduced images and calibrated source catalogs. These products are available at http://data.rcc.uchicago.edu/dataset/blanco-cosmology-survey .

The extended ROSAT-ESO Flux Limited X-ray Galaxy Cluster Survey (REFLEX II)\\ II. Construction and Properties of the Survey

Galaxy clusters provide unique laboratories to study astrophysical processes on large scales and are important probes for cosmology. X-ray observations are currently the best means of detecting and characterizing galaxy clusters. In this paper we describe the construction of the REFLEX II galaxy cluster survey based on the southern part of the ROSAT All-Sky Survey. REFLEX II extends the REFLEX I survey by a factor of about two down to a flux limit of $1.8 \times 10^{-12}$ erg s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-2}$ (0.1 – 2.4 keV). We describe the determination of the X-ray parameters, the process of X-ray source identification, and the construction of the survey selection function. The REFLEX II cluster sample comprises currently 915 objects. A standard selection function is derived for a lower source count limit of 20 photons in addition to the flux limit. The median redshift of the sample is $z = 0.102$. Internal consistency checks and the comparison to several other galaxy cluster surveys imply that REFLEX II is better than 90\% complete with a contamination less than 10\%.

Multiple density discontinuities in the merging galaxy cluster CIZA J2242.8+5301

CIZA J2242.8+5301, a merging galaxy cluster at z=0.19, hosts a double-relic system and a faint radio halo. Radio observations at frequencies ranging from a few MHz to several GHz have shown that the radio spectral index at the outer edge of the N relic corresponds to a shock of Mach number 4.6+/-1.1, under the assumptions of diffusive shock acceleration of thermal particles in the test particle regime. Here, we present results from new Chandra observations of the cluster. The Chandra surface brightness profile across the N relic only hints to a surface brightness discontinuity (<2-sigma detection). Nevertheless, our reanalysis of archival Suzaku data indicates a temperature discontinuity across the relic that is consistent with a Mach number of 2.5+/-0.5, in agreement with previously published results. This confirms that the Mach number at the shock traced by the N relic is much weaker than predicted from the radio. Puzzlingly, in the Chandra data we also identify additional inner small density discontinuities both on and off the merger axis. Temperature measurements on both sides of the discontinuities do not allow us to undoubtedly determine their nature, although a shock front interpretation seems more likely. We speculate that if the inner density discontinuities are indeed shock fronts, then they are the consequence of violent relaxation of the dark matter cores of the clusters involved in the merger.

The mass profile and dynamical status of the z~0.8 galaxy cluster LCDCS 0504

Constraints on the mass distribution in high-redshift clusters of galaxies are not currently very strong. We aim to constrain the mass profile, M(r), and dynamical status of the $z \sim 0.8$ LCDCS 0504 cluster of galaxies characterized by prominent giant gravitational arcs near its center. Our analysis is based on deep X-ray, optical, and infrared imaging, as well as optical spectroscopy. We model the mass distribution of the cluster with three different mass density profiles, whose parameters are constrained by the strong lensing features of the inner cluster region, by the X-ray emission from the intra-cluster medium, and by the kinematics of 71 cluster members. We obtain consistent M(r) determinations from three methods (dispersion-kurtosis, caustics and MAMPOSSt), out to the cluster virial radius and beyond. The mass profile inferred by the strong lensing analysis in the central cluster region is slightly above, but still consistent with, the kinematics estimate. On the other hand, the X-ray based M(r) is significantly below both the kinematics and strong lensing estimates. Theoretical predictions from $\Lambda$CDM cosmology for the concentration–mass relation are in agreement with our observational results, when taking into account the uncertainties in both the observational and theoretical estimates. There appears to be a central deficit in the intra-cluster gas mass fraction compared to nearby clusters. Despite the relaxed appearance of this cluster, the determinations of its mass profile by different probes show substantial discrepancies, the origin of which remains to be determined. The extension of a similar dynamical analysis to other clusters of the DAFT/FADA survey will allow to shed light on the possible systematics that affect the determination of mass profiles of high-z clusters, possibly related to our incomplete understanding of intracluster baryon physics.

Cosmology with Galaxy Clusters: Systematic Effects in the Halo Mass Function

We investigate potential systematic effects in constraining the amplitude of primordial fluctuations \sigma_8 arising from the choice of halo mass function in the likelihood analysis of current and upcoming galaxy cluster surveys. We study the widely used N-body simulation fit of Tinker et al. (T08) and, as an alternative, the recently proposed analytical model of Excursion Set Peaks (ESP). We first assess the relative bias between these prescriptions when constraining \sigma_8 by sampling the ESP mass function to generate mock catalogs and using the T08 fit to analyse them, for various choices of survey selection threshold, mass definition and statistical priors. To assess the level of absolute bias in each prescription, we then repeat the analysis on dark matter halo catalogs in N-body simulations designed to mimic the mass distribution in the current data release of Planck SZ clusters. This N-body analysis shows that using the T08 fit without accounting for the scatter introduced when converting between mass definitions (alternatively, the scatter induced by errors on the parameters of the fit) can systematically over-estimate the value of \sigma_8 by as much as 2\sigma\ for current data, while analyses that account for this scatter should be close to unbiased in \sigma_8. With an increased number of objects as expected in upcoming data releases, regardless of accounting for scatter, the T08 fit could over-estimate the value of \sigma_8 by ~1.5\sigma. The ESP mass function leads to systematically more biased but comparable results. A strength of the ESP model is its natural prediction of a weak non-universality in the mass function which closely tracks the one measured in simulations and described by the T08 fit. We suggest that it might now be prudent to build new unbiased ESP-based fitting functions for use with the larger datasets of the near future.

Cosmology with Galaxy Clusters: Systematic Effects in the Halo Mass Function [Replacement]

We investigate potential systematic effects in constraining the amplitude of primordial fluctuations \sigma_8 arising from the choice of halo mass function in the likelihood analysis of current and upcoming galaxy cluster surveys. We study the widely used N-body simulation fit of Tinker et al. (T08) and, as an alternative, the recently proposed analytical model of Excursion Set Peaks (ESP). We first assess the relative bias between these prescriptions when constraining \sigma_8 by sampling the ESP mass function to generate mock catalogs and using the T08 fit to analyse them, for various choices of survey selection threshold, mass definition and statistical priors. To assess the level of absolute bias in each prescription, we then repeat the analysis on dark matter halo catalogs in N-body simulations designed to mimic the mass distribution in the current data release of Planck SZ clusters. This N-body analysis shows that using the T08 fit without accounting for the scatter introduced when converting between mass definitions (alternatively, the scatter induced by errors on the parameters of the fit) can systematically over-estimate the value of \sigma_8 by as much as 2\sigma\ for current data, while analyses that account for this scatter should be close to unbiased in \sigma_8. With an increased number of objects as expected in upcoming data releases, regardless of accounting for scatter, the T08 fit could over-estimate the value of \sigma_8 by ~1.5\sigma. The ESP mass function leads to systematically more biased but comparable results. A strength of the ESP model is its natural prediction of a weak non-universality in the mass function which closely tracks the one measured in simulations and described by the T08 fit. We suggest that it might now be prudent to build new unbiased ESP-based fitting functions for use with the larger datasets of the near future.

Turbulence and cooling in galaxy cluster cores [Replacement]

We study the interplay between turbulent heating, mixing, and radiative cooling in an idealized model of cool cluster cores. Active galactic nuclei (AGN) jets are expected to drive turbulence and heat cluster cores. Cooling of the intracluster medium (ICM) and stirring by AGN jets are tightly coupled in a feedback loop. We impose the feedback loop by balancing radiative cooling with turbulent heating. In addition to heating the plasma, turbulence also mixes it, suppressing the formation of cold gas at small scales. In this regard, the effect of turbulence is analogous to thermal conduction. For uniform plasma in thermal balance (turbulent heating balancing radiative cooling), cold gas condenses only if the cooling time is shorter than the mixing time. This condition requires the turbulent kinetic energy to be $\gtrsim$ the plasma internal energy; such high velocities in cool cores are ruled out by observations. The results with realistic magnetic fields and thermal conduction are qualitatively similar to the hydrodynamic simulations. Simulations where the runaway cooling of the cool core is prevented due to {\em mixing} with the hot ICM show cold gas even with subsonic turbulence, consistent with observations. Thus, turbulent mixing is the likely mechanism via which AGN jets heat cluster cores. The thermal instability growth rates observed in simulations with turbulence are consistent with the local thermal instability interpretation of cold gas in cluster cores.

Turbulence and cooling in galaxy cluster cores [Replacement]

We study the interplay between turbulent heating, mixing, and radiative cooling in an idealized model of cool cluster cores. Active galactic nuclei (AGN) jets are expected to drive turbulence and heat cluster cores. Cooling of the intracluster medium (ICM) and stirring by AGN jets are tightly coupled in a feedback loop. We impose the feedback loop by balancing radiative cooling with turbulent heating. In addition to heating the plasma, turbulence also mixes it, suppressing the formation of cold gas at small scales. In this regard, the effect of turbulence is analogous to thermal conduction. For uniform plasma in thermal balance (turbulent heating balancing radiative cooling), cold gas condenses only if the cooling time is shorter than the mixing time. This condition requires the turbulent kinetic energy to be $\gtrsim$ the plasma internal energy; such high velocities in cool cores are ruled out by observations. The results with realistic magnetic fields and thermal conduction are qualitatively similar to the hydrodynamic simulations. Simulations where the runaway cooling of the cool core is prevented due to {\em mixing} with the hot ICM show cold gas even with subsonic turbulence, consistent with observations. Thus, turbulent mixing is the likely mechanism via which AGN jets heat cluster cores. The thermal instability growth rates observed in simulations with turbulence are consistent with the local thermal instability interpretation of cold gas in cluster cores.

 

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