A New Robust Low-Scatter X-ray Mass Indicator for Clusters of Galaxies

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 5.99). 03/2006; 650(1). DOI: 10.1086/506319
Source: arXiv


We present comparison of X-ray proxies for the total cluster mass, including the spectral temperature (Tx), gas mass measured within r500 (Mg), and the new proxy, Yx, which is a simple product of Tx and Mg and is related to the total thermal energy of the ICM. We use mock Chandra images constructed for a sample of clusters simulated with the eulerian N-body+gasdynamics adaptive mesh refinement ART code in the concordance LCDM cosmology. The simulations achieve high spatial and mass resolution and include radiative cooling, star formation, and other processes accompanying galaxy formation. Our analysis shows that simulated clusters exhibit a high degree of regularity and tight correlations between the considered observables and total mass. The normalizations of the M-Tx, Mg-Tx, and M-Yx relations agree to better than 10-15% with the current observational measurements of these relations. Our results show that Yx is the best mass proxy with a remarkably low scatter of only ~5-7% in M500 for a fixed Yx, at both low and high redshifts and regardless of whether clusters are relaxed or not. In addition, we show that redshift evolution of the Yx-M500 relation is close to the self-similar prediction, which makes Yx a very attractive mass indicator for measurements of the cluster mass function from X-ray selected samples. Comment: submitted to ApJ; 9 pages, 6 figures, uses emulateapj

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Available from: Daisuke Nagai, Oct 30, 2012
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    • "The spectroscopically determined ICM temperature thus turns out to be one of the best mass proxies as single observable parameter (e.g. Kravtsov et al. 2006). The tightest relations are obtained, if the core regions are excluded in the global temperature measurement, due to the disproportionate influence of the central CCs as will become apparent below, and it has thus become standard to quote the mean temperature in the radial region r = 0.15−1×r 500 as the most reliable single observable mass proxy for clusters (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: Galaxy clusters, the largest clearly defined objects in our Universe, are ideal laboratories to study in detail the cosmic evolution of the intergalactic intracluster medium (ICM) and the cluster galaxy population. For the ICM, which is heated to X-ray radiating temperatures, X-ray spectroscopy is the most important tool to obtain insight into the structure and astrophysics of galaxy clusters. The ICM is also the hottest plasma that can be well studied under thermal equilibrium conditions. In this review we recall the basic principles of the interpretation of X-ray spectra from a hot, tenuous plasma and we illustrate the wide range of scientific applications of X-ray spectroscopy. The determination of galaxy cluster masses, the most important prerequisite for using clusters in cosmological studies, rest crucially on a precise spectroscopic determination of the ICM temperature distribution. The study of the thermal structure of the ICM provides a very interesting fossil record of the energy release during galaxy formation and evolution, giving important constraints on galaxy formation models. The temperature and pressure distribution of the ICM gives us important insight into the process of galaxy cluster merging and the dissipation of the merger energy in form of turbulent motion. Cooling cores in the centers of about half of the cluster population are interesting laboratories to investigate the interplay between gas cooling, star- and black hole formation and energy feedback, which is diagnosed by means of X-ray spectroscopy. The element abundances deduced from X-ray spectra of the ICM provide a cosmic history record of the contribution of different supernovae to the nucleosynthesis of heavy elements and their spatial distribution partly reflects important transport processes in the ICM. Some discussion of plasma diagnostics for conditions out of thermal equilibrium and an outlook on the future prospects of X-ray spectroscopic cluster studies complete our review.
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    ABSTRACT: X-ray observations of galaxy clusters potentially provide powerful cosmological probes if systematics due to our incomplete knowledge of the intracluster medium (ICM) physics are understood and controlled. In this paper, we present mock Chandra analyses of cosmological cluster simulations and assess X-ray measurements of galaxy cluster properties using a model and procedure essentially identical to that used in real data analysis. We show that reconstruction of three-dimensional ICM density and temperature profiles is excellent for relaxed clusters, but still reasonably accurate for unrelaxed systems. The total ICM mass is measured quite accurately (<6%) in all clusters, while the hydrostatic estimate of the gravitationally bound mass is biased low by about 5%-20% through the virial region, primarily due to additional pressure support provided by subsonic bulk motions in the ICM, ubiquitous in our simulations even in relaxed systems. Gas fraction determinations are therefore biased high; the bias increases toward cluster outskirts and depends sensitively on its dynamical state, but we do not observe significant trends of the bias with cluster mass or redshift. We also find that different average ICM temperatures, such as the X-ray spectroscopic Tspec and gas-mass-weighted Tmg, are related to each other by a constant factor with a relatively small object-to-object scatter and no systematic trend with mass, redshift or the dynamical state of clusters. We briefly discuss direct applications of our results for different cluster-based cosmological tests.
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