Measuring the escape velocity and mass profiles of galaxy clusters beyond their virial radius

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Impact Factor: 5.52). 11/2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17946.x
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT The caustic technique uses galaxy redshifts alone to measure the escape velocity and mass profiles of galaxy clusters to clustrocentric distances well beyond the virial radius, where dynamical equilibrium does not necessarily hold. We provide a detailed description of this technique and analyse its possible systematic errors. We apply the caustic technique to clusters with mass M_200>=10^{14}h^{-1} M_sun extracted from a cosmological hydrodynamic simulation of a LambdaCDM universe. With a few tens of redshifts per squared comoving megaparsec within the cluster, the caustic technique, on average, recovers the profile of the escape velocity from the cluster with better than 10 percent accuracy up to r~4 r_200. The caustic technique also recovers the mass profile with better than 10 percent accuracy in the range (0.6-4) r_200, but it overestimates the mass up to 70 percent at smaller radii. This overestimate is a consequence of neglecting the radial dependence of the filling function F_beta(r). The 1-sigma uncertainty on individual escape velocity profiles increases from ~20 to ~50 percent when the radius increases from r~0.1 r_200 to ~4 r_200. Individual mass profiles have 1-sigma uncertainty between 40 and 80 percent within the radial range (0.6-4) r_200. We show that the amplitude of these uncertainties is completely due to the assumption of spherical symmetry, which is difficult to drop. Alternatively, we can apply the technique to synthetic clusters obtained by stacking individual clusters: in this case, the 1-sigma uncertainty on the escape velocity profile is smaller than 20 percent out to 4 r_200. The caustic technique thus provides reliable average profiles which extend to regions difficult or impossible to probe with other techniques. Comment: MNRAS accepted, 20 pages

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