K. Dolag

The Astronomical Observatory of Brera, Merate, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (274)953.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Analyses of cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy clusters suggest that X-ray masses can be underestimated by 10%-30%. The largest bias originates from both violation of hydrostatic equilibrium (HE) and an additional temperature bias caused by inhomogeneities in the X-ray-emitting intracluster medium (ICM). To elucidate this large dispersion among theoretical predictions, we evaluate the degree of temperature structures in cluster sets simulated either with smoothed-particle hydrodynamics (SPH) or adaptive-mesh refinement (AMR) codes. We find that the SPH simulations produce larger temperature variations connected to the persistence of both substructures and their stripped cold gas. This difference is more evident in nonradiative simulations, whereas it is reduced in the presence of radiative cooling. We also find that the temperature variation in radiative cluster simulations is generally in agreement with that observed in the central regions of clusters. Around R 500 the temperature inhomogeneities of the SPH simulations can generate twice the typical HE mass bias of the AMR sample. We emphasize that a detailed understanding of the physical processes responsible for the complex thermal structure in ICM requires improved resolution and high-sensitivity observations in order to extend the analysis to higher temperature systems and larger cluster-centric radii.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2014; 791(2):96. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Analyses of cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy clusters suggest that X-ray masses can be underestimated by 10% to 30%. The largest bias originates by both violation of hydrostatic equilibrium and an additional temperature bias caused by inhomogeneities in the X-ray emitting intra-cluster medium (ICM). To elucidate on this large dispersion among theoretical predictions, we evaluate the degree of temperature structures in cluster sets simulated either with smoothed-particle-hydrodynamics (SPH) and adaptive-mesh-refinement (AMR) codes. We find that the SPH simulations produce larger temperature variations connected to the persistence of both substructures and their stripped cold gas. This difference is more evident in no-radiative simulations, while it is reduced in the presence of radiative cooling. We also find that the temperature variation in radiative cluster simulations is generally in agreement with the observed one in the central regions of clusters. Around R_500 the temperature inhomogeneities of the SPH simulations can generate twice the typical hydrostatic-equilibrium mass bias of the AMR sample. We emphasize that a detailed understanding of the physical processes responsible for the complex thermal structure in ICM requires improved resolution and high sensitivity observations in order to extend the analysis to higher temperature systems and larger cluster-centric radii.
    06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Splotch is a rendering algorithm for exploration and visual discovery in particle-based datasets coming from astronomical observations or numerical simulations. The strengths of the approach are production of high quality imagery and support for very large-scale datasets through an effective mix of the OpenMP and MPI parallel programming paradigms. This article reports our experiences in re-designing Splotch for exploiting emerging HPC architectures nowadays increasingly populated with GPUs. A performance model is introduced to guide our re-factoring of Splotch. A number of parallelization issues are discussed, in particular relating to race conditions and workload balancing, towards achieving optimal performances. Our implementation was accomplished by using the CUDA programming paradigm. Our strategy is founded on novel schemes achieving optimised data organisation and classification of particles. We deploy a reference cosmological simulation to present performance results on acceleration gains and scalability. We finally outline our vision for future work developments including possibilities for further optimisations and exploitation of hybrid systems and emerging accelerators.
    Astronomy and Computing. 04/2014; 5:9-18.
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    ABSTRACT: A VLA Sky Survey of the extragalactic sky at S band (2-4 GHz) with polarization information can uniquely probe the magneto-ionic medium in a wide range of astrophysical environments over cosmic time. For a shallow all-sky survey, we expect to detect over 4 million sources in total intensity $>$ 0.45 mJy beam$^{-1}$ and over 2.2$\times$10$^5$ sources in polarized intensity. With these new observations, we expect to discover new classes of polarized radio sources in very turbulent astrophysical environments and those with extreme values of Faraday depth. Moreover, by determining reliable Faraday depths and by modeling depolarization effects, we can derive properties of the magneto-ionic medium associated with AGNs, absorption line systems and galaxies, addressing the following unresolved questions: (1) What is the covering fraction, the degree of turbulence and the origin of absorption line systems? (2) What is the thermal content in AGNs and radio galaxies? (3) How do AGNs and galaxies evolve over cosmic time? (4) What causes the increase in percentage polarization with decreasing flux densities at the low flux density end of the polarized source count? (5) What is the growth rate of large-scale magnetic fields in galaxies?
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We study the role of feedback from supernovae and black holes in the evolution of the star formation rate function (SFRF) of $z\sim4-7$ galaxies. We use a new set of cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, ANGUS (AustraliaN GADGET-3 early Universe Simulations), run with a modified and improved version of the parallel TreePM-smoothed particle hydrodynamics code GADGET-3 called P-GADGET3(XXL), that includes a self-consistent implementation of stellar evolution and metal enrichment. In our simulations both Supernova (SN) driven galactic winds and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) act simultaneously in a complex interplay. The SFRF is insensitive to feedback prescription at $z>5$, meaning that it cannot be used to discriminate between feedback models during reionisation. However, the SFRF is sensitive to the details of feedback prescription at lower redshift. By exploring different SN driven wind velocities and regimes for the AGN feedback, we find that the key factor for reproducing the observed SFRFs is a combination of "strong" SN winds and early AGN feedback in low mass galaxies. Conversely, we show that the choice of initial mass function and inclusion of metal cooling have less impact on the evolution of the SFRF. When variable winds are considered, we find that a non-aggressive wind scaling is needed to reproduce the SFRFs at $z\ge4$. Otherwise, the amount of objects with low SFRs is greatly suppressed and at the same time winds are not effective enough in the most massive systems.
    12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The adiabatic evolution of the temperature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) is a key prediction of standard cosmology. We study deviations from the expected adiabatic evolution of the CMB temperature of the form $T(z) =T_0(1+z)^{1-\alpha}$ using measurements of the spectrum of the Sunyaev Zel'dovich Effect with the South Pole Telescope (SPT). We present a method for using the ratio of the Sunyaev Zel'dovich signal measured at 95 and 150 GHz in the SPT data to constrain the temperature of the CMB. We demonstrate that this approach provides unbiased results using mock observations of clusters from a new set of hydrodynamical simulations. We apply this method to a sample of 158 SPT-selected clusters, spanning the redshift range $0.05 < z < 1.35$, and measure $\alpha = 0.017^{+0.030}_{-0.028}$, consistent with the standard model prediction of $\alpha=0$. In combination with other published results, we constrain $\alpha = 0.011 \pm 0.016$, an improvement of $\sim 20\%$ over published constraints. This measurement also provides a strong constraint on the effective equation of state in models of decaying dark energy $w_\mathrm{eff} = -0.987^{+0.016}_{-0.017}$.
    12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We study the role of feedback from supernovae and black holes in the evolution of the star formation rate function (SFRF) of z~4-7 galaxies. We use a new set of cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, ANGUS (AustraliaN GADGET-3 early Universe Simulations), run with a modified and improved version of the parallel TreePM-smoothed particle hydrodynamics code GADGET-3 called P-GADGET3(XXL), that includes a self-consistent implementation of stellar evolution and metal enrichment. In our simulations both Supernova (SN) driven galactic winds and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) act simultaneously in a complex interplay. The SFRF is insensitive to feedback prescription at z>5, meaning that it cannot be used to discriminate between feedback models during reionisation. However, the SFRF is sensitive to the details of feedback prescription at lower redshift. By exploring different SN driven wind velocities and regimes for the AGN feedback, we find that the key factor for reproducing the observed SFRFs is a combination of "strong" SN winds and early AGN feedback in low mass galaxies. Conversely, we show that the choice of initial mass function and inclusion of metal cooling have less impact on the evolution of the SFRF. When variable winds are considered, we find that a non-aggressive wind scaling is needed to reproduce the SFRFs at z>4. Otherwise, the amount of objects with low SFRs is greatly suppressed and at the same time winds are not effective enough in the most massive systems.
    12/2013; 438(4).
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first all-sky sample of galaxy clusters detected blindly by the Planck satellite through the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) effect from its six highest frequencies. This Early SZ (ESZ) sample of 189 candidates comprises high signal-to-noise clusters, from 6 to 29. Its high reliability (purity above 95%) is further insured by an extensive validation process based on Planck-internal quality assessments and external cross-identification and follow-up observations. Planck provides the first measured SZ signal for about 80% of the 169 ESZ known clusters. Planck further releases 30 new cluster candidates among which 20 are within the ESZ signal-to-noise selection criterion. Eleven of these 20 ESZ candidates are confirmed using XMM-Newton snapshot observations as new clusters, most of them with disturbed morphologies and low luminosities. The ESZ clusters are mostly at moderate redshifts (86% with z below 0.3) and span over a decade in mass, up to the rarest and most massive clusters with masses above 10^15 Msol.
    11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The performance of the Planck instruments in space is enabled by their low operating temperatures, 20K for LFI and 0.1K for HFI, achieved through a combination of passive radiative cooling and three active mechanical coolers. Active coolers were chosen to minimize straylight on the detectors and to maximize lifetime. The scientific requirement for very broad frequency led to two detector technologies with widely different temperature and cooling needs. This made use of a helium cryostat, as used by previous cryogenic space missions (IRAS, COBE, ISO, SPITZER, AKARI), infeasible. Radiative cooling is provided by three V-groove radiators and a large telescope baffle. The active coolers are a hydrogen sorption cooler (<20K), a 4He Joule-Thomson cooler (4.7K), and a 3He-4He dilution cooler (1.4K and 0.1K). The flight system was at ambient temperature at launch and cooled in space to operating conditions. The bolometer plate of the High Frequency Instrument reached 93mK on 3 July 2009, 50 days after launch. The solar panel always faces the Sun, shadowing the rest of Planck, and operates at a mean temperature of 384K. At the other end of the spacecraft, the telescope baffle operates at 42.3K and the telescope primary mirror operates at 35.9K. The temperatures of key parts of the instruments are stabilized by both active and passive methods. Temperature fluctuations are driven by changes in the distance from the Sun, sorption cooler cycling and fluctuations in gas-liquid flow, and fluctuations in cosmic ray flux on the dilution and bolometer plates. These fluctuations do not compromise the science data.
    11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the XMM-Newton follow-up for validation of Planck cluster candidates. Twenty-five candidates have been observed to date using snapshot (~10 ksec) exposures: ten as part of a pilot programme to sample a low range of signal-to-noise ratios (45 candidates. The sensitivity and spatial resolution of XMM-Newton allows unambiguous discrimination between clusters and false candidates. A total of 21 candidates are confirmed as extended X-ray sources. Seventeen are single clusters, the majority of which are found to have highly irregular and disturbed morphologies. The remaining four sources are multiple systems, including the unexpected discovery of a supercluster at z=0.45. For most of the sources we are able to derive a redshift estimate from the X-ray Fe K line (albeit of variable quality). The new clusters span the redshift range 0.09 <~ z <~ 0.54 with a median redshift of z ~ 0.37. A first estimate is made of their X-ray properties including the characteristic size, which is used to improve the SZ Compton parameter estimate. The validation programme has helped to optimise the Planck candidate selection process. It has also provided a preview of the X-ray properties of these newly-discovered clusters, allowing comparison to their SZ properties, and to the X-ray and SZ properties of known clusters observed in the Planck survey. Our results suggest that Planck may have started to reveal a non-negligible population of massive dynamically perturbed objects that is under-represented in X-ray surveys. However, despite their particular properties, these new clusters appear to follow the Ysz-Yx relation established for X-ray selected objects.
    11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We present an analysis of the properties of the ICM in an extended set of cosmological hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy clusters and groups performed with the TreePM+SPH GADGET-3 code. Besides a set of non-radiative simulations, we carried out two sets of simulations including radiative cooling, star formation, metal enrichment and feedback from supernovae, one of which also accounts for the effect of feedback from AGN resulting from gas accretion onto super-massive black holes. These simulations are analysed with the aim of studying the relative role played by SN and AGN feedback on the general properties of the diffuse hot baryons in galaxy clusters and groups: scaling relations, temperature, entropy and pressure radial profiles, and ICM chemical enrichment. We find that simulations including AGN feedback produce scaling relations that are in good agreement with X-ray observations at all mass scales. However, our simulations are not able to account for the observed diversity between CC and NCC clusters: unlike for observations, we find that temperature and entropy profiles of relaxed and unrelaxed clusters are quite similar and resemble more the observed behaviour of NCC clusters. As for the pattern of metal enrichment, we find that an enhanced level of iron abundance is produced by AGN feedback with respect to the case of purely SN feedback. As a result, while simulations including AGN produce values of iron abundance in groups in agreement with observations, they over-enrich the ICM in massive clusters. The efficiency of AGN feedback in displacing enriched gas from halos into the inter-galactic medium at high redshift also creates a widespread enrichment in the outskirts of clusters and produces profiles of iron abundance whose slope is in better agreement with observations.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 11/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] In this paper, we carry out a detailed analysis of the performance of two different methods to identify the diffuse stellar light in cosmological hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy clusters. One method is based on a dynamical analysis of the stellar component. The second method is closer to techniques commonly employed in observational studies. Both the dynamical method and the method based on the surface brightness limit criterion are applied to the same set of hydrodynamical simulations for a large sample about 80 galaxy clusters. We find significant differences between the ICL and DSC fractions computed with the two corresponding methods, which amounts to about a factor of two for the AGN simulations, and a factor of four for the CSF set. We also find that the inclusion of AGN feedback boosts the DSC and ICL fractions by a factor of 1.5-2, respectively, while leaving the BCG+ICL and BCG+DSC mass fraction almost unchanged. The sum of the BCG and DSC mass stellar mass fraction is found to decrease from ~80 per cent in galaxy groups to ~60 per cent in rich clusters, thus in excess of what found from observational analysis. We identify the average surface brightness limits that yields the ICL fraction from the SBL method close to the DSC fraction from the dynamical method. These surface brightness limits turn out to be brighter in the CSF than in the AGN simulations. This is consistent with the finding that AGN feedback makes BCGs to be less massive and with shallower density profiles than in the CSF simulations. The BCG stellar component, as identified by both methods, are slightly older and more metal-rich than the stars in the diffuse component.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2013; 437(1). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The spectrum of the radio halo in the Coma cluster is measured over almost two decades in frequency. The current radio data show a steepening of the spectrum at higher frequencies, which has implications for models of the radio halo origin. There is an on-going debate on the possibility that the observed steepening is not intrinsic to the emitted radiation, but is instead caused by the SZ effect. Recently, the Planck satellite measured the SZ signal and its spatial distribution in the Coma cluster allowing to test this hypothesis. Using the Planck results, we calculated the modification of the radio halo spectrum by the SZ effect in three different ways. With the first two methods we measured the SZ-decrement within the aperture radii used for flux measurements of the halo at the different frequencies. First we adopted the global compilation of data from Thierbach et al. and a reference aperture radius consistent with those used by the various authors. Second we used the available brightness profiles of the halo at different frequencies to derive the spectrum within two fixed apertures, and derived the SZ-decrement using these apertures. As a third method we used the quasi-linear correlation between the y and the radio-halo brightness at 330 MHz discovered by Planck to derive the modification of the radio spectrum by the SZ-decrement in a way that is almost independent of the adopted aperture radius. We found that the spectral modification induced by the SZ-decrement is 4-5 times smaller than that necessary to explain the observed steepening. Consequently a break or cut-off in the spectrum of the emitting electrons is necessary to explain current data. We also show that, if a steepening is absent from the emitted spectrum, future deep observations at 5 GHz with single dishes are expected to measure a halo flux in a 40 arcmin radius that would be 7-8 times higher than currently seen.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 09/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a model for the seeding and evolution of magnetic fields in protogalaxies. Supernova (SN) explosions during the assembly of a protogalaxy provide magnetic seed fields, which are subsequently amplified by compression, shear flows and random motions. We implement the model into the MHD version of the cosmological N-body / SPH simulation code GADGET and we couple the magnetic seeding directly to the underlying multi-phase description of star formation. We perform simulations of Milky Way-like galactic halo formation using a standard LCDM cosmology and analyse the strength and distribution of the subsequent evolving magnetic field. A dipole-shape divergence-free magnetic field is injected at a rate of 10^{-9}G / Gyr within starforming regions, given typical dimensions and magnetic field strengths in canonical SN remnants. Subsequently, the magnetic field strength increases exponentially on timescales of a few ten million years. At redshift z=0, the entire galactic halo is magnetized and the field amplitude is of the order of a few $\mu$G in the center of the halo, and 10^{-9} G at the virial radius. Additionally, we analyse the intrinsic rotation measure (RM) of the forming galactic halo over redshift. The mean halo intrinsic RM peaks between redshifts z=4 and z=2 and reaches absolute values around 1000 rad m^{-2}. While the halo virializes towards redshift z=0, the intrinsic RM values decline to a mean value below 10 rad m^{-2}. At high redshifts, the distribution of individual starforming, and thus magnetized regions is widespread. In our model for the evolution of galactic magnetic fields, the seed magnetic field amplitude and distribution is no longer a free parameter, but determined self-consistently by the star formation process occuring during the formation of cosmic structures.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2013; 435(4). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we present a detailed, statistical analysis of black hole (BH) growth and the evolution of active galactic nuclei (AGN) using cosmological hydrodynamic simulations run down to z=0. The simulations self-consistently follow radiative cooling, star formation, metal enrichment, BH growth and associated feedback processes from both supernovae typeII/Ia and AGN. We consider two simulation runs, one with a large co-moving volume of (128 Mpc/h)^3 and one with a smaller volume of (48 Mpc/h)^3 but with a higher mass resolution. Consistently with previous results, our simulations are in reasonably good agreement with BH properties of the local Universe. Furthermore, they can successfully reproduce the evolution of the bolometric AGN luminosity function for both the low- and the high-luminosity end up to z=2.5. The smaller but higher resolution run can match the observational data of the low bolometric luminosity end even up to z=4-5. We also perform a direct comparison with the observed soft and hard X-ray luminosity functions of AGN, including an empirical correction for a torus-level obscuration, and find a similarly good agreement. These results show that our simulations can self-consistently predict the observed "downsizing" trend in the AGN number density evolution, i.e. the number densities of luminous AGN peak at higher redshifts than those of faint AGN. Implications of the downsizing behaviour on active BHs, their masses and Eddington-ratios are discussed. Overall, the downsizing behaviour in the AGN number density can be attributed to a combination of the gas density evolution in the resolved vicinity of a (massive) black hole (which is depleted with evolving time mainly as a consequence of the radio-mode feedback) and to the decreasing mean relative velocities between the (low mass) black holes and the surrounding gas with decreasing redshift.
    08/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Merger trees follow the growth and merger of dark-matter haloes over cosmic history. As well as giving important insights into the growth of cosmic structure in their own right, they provide an essential backbone to semi-analytic models of galaxy formation. This paper is the first in a series to arise from the SUSSING MERGER TREES Workshop in which ten different tree-building algorithms were applied to the same set of halo catalogues and their results compared. Although many of these codes were similar in nature, all algorithms produced distinct results. Our main conclusions are that a useful merger-tree code should possess the following features: (i) the use of particle IDs to match haloes between snapshots; (ii) the ability to skip at least one, and preferably more, snapshots in order to recover subhaloes that are temporarily lost during merging; (iii) the ability to cope with (and ideally smooth out) large, temporary flucuations in halo mass. Finally, to enable different groups to communicate effectively, we defined a common terminology that we used when discussing merger trees and we encourage others to adopt the same language. We also specified a minimal output format to record the results.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Achieving a robust determination of the gas density profile in the outskirts of clusters is a crucial step for measuring their baryonic content and using them as cosmological probes. The difficulty in obtaining this measurement lies not only in the low surface brightness of the intracluster medium (ICM), but also in the inhomogeneities of the gas associated with clumps, asymmetries and accretion patterns. Using a set of hydrodynamical simulations of 62 galaxy clusters and groups we study these kinds of inhomogeneities, focusing on the ones on large scales, which, unlike clumps, are difficult to identify. For this purpose we introduce the concept of the residual clumpiness, CR, which quantifies the large-scale inhomogeneity of the ICM. After showing that this quantity can be robustly defined for relaxed systems, we characterize how it varies with radius, and with the mass and dynamical state of the halo. Most importantly, we observe that it introduces an overestimate in the determination of the density profile from the X-ray emission, which translates into a systematic overestimate of 6 (12) per cent in the measurement of Mgas at R200 for our relaxed (perturbed) cluster sample. At the same time, the increase of CR with radius introduces a ˜2 per cent systematic underestimate in the measurement of the hydrostatic-equilibrium mass (Mhe), which adds to the previous one, generating a systematic overestimate of ˜8.5 per cent in fgas in our relaxed sample. Because the residual clumpiness of the ICM is not directly observable, we study its correlation with the azimuthal scatter in the X-ray surface brightness of the halo, a quantity that is well constrained by current measurements, and in the y-parameter profiles, which will be obtained in the forthcoming Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) experiments. We find that their correlation is highly significant (rS = 0.6-0.7), allowing us to define the azimuthal scatter measured in the X-ray surface brightness profile and in the y-parameter as robust proxies of CR. After providing a function that connects the two quantities, we find that correcting the observed gas density profiles using the azimuthal scatter eliminates the bias in the measurement of Mgas for relaxed objects, which becomes 0 ± 2 per cent up to 2R200, and reduces it by a factor of 3 for perturbed ones. This method also allows us to eliminate the systematics on the measurements of Mhe and fgas, although a significant halo-to-halo scatter remains.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2013; 432(4):3030-3046. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: By combining galaxy tracers from high-resolution N-body and hydrodynamical simulations, we present a consistent picture of the behaviour of galaxy velocities in massive clusters. In haloes above ~ 10^14 Msun, the brightest satellite galaxies are slightly cooler compared to the dark matter, while fainter satellites are hotter. Within the virial radius of a cluster, the mean velocity dispersion based on the 100 brightest galaxies is a factor of 1.065 +/- 0.005 (stat) +/- 0.027 (sys) higher than that of the dark matter (corresponding to a ~10-15 per cent bias in the dynamical mass estimate) while that based on only the five brightest galaxies is 0.868 +/- 0.039 (stat) +/- 0.035 (sys). These trends are approximately independent of redshift. The velocity structure is sensitive to the modelling of galaxies in clusters, indicative of the complex interplay of tidal stripping, dynamical friction, and merging. Velocity dispersions derived from instantaneous subhalo properties are larger than those employing either peak subhalo properties or hydrodynamical galaxy tracers. The latter two methods are consistent, implying that stacked spectroscopic analysis of cluster samples should, after correction for projection, show a trend towards slightly higher velocities when fainter galaxies are included, with an unbiased measure of dark matter velocity dispersion coming from approximately 30 galaxies per cluster. We show evidence that the velocity distribution function of bright galaxies near the cluster centre has a low-velocity tail due to strong dynamical friction.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a high-resolution simulation of an idealized model to explain the origin of the two young, counterrotating, sub-parsec scale stellar disks around the supermassive black hole SgrA* at the center of the Milky Way. In our model, the collision of a single molecular cloud with a circumnuclear gas disk (similar to the one observed presently) leads to multiple streams of gas flowing toward the black hole and creating accretion disks with angular momentum depending on the ratio of cloud and circumnuclear disk material. The infalling gas creates two inclined, counterrotating sub-parsec scale accretion disks around the supermassive black hole with the first disk forming roughly 1 Myr earlier, allowing it to fragment into stars and get dispersed before the second counterrotating disk forms. Fragmentation of the second disk would lead to the two inclined, counterrotating stellar disks which are observed at the Galactic center. A similar event might be happening again right now at the Milky Way Galactic center. Our model predicts that the collision event generates spiral-like filaments of gas, feeding the Galactic center prior to disk formation with a geometry and inflow pattern that is in agreement with the structure of the so-called mini spiral that has been detected in the Galactic center.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2013; 771(2):119. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many galaxy clusters host Megaparsec-scale radio halos, generated by ultrarelativistic electrons in the magnetized intracluster medium. Correlations between the power of radio halos and the thermal properties of the hosting clusters were established in the last decade, including the connection between the presence of a halo and cluster mergers. The X-ray luminosity and redshift limited Extended GMRT Radio Halo Survey provides a rich and unique dataset for statistical studies of the halos. We uniformly analyze the radio and X-ray data for the GMRT cluster sample, and use the new Planck SZ catalog, to revisit the correlations between the power of halos and the thermal properties of galaxy clusters. We find that the radio power of halos at 1.4 GHz scales with the cluster X-ray (0.1--2.4 keV) luminosity computed within R_500 as P_1.4 L_500^2.0. Our bigger and more homogenous sample confirms that the X-ray luminous (L_500 > 5x10^44 erg/s) clusters branch into two populations --- radio halos lie on the correlation, while clusters with upper limits to radio-halo emission are well below that correlation. This bimodality remains if we excise cool cores from the X-ray luminosities. Correlating with Planck data, we find that P_1.4 scales with the cluster integrated SZ signal within R_500 as P_1.4 Y_500^2.1, in line with previous findings. However, contrary to previous studies that were limited by incompleteness and small sample size, we find that the "SZ-luminous" Y_500 > 6x10^-5 Mpc^2 clusters show a bimodal behavior similar to that in the radio-X-ray diagram. Bimodality of both correlations can be traced to clusters dynamics, with radio halos found exclusively in merging clusters. These results confirm the key role of mergers for the origin of giant radio halos, suggesting that they trigger the relativistic particle acceleration.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2013; · 6.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
953.31 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2014
    • The Astronomical Observatory of Brera
      Merate, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2013
    • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2012
    • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2004–2012
    • Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
    • INFN - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
      Frascati, Latium, Italy
  • 2011
    • University of Turku
      Turku, Province of Western Finland, Finland
  • 2010
    • Stanford University
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 2008
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 2003–2008
    • University of Padova
      Padua, Veneto, Italy
  • 2005
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2004–2005
    • University of Bologna
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy DIFA
      Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2002
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States