A. Vikhlinin

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (231)766.14 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cores of relaxed galaxy clusters are often disturbed by AGN. Their Chandra observations revealed a wealth of structures induced by shocks, subsonic gas motions, bubbles of relativistic plasma, etc. In this paper, we determine the nature and energy content of gas fluctuations in the Perseus core by probing statistical properties of emissivity fluctuations imprinted in the soft- and hard-band X-ray images. About 80 per cent of the total variance of perturbations on ~ 8-70 kpc scales in the inner region have an isobaric nature, i.e., are consistent with slow displacements of the gas in pressure equilibrium with ambient medium. Observed variance translates to the ratio of non-thermal to thermal energy of ~13 per cent. In the region dominated by weak "ripples", about half of the total variance is also associated with isobaric perturbations on scales ~ a few tens of kpc. If these isobaric perturbations are induced by buoyantly rising bubbles, then these results suggest that most of the AGN-injected energy should first go into bubbles rather than into shocks. Using simulations of a shock propagating through the Perseus atmosphere, we found that models reproducing the observed features of a central shock have more than 50 per cent of the AGN-injected energy associated with the bubble enthalpy and only about 20 per cent is carried away with the shock. Such energy partition is consistent with the AGN-feedback model, mediated by bubbles of relativistic plasma, and supports the importance of turbulence in the balance between gas heating and radiative cooling.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016
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    ABSTRACT: We report on high-resolution JVLA and Chandra observations of the HST Frontier Cluster MACS J0717.5+3745. MACS J0717.5+3745 offers the largest contiguous magnified area of any known cluster, making it a promising target to search for lensed radio and X-ray sources. With the high-resolution 1.0-6.5 GHz JVLA imaging in A and B configuration, we detect a total of 51 compact radio sources within the area covered by the HST imaging. Within this sample we find 7 lensed sources with amplification factors larger than $2$. None of these sources are identified as multiply-lensed. Based on the radio luminosities, the majority of these sources are likely star forming galaxies with star formation rates of 10-50 M$_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$ located at $1 \lesssim z \lesssim 2$. Two of the lensed radio sources are also detected in the Chandra image of the cluster. These two sources are likely AGN, given their $2-10$ keV X-ray luminosities of $\sim 10^{43-44}$ erg s$^{-1}$. From the derived radio luminosity function, we find evidence for an increase in the number density of radio sources at $0.6<z<2.0$, compared to a $z < 0.3$ sample. Our observations indicate that deep radio imaging of lensing clusters can be used to study star forming galaxies, with star formation rates as low as $\sim10$ M$_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$, at the peak of cosmic star formation history.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Merging galaxy clusters leave long-lasting signatures on the baryonic and non-baryonic cluster constituents, including shock fronts, cold fronts, X-ray substructure, radio halos, and offsets between the dark matter and the gas components. Using observations from Chandra, the Jansky Very Large Array, the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope, and the Hubble Space Telescope, we present a multiwavelength analysis of the merging Frontier Fields cluster MACS J0416.1-2403 (z=0.396), which consists of a NE and a SW subclusters whose cores are separated on the sky by ~250 kpc. We find that the NE subcluster has a compact core and hosts an X-ray cavity, yet it is not a cool core. Approximately 450 kpc south-south west of the SW subcluster, we detect a density discontinuity that corresponds to a compression factor of ~1.5. The discontinuity was most likely caused by the interaction of the SW subcluster with a less massive structure detected in the lensing maps SW of the subcluster's center. For both the NE and the SW subclusters, the dark matter and the gas components are well-aligned, suggesting that MACS J0416.1-2403 is a pre-merging system. The cluster also hosts a radio halo, which is unusual for a pre-merging system. The halo has a 1.4 GHz power of (1.06 +/- 0.09) x 10^{24} W Hz^{-1}, which is somewhat lower than expected based on the X-ray luminosity of the cluster. We suggest that we are either witnessing the birth of a radio halo, or have discovered a rare ultra-steep spectrum halo.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
  • E. Churazov · A. Vikhlinin · R. Sunyaev
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    ABSTRACT: Scaling relations in the Λ cold dark matter cosmology predict that for a given mass the clusters formed at larger redshift are hotter, denser and therefore more luminous in X-rays than their local z ∼ 0 counterparts. This effect overturns the decrease in the observable X-ray flux so that it does not decrease at z > 1, similar to the SZ signal. Provided that scaling relations remain valid at larger redshifts, X-ray surveys will not miss massive clusters at any redshift, no matter how far they are. At the same time, the difference in scaling with mass and distance of the observable SZ and X-ray signals from galaxy clusters at redshifts z ≲ 2 offers a possibility to crudely estimate the redshift and the mass of a cluster. This might be especially useful for pre-selection of massive high-redshift clusters and planning of optical follow-up for overlapping surveys in X-ray (e.g. by SRG/eRosita) and SZ (e.g. Planck, SPT and ACT).
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    E. Churazov · A. Vikhlinin · R. Sunyaev
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    ABSTRACT: Scaling relations in the LCDM Cosmology predict that for a given mass the clusters formed at larger redshift are hotter, denser and therefore more luminous in X-rays than their local z~0 counterparts. This effect overturns the decrease in the observable X-ray flux so that it does not decrease at z > 1, but instead raises slowly, similar to the SZ signal. Provided that scaling relations remain valid at larger redshifts, X-ray surveys will not miss massive clusters at any redshift, no matter how far they are. At the same time, the difference in scaling with mass and distance of the observable SZ and X-ray signals from galaxy clusters at redshifts z<2 offers a possibility to crudely estimate the redshift and the mass of a cluster. This might be especially useful for preselection of massive high-redshift clusters and planning of optical follow-up for overlapping surveys in X-ray (e.g., by SRG/eRosita) and SZ (e.g. Planck, SPT, ACT and CoRe+).
    Preview · Article · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: X-ray surface brightness fluctuations in the core of the Perseus Cluster are analysed, using deep observations with the Chandra observatory. The amplitude of gas density fluctuations on different scales is measured in a set of radial annuli. It varies from 7 to 12 per cent on scales of ∼10–30 kpc within radii of 30–220 kpc from the cluster centre. Using a statistical linear relation between the observed amplitude of density fluctuations and predicted velocity, the characteristic velocity of gas motions on each scale is calculated. The typical amplitudes of the velocity outside the central 30 kpc region are 90–140 km s−1 on ∼20–30 kpc scales and 70–100 km s−1 on smaller scales ∼7–10 kpc. The velocity power spectrum (PS) is consistent with cascade of turbulence and its slope is in a broad agreement with the slope for canonical Kolmogorov turbulence. The gas clumping factor estimated from the PS of the density fluctuations is lower than 7–8 per cent for radii ∼30–220 kpc from the centre, leading to a density bias of less than 3–4 per cent in the cluster core. Uncertainties of the analysis are examined and discussed. Future measurements of the gas velocities with the Astro-H, Athena and Smart-X observatories will directly measure the gas density–velocity perturbation relation and further reduce systematic uncertainties in this analysis.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Clusters of galaxies are expected to gravitationally lens the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and thereby generate a distinct signal in the CMB on arcminute scales. Measurements of this effect can be used to constrain the masses of galaxy clusters using CMB data alone. Here we present a measurement of lensing of the CMB by galaxy clusters using data from the South Pole Telescope (SPT). We develop a maximum likelihood approach to extract the CMB cluster lensing signal and validate the method on mock data. We quantify the effects of several potential sources of systematic error and find that they generally act to reduce the best-fit cluster mass. The net magnitude of the systematic shift to lower cluster mass is approximately the size of our statistical error bar, and we do not attempt to correct for it. We apply the maximum likelihood technique to 513 clusters selected via their SZ signatures in SPT data, and rule out the null hypothesis of no lensing at 3.0$\sigma$. The lensing-derived mass estimate for the full cluster sample is consistent with that inferred from the SZ flux: $M_{200,\rm{lens}} = 0.76^{+0.37}_{-0.36} M_{200,\rm{SZ}}$ (68% C.L., statistical error only).
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The hot, X-ray-emitting intracluster medium (ICM) is the dominant baryonic constituent of clusters of galaxies. In the cores of many clusters, radiative energy losses from the ICM occur on timescales significantly shorter than the age of the system. Unchecked, this cooling would lead to massive accumulations of cold gas and vigorous star formation, in contradiction to observations. Various sources of energy capable of compensating these cooling losses have been proposed, the most promising being heating by the supermassive black holes in the central galaxies through inflation of bubbles of relativistic plasma. Regardless of the original source of energy, the question of how this energy is transferred to the ICM has remained open. Here we present a plausible solution to this question based on deep Chandra X-ray observatory data and a new data-analysis method that enables us to evaluate directly the ICM heating rate due to the dissipation of turbulence. We find that turbulent heating is sufficient to offset radiative cooling and indeed appears to balance it locally at each radius - it might therefore be the key element in resolving the gas cooling problem in cluster cores and, more universally, in atmospheres of X-ray gas-rich systems.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: X-ray cavities are key tracers of mechanical (or radio mode) heating arising from the active galactic nuclei (AGN) in brightest cluster galaxies. We report on a survey for X-ray cavities in 83 massive, high-redshift (0.4<z<1.2) clusters of galaxies selected by their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich signature in the South Pole Telescope data. Based on Chandra X-ray images, we find a total of 6 clusters having symmetric pairs of surface brightness depressions consistent with the picture of radio jets inflating X-ray cavities in the intracluster medium. The majority of these detections are of relatively low significance and require deeper follow-up data in order to be confirmed. Further, due to the limitations of Chandra at high redshift, this search misses small (<10 kpc), unresolved X-ray cavities at high (z>0.5) redshift. Despite these limitations, our results suggest that the power generated by AGN feedback in brightest cluster galaxies has remained unchanged for over half of the age of the Universe (>7 Gyrs at z=0.8). On average, the detected X-ray cavities have powers of 0.8-5*10^45 erg/s, enthalpies of 3-6*10^59 erg, and radii of 17 kpc. Integrating over 7 Gyrs, we find that the supermassive black holes in the brightest cluster galaxies may have accreted 10^8 to several 10^9M_sun of material to power these outflows. This level of accretion indicates that significant supermassive black hole growth may occur not only at early times, in the quasar era, but at late times as well. We also find that X-ray cavities at high-redshift may inject an excess heat of 0.1-1.0 keV per particle into the hot intracluster medium above and beyond the energy needed to offset cooling. This value is similar to the energy needed to preheat clusters, break self-similarity, and explain the excess entropy in hot atmospheres.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present a catalog of galaxy clusters selected via their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect signature from 2500 deg$^2$ of South Pole Telescope (SPT) data. This work represents the complete sample of clusters detected at high significance in the 2500-square-degree SPT-SZ survey, which was completed in 2011. A total of 677 (409) cluster candidates are identified above a signal-to-noise threshold of $\xi$ =4.5 (5.0). Ground- and space-based optical and near-infrared (NIR) imaging confirms overdensities of similarly colored galaxies in the direction of 516 (or 76%) of the $\xi$>4.5 candidates and 387 (or 95%) of the $\xi$>5 candidates; the measured purity is consistent with expectations from simulations. Of these confirmed clusters, 415 were first identified in SPT data, including 251 new discoveries reported in this work. We estimate photometric redshifts for all candidates with identified optical and/or NIR counterparts; we additionally report redshifts derived from spectroscopic observations for 141 of these systems. The mass threshold of the catalog is roughly independent of redshift above $z$~0.25 leading to a sample of massive clusters that extends to high redshift. The median mass of the sample is $M_{\scriptsize 500c}(\rho_\mathrm{crit})$ ~ 3.5 x 10$^{14} M_\odot h^{-1}$, the median redshift is $z_{med}$ =0.55, and the highest-redshift systems are at $z$>1.4. The combination of large redshift extent, clean selection, and high typical mass makes this cluster sample of particular interest for cosmological analyses and studies of cluster formation and evolution.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
  • C. Avestruz · E.T. Lau · D. Nagai · A. Vikhlinin
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    ABSTRACT: 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, which are least affected by non-gravitational gas physics, as well as to measurements probing gas properties in filamentary structures. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014
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    ABSTRACT: (Abridged) We use 95, 150, and 220GHz observations from the SPT to examine the SZE signatures of a sample of 46 X-ray selected groups and clusters drawn from ~6 deg^2 of the XMM-BCS. These systems extend to redshift z=1.02, have characteristic masses ~3x lower than clusters detected directly in the SPT data and probe the SZE signal to the lowest X-ray luminosities (>10^42 erg s^-1) yet. We develop an analysis tool that combines the SZE information for the full ensemble of X-ray-selected clusters. Using X-ray luminosity as a mass proxy, we extract selection-bias corrected constraints on the SZE significance- and Y_500-mass relations. The SZE significance- mass relation is in good agreement with an extrapolation of the relation obtained from high mass clusters. However, the fit to the Y_500-mass relation at low masses, while in good agreement with the extrapolation from high mass SPT clusters, is in tension at 2.8 sigma with the constraints from the Planck sample. We examine the tension with the Planck relation, discussing sample differences and biases that could contribute. We also present an analysis of the radio galaxy point source population in this ensemble of X-ray selected systems. We find 18 of our systems have 843 MHz SUMSS sources within 2 arcmin of the X-ray centre, and three of these are also detected at significance >4 by SPT. Of these three, two are associated with the group brightest cluster galaxies, and the third is likely an unassociated quasar candidate. We examine the impact of these point sources on our SZE scaling relation analyses and find no evidence of biases. We also examine the impact of dusty galaxies using constraints from the 220 GHz data. The stacked sample provides 2.8$\sigma$ significant evidence of dusty galaxy flux, which would correspond to an average underestimate of the SPT Y_500 signal that is (17+-9) per cent in this sample of low mass systems.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present a velocity dispersion-based mass calibration of the South Pole Telescope Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect survey (SPT-SZ) galaxy cluster sample. Using a homogeneously selected sample of 100 cluster candidates from 720 deg2 of the survey along with 63 velocity dispersion ($\sigma_v$) and 16 X-ray Yx measurements of sample clusters, we simultaneously calibrate the mass-observable relation and constrain cosmological parameters. The calibrations using $\sigma_v$ and Yx are consistent at the $0.6\sigma$ level, with the $\sigma_v$ calibration preferring ~16% higher masses. We use the full cluster dataset to measure $\sigma_8(\Omega_ m/0.27)^{0.3}=0.809\pm0.036$. The SPT cluster abundance is lower than preferred by either the WMAP9 or Planck+WMAP9 polarization (WP) data, but assuming the sum of the neutrino masses is $\sum m_\nu=0.06$ eV, we find the datasets to be consistent at the 1.0$\sigma$ level for WMAP9 and 1.5$\sigma$ for Planck+WP. Allowing for larger $\sum m_\nu$ further reconciles the results. When we combine the cluster and Planck+WP datasets with BAO and SNIa, the preferred cluster masses are $1.9\sigma$ higher than the Yx calibration and $0.8\sigma$ higher than the $\sigma_v$ calibration. Given the scale of these shifts (~44% and ~23% in mass, respectively), we execute a goodness of fit test; it reveals no tension, indicating that the best-fit model provides an adequate description of the data. Using the multi-probe dataset, we measure $\Omega_ m=0.299\pm0.009$ and $\sigma_8=0.829\pm0.011$. Within a $\nu$CDM model we find $\sum m_\nu = 0.148\pm0.081$ eV. We present a consistency test of the cosmic growth rate. Allowing both the growth index $\gamma$ and the dark energy equation of state parameter $w$ to vary, we find $\gamma=0.73\pm0.28$ and $w=-1.007\pm0.065$, demonstrating that the expansion and the growth histories are consistent with a LCDM model ($\gamma=0.55; \,w=-1$).
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the design of a new polarization sensitive receiver, SPT-3G, for the 10-meter South Pole Telescope (SPT). The SPT-3G receiver will deliver a factor of ~20 improvement in mapping speed over the current receiver, SPTpol. The sensitivity of the SPT-3G receiver will enable the advance from statistical detection of B-mode polarization anisotropy power to high signal-to-noise measurements of the individual modes, i.e., maps. This will lead to precise (~0.06 eV) constraints on the sum of neutrino masses with the potential to directly address the neutrino mass hierarchy. It will allow a separation of the lensing and inflationary B-mode power spectra, improving constraints on the amplitude and shape of the primordial signal, either through SPT-3G data alone or in combination with BICEP-2/KECK, which is observing the same area of sky. The measurement of small-scale temperature anisotropy will provide new constraints on the epoch of reionization. Additional science from the SPT-3G survey will be significantly enhanced by the synergy with the ongoing optical Dark Energy Survey (DES), including: a 1% constraint on the bias of optical tracers of large-scale structure, a measurement of the differential Doppler signal from pairs of galaxy clusters that will test General Relativity on ~200 Mpc scales, and improved cosmological constraints from the abundance of clusters of galaxies.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
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    ABSTRACT: (Abridged) We present the results of an X-ray analysis of 80 galaxy clusters selected in the 2500 deg^2 South Pole Telescope survey and observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We divide the full sample into subsamples of ~20 clusters based on redshift and central density, performing an X-ray fit to all clusters in a subsample simultaneously, assuming self-similarity of the temperature profile. This approach allows us to constrain the shape of the temperature profile over 0<r<1.5R500, which would be impossible on a per-cluster basis, since the observations of individual clusters have, on average, 2000 X-ray counts. The results presented here represent the first constraints on the evolution of the average temperature profile from z=0 to z=1.2. We find that high-z (0.6<z<1.2) clusters are slightly (~40%) cooler both in the inner (r<0.1R500) and outer (r>R500) regions than their low-z (0.3<z<0.6) counterparts. Combining the average temperature profile with measured gas density profiles from our earlier work, we infer the average pressure and entropy profiles for each subsample. Overall, our observed pressure profiles agree well with earlier lower-redshift measurements, suggesting minimal redshift evolution in the pressure profile outside of the core. We find no measurable redshift evolution in the entropy profile at r<0.7R500. We observe a slight flattening of the entropy profile at r>R500 in our high-z subsample. This flattening is consistent with a temperature bias due to the enhanced (~3x) rate at which group-mass (~2 keV) halos, which would go undetected at our survey depth, are accreting onto the cluster at z~1. This work demonstrates a powerful method for inferring spatially-resolved cluster properties in the case where individual cluster signal-to-noise is low, but the number of observed clusters is high.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Two adjustable X-ray optics approaches are being developed for thin grazing incidence optics for astronomy. The first approach employs thin film piezoelectric material sputter deposited as a continuous layer on the back of thin, lightweight Wolter-I mirror segments. The piezoelectric material is used to correct mirror figure errors from fabrication, mounting/alignment, and any ground to orbit changes. The goal of this technology is to produce Wolter mirror segment pairs corrected to 0.5 arc sec image resolution. With the combination of high angular resolution and lightweight, this mirror technology is suitable for the Square Meter Arc Second Resolution Telescope for X-rays (SMART-X) mission concept.. The second approach makes use of electrostrictive adjusters and full shell nickel/cobalt electroplated replication mirrors. An array of radial adjusters is used to deform the full shells to correct the lowest order axial and azimuthal errors, improving imaging performance from the 10 - 15 arc sec level to ~ 5 arc sec. We report on recent developments in both technologies. In particular, we discuss the use of in-situ strain gauges on the thin piezo film mirrors for use as feedback on piezoelectric adjuster functionality, including their use for on-orbit figure correction. We also report on the first tests of full shell nickel/cobalt mirror correction with radial adjusters.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a method for measuring the integrated Comptonization (YSZ) of clusters of galaxies from measurements of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect in multiple frequency bands and use this method to characterize a sample of galaxy clusters detected in South Pole Telescope (SPT) data. We test this method on simulated cluster observations and verify that it can accurately recover cluster parameters with negligible bias. In realistic simulations of an SPT-like survey, with realizations of cosmic microwave background anisotropy, point sources, and atmosphere and instrumental noise at typical SPT-SZ survey levels, we find that YSZ is most accurately determined in an aperture comparable to the SPT beam size. We demonstrate the utility of this method to measure YSZ and to constrain mass scaling relations using X-ray mass estimates for a sample of 18 galaxy clusters from the SPT-SZ survey. Measuring YSZ within a 0.75' radius aperture, we find an intrinsic log-normal scatter of 21+/-11% in YSZ at a fixed mass. Measuring YSZ within a 0.3 Mpc projected radius (equivalent to 0.75' at the survey median redshift z = 0.6), we find a scatter of 26+/-9%. Prior to this study, the SPT observable found to have the lowest scatter with mass was cluster detection significance. We demonstrate, from both simulations and SPT observed clusters, that YSZ measured within an aperture comparable to the SPT beam size is equivalent, in terms of scatter with cluster mass, to SPT cluster detection significance.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal
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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 $w_\mathrm{eff} = -0.987^{+0.016}_{-0.017}$.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present optical spectroscopy of galaxies in clusters detected through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect with the South Pole Telescope (SPT). We report our own measurements of $61$ spectroscopic cluster redshifts, and $48$ velocity dispersions each calculated with more than $15$ member galaxies. This catalog also includes $19$ dispersions of SPT-observed clusters previously reported in the literature. The majority of the clusters in this paper are SPT-discovered; of these, most have been previously reported in other SPT cluster catalogs, and five are reported here as SPT discoveries for the first time. By performing a resampling analysis of galaxy velocities, we find that unbiased velocity dispersions can be obtained from a relatively small number of member galaxies ($\lesssim 30$), but with increased systematic scatter. We use this analysis to determine statistical confidence intervals that include the effect of membership selection. We fit scaling relations between the observed cluster velocity dispersions and mass estimates from SZ and X-ray observables. In both cases, the results are consistent with the scaling relation between velocity dispersion and mass expected from dark-matter simulations. We measure a $\sim$30% log-normal scatter in dispersion at fixed mass, and a $\sim$10% offset in the normalization of the dispersion-mass relation when compared to the expectation from simulations, which is within the expected level of systematic uncertainty.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present a novel quantitative scheme of cluster classification based on the morphological properties that are manifested in X-ray images. We use a conventional radial surface brightness concentration parameter (c SB) as defined previously by others and a new asymmetry parameter, which we define in this paper. Our asymmetry parameter, which we refer to as photon asymmetry (A phot), was developed as a robust substructure statistic for cluster observations with only a few thousand counts. To demonstrate that photon asymmetry exhibits better stability than currently popular power ratios and centroid shifts, we artificially degrade the X-ray image quality by (1) adding extra background counts, (2) eliminating a fraction of the counts, (3) increasing the width of the smoothing kernel, and (4) simulating cluster observations at higher redshift. The asymmetry statistic presented here has a smaller statistical uncertainty than competing substructure parameters, allowing for low levels of substructure to be measured with confidence. A phot is less sensitive to the total number of counts than competing substructure statistics, making it an ideal candidate for quantifying substructure in samples of distant clusters covering a wide range of observational signal-to-noise ratios. Additionally, we show that the asymmetry-concentration classification separates relaxed, cool-core clusters from morphologically disturbed mergers, in agreement with by-eye classifications. Our algorithms, freely available as Python scripts (https://github.com/ndaniyar/aphot), are completely automatic and can be used to rapidly classify galaxy cluster morphology for large numbers of clusters without human intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal

Publication Stats

8k Citations
766.14 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1996-2015
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2013
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2011-2013
    • University of Chicago
      • • Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
      • • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2009
    • University of Wisconsin–Madison
      Madison, Wisconsin, United States
  • 1994-2009
    • Space Research Institute
      Moskva, Moscow, Russia
  • 2004
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Astronomy
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 1994-1997
    • Russian Academy of Sciences
      • Space Research Institute
      Moskva, Moscow, Russia