Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 513, A37-37 (2010/4-1)
What is a cool-core cluster? a detailed analysis of the cores of the X-ray flux-limited HIFLUGCS cluster sample.
HUDSON D.S., MITTAL R., REIPRICH T.H., NULSEN P.E.J., ANDERNACH H. and SARAZIN C.L.
Abstract (from CDS):
We use the largest complete sample of 64 galaxy clusters (HIghest X-ray FLUx Galaxy Cluster Sample) with available high-quality X-ray data from Chandra, and apply 16 cool-core diagnostics to them, some of them new. In order to identify the best parameter for characterizing cool-core clusters and quantify its relation to other parameters, we mainly use very high spatial resolution profiles of central gas density and temperature, and quantities derived from them. We also correlate optical properties of brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) with X-ray properties. To segregate cool core and non-cool-core clusters, we find that central cooling time, tcool, is the best parameter for low redshift clusters with high quality data, and that cuspiness is the best parameter for high redshift clusters. 72% of clusters in our sample have a cool core (tcool<7.7h71–1/2Gyr) and 44% have strong cool cores (tcool<1.0h71–1/2Gyr). We find strong cool-core clusters are characterized as having low central entropy and a systematic central temperature drop. Weak cool-core clusters have enhanced central entropies and temperature profiles that are flat or decrease slightly towards the center. Non-cool-core clusters have high central entropies. For the first time we show quantitatively that the discrepancy in classical and spectroscopic mass deposition rates can not be explained with a recent formation of the cool cores, demonstrating the need for a heating mechanism to explain the cooling flow problem. We find that strong cool-core clusters have a distribution of central temperature drops, centered on 0.4Tvir. However, the radius at which the temperature begins to drop varies. This lack of a universal inner temperature profile probably reflects the complex physics in cluster cores not directly related to the cluster as a whole. Our results suggest that the central temperature does not correlate with the mass of the BCGs and weakly correlates with the expected radiative cooling only for strong cool-core clusters. Since 88% of the clusters in our sample have a BCG within a projected distance of 50h71–1kpc from the X-ray peak, we argue that it is easier to heat the gas (e.g. with mergers or non-gravitational processes) than to separate the dense core from the brightest cluster galaxy. Diffuse, Mpc-scale radio emission, believed to be associated with major mergers, has not been unambiguously detected in any of the strong cool-core clusters in our sample. Of the weak cool-core clusters and non-cool-core clusters, most of the clusters (seven out of eight) that have diffuse, Mpc-scale radio emission have a large (>50h71–1kpc) projected separation between their BCG and X-ray peak. In contrast, only two of the 56 clusters with a small separation between the BCG and X-ray peak (<50h71–1kpc) show large-scale radio emission. Based on this result, we argue that a large projected separation between the BCG and the X-ray peak is a good indicator of a major merger. The properties of weak cool-core clusters as an intermediate class of objects are discussed. Finally we describe individual properties of all 64 clusters in the sample.
intergalactic medium - galaxies: clusters: general
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