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2021MNRAS.503.2791S - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 503, 2791-2803 (2021/May-2)

The probability distribution of 3D shapes of galaxy clusters from 2D X-ray images.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present a new method to determine the probability distribution of the 3D shapes of galaxy clusters from the 2D images using stereology. In contrast to the conventional approach of combining different data sets (such as X-rays, Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect, and lensing) to fit a 3D model of a galaxy cluster for each cluster, our method requires only a single data set, such as X-ray observations or Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect observations, consisting of sufficiently large number of clusters. Instead of reconstructing the 3D shape of an individual object, we recover the probability distribution function (PDF) of the 3D shapes of the observed galaxy clusters. The shape PDF is the relevant statistical quantity, which can be compared with the theory and used to test the cosmological models. We apply this method to publicly available Chandra X-ray data of 89 well-resolved galaxy clusters. Assuming ellipsoidal shapes, we find that our sample of galaxy clusters is a mixture of prolate and oblate shapes, with a preference for oblateness with the most probable ratio of principle axes 1.4 : 1.3 : 1. The ellipsoidal assumption is not essential to our approach and our method is directly applicable to non-ellipsoidal shapes. Our method is insensitive to the radial density and temperature profiles of the cluster. Our method is sensitive to the changes in shape of the X-ray emitting gas from inner to outer regions and we find evidence for variation in the 3D shape of the X-ray emitting gas with distance from the centre.

Abstract Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society

Journal keyword(s): methods: data analysis - galaxies: clusters: general - cosmology: observations - dark matter - X-rays: galaxies: clusters

Simbad objects: 91

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