Spiral-like structure at the centre of nearby clusters of galaxies
Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas, Departamento de Astronomia, Rua do Matão 1226, Cidade Universitária,
05508-090, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Accepted: 17 November 2009
Context. X-ray data analysis have found that fairly complex structures at cluster centres are more common than expected. Many of these structures have similar morphologies, which exhibit spiral-like substructure.
Aims. It is not yet well known how these structures are formed or maintained. Understanding the origin of these spiral-like features at the centre of some clusters is the major motivation behind this work.
Methods. We analyse deep Chandra observations of 15 nearby galaxy clusters (0.01 < z < 0.06), and use X-ray temperature and substructure maps to detect small features at the cores of the clusters.
Results. We detect spiral-like features at the centre of 7 clusters: A85, A426, A496, Hydra A cluster, Centaurus, Ophiuchus, and A4059. These patterns are similar to those found in numerical hydrodynamic simulations of cluster mergers with non-zero impact parameter. In some clusters of our sample, a strong radio source also occupies the inner region of the cluster, which indicates a possible connection between the two. Our investigation implies that these spiral-like structures may be caused by off-axis minor mergers. Since these features occur in regions of high density, they may confine radio emission from the central galaxy producing, in some cases, unusual radio morphology.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: intergalactic medium / X-rays: galaxies: clusters / X-rays: general
© ESO, 2010