Volume 527, March 2011
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||20 January 2011|
A2163: Merger events in the hottest Abell galaxy cluster
II. Subcluster accretion with galaxy-gas separation
Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità degli Studi di Roma “Tor
via della Ricerca Scientifica 1,
2 Laboratoire AIM, IRFU/Service d’Astrophysique – CEA/DSM – CNRS – Université Paris Diderot, Orme des Merisiers, Bât. 709, CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
3 Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, UMR 6202 CASSIOPEE, BP 4229, 06304 Nice Cedex 4, France
4 INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Accepted: 22 September 2010
Located at z = 0.203, A2163 is a rich galaxy cluster with an intra-cluster medium (ICM) that exhibits extraordinary properties, including an exceptionally high X-ray luminosity, average temperature, and a powerful and extended radio halo. The irregular and complex morphology of its gas and galaxy structure suggests that this cluster has recently undergone major merger events that involve two or more cluster components. In this paper, we study the gas structure and dynamics by means of spectral-imaging analysis of X-ray data obtained from XMM-Newton and Chandra observations. From the evidence of a cold front, we infer the westward motion of a cool core across the E-W elongated atmosphere of the main cluster A2163-A. Located close to a galaxy over-density, this gas “bullet” appears to have been spatially separated from its galaxy (and presumably dark matter component) as a result of high-velocity accretion. From gas brightness and temperature profile analysis performed in two opposite regions of the main cluster, we show that the ICM has been adiabatically compressed behind the crossing “bullet” possibly because of shock heating, leading to a strong departure of the ICM from hydrostatic equilibrium in this region. Assuming that the mass estimated from the YX proxy best indicates the overall mass of the system and that the western cluster sector is in approximate hydrostatic equilibrium before subcluster accretion, we infer a merger scenario between two subunits of mass ratio 1:4, leading to a present total system mass of M500 ≃ 1.9 × 1015 M⊙. Additional analysis of the spatially-separated northern subcluster A2163-B does not show any evidence of strong interaction with the main cluster A2163-A, leading us to infer that the physical distance separating the northern subcluster and the main component is longer than the projected separation of these components. The exceptional properties of A2163 present various similarities with those of 1E0657-56, the so-called “bullet-cluster”. These similarities are likely to be related to a comparable merger scenario.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / intergalactic medium / X-rays: galaxies: clusters
© ESO, 2011
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