Inverse-Compton emission from clusters of galaxies: Predictions for ASTRO-H⋆
GRAPPA Institute, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Received: 27 January 2015
Accepted: 8 June 2015
The intra-cluster medium of several galaxy clusters hosts large-scale regions of diffuse synchrotron radio emission, known as radio halos and relics, which demonstrates the presence of magnetic fields and relativistic electrons in clusters. These relativistic electrons should also emit X-rays through inverse-Compton scattering off of cosmic microwave background photons. The detection of such a non-thermal X-ray component, together with the radio measurement, would permit the magnetic field to be clearly separated from the relativistic electron distribution because the inverse-Compton emission is independent of the magnetic field in the cluster. However, non-thermal X-rays have not been conclusively detected from any cluster of galaxies so far. In this paper, for the first time, we model the synchrotron and inverse-Compton emission of all clusters hosting radio halos and relics for which the spectral index can be determined. We provide constraints on the volume-average magnetic field by comparing with current X-ray measurements. We then estimate the maximum volume-average magnetic field that will allow detection of inverse-Compton hard X-rays by the ASTRO-H satellite. We find that several clusters are good targets for ASTRO-H to detect their inverse-Compton emission, in particular for what corresponds to radio relics, so we propose a list of promising targets for which ASTRO-H can test ≥ 1μG magnetic fields. We conclude that the already operating NuSTAR and the soon-to-be-launched ASTRO-H definitely have the potential of shedding light on the long-sought non-thermal hard-X-ray emission in clusters of galaxies.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / radio continuum: general / X-rays: galaxies: clusters / magnetic fields
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015