Discovery of large scale shock fronts correlated with the radio halo and radio relic in the A2163 galaxy cluster⋆
Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Department of Physics, Nara Womens University, Kitauoyanishi-machi, Nara 630-8506, Japan
Accepted: 17 September 2018
Context. Galaxy clusters form at the intersections of the filamentary large scale structure in merging events and by the accretion of matter along these filaments. Imprints of these formation processes should be visible in the intracluster medium and can arise in shock fronts, which are detectable via discontinuities in, for example, the gas temperature and density profiles. However, relatively few observational examples of prominent shocks have been detected in X-rays so far.
Aims. In this study, we investigate the X-ray properties of the intracluster gas and the radio morphology of the extraordinary cluster A2163. This cluster shows an irregular morphology in various wavelengths and has one of the most luminous and extended radio halos known. Additionally, it is one of the hottest clusters known. We aim to measure the temperature and density profiles in two azimuthal directions to search for the presence of shock fronts.
Methods. We performed a spectral analysis of data from two Suzaku observations, one in the north-east (NE) and one in the southwest (SW) direction of A2163, and used archival XMM-Newton data to remove point sources in the field of view. We deprojected the temperature and density profiles and accounted for the Suzaku point spread function. From the detected discontinuities in the density and temperature profiles, we estimated the Mach numbers and velocities of the shock fronts. To compare our findings in the X-ray regime with the radio emission, we obtained radio images of the cluster from an archival Very Large Array (VLA) observation at 20 cm.
Results. We identify three shock fronts in A2163 in our spectral X-ray study. A clear shock front lies in the NE direction at a distance of 1.4 Mpc from the center, with a Mach number of M = 1.7+0.3−0.2, estimated from the temperature discontinuity. This shock coincides with the position of a known radio relic. We identify two additional shocks in the SW direction, one with M = 1.5+0.5−0.3 at a distance of 0.7 Mpc, which is likely related to a cool core remnant, and a strong shock with M = 3.2+0.6−0.7 at a distance of 1.3 Mpc, which also closely matches the radio contours. The complex structure of A2163 as well as the different Mach numbers and shock velocities suggest a merging scenario with two unequal merging constituents, where two shock fronts emerged at an early stage of the merger and traveled outwards while an additional shock front developed in front of the merging cluster cores.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: clusters: individual: A2163 / X-rays: galaxies: clusters / radio continuum: general
The reduced Figs. 1 and 2 (FITS files) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/618/A68
© ESO 2018