Volume 637, May 2020
|Number of page(s)||23|
|Published online||14 May 2020|
The chemical evolution of galaxy clusters: Dissecting the iron mass budget of the intracluster medium
INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi, 50125 Firenze, Italy
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
2 Department of Physics, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
3 Department of Physics, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
4 INAF – Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio, Via Pietro Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
5 INFN, Sezione di Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 6/2, 40127 Bologna, Italy
6 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via E. Bianchi, 46, 23807 Merate, LC, Italy
7 INAF – Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica cosmica di Milano, Italy
8 Dipartimento di Fisica e Scienze della Terra, Universitá degli Studi di Ferrara, Via Saragat 1, 44122 Ferrara, Italy
9 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Accepted: 26 March 2020
Aims. We study the chemical evolution of galaxy clusters by measuring the iron mass in the ICM after dissecting the abundance profiles into different components.
Methods. We used Chandra archival observations of 186 morphologically regular clusters in the redshift range of [0.04, 1.07]. For each cluster, we computed the azimuthally averaged iron abundance and gas density profiles. In particular, our aim is to identify a central peak in the iron distribution, which is associated with the central galaxy, and an approximately constant plateau reaching the largest observed radii, which is possibly associated with early enrichment that occurred before or shortly after achieving virialization within the cluster. We were able to firmly identify two components in the iron distribution in a significant fraction of the sample simply by relying on the fit of the iron abundance profile. From the abundance and ICM density profiles, we computed the iron mass included in the iron peak and iron plateau, and the gas mass-weighted iron abundance of the ICM out to an extraction radius of 0.4r500 and to r500 by extending the abundance profile as a constant.
Results. We find that the iron plateau shows no evolution with redshift. On the other hand, we find a marginal (< 2σ c.l.) decrease with redshift in the iron mass included in the iron peak rescaled by the gas mass. We measure that the fraction of iron peak mass is typically a few percent (∼1%) of the total iron mass within r500. Therefore, since the total iron mass budget is dominated by the plateau, we find consistently that the global gas mass-weighted iron abundance does not evolve significantly across our sample. We were also able to reproduce past claims of evolution in the global iron abundance, which turn out to be due to the use of cluster samples with different selection methods combined with the use of emission-weighted, instead of gas mass-weighted, abundance values. Finally, while the intrinsic scatter in the iron plateau mass is consistent with zero, the iron peak mass exhibits a large scatter, in line with the fact that the peak is produced after the virialization of the halo and depends on the formation history of the hosting cool core and the strength of the associated feedback processes.
Conclusions. We conclude that only a spatially resolved approach can resolve the issue of iron abundance evolution in the ICM, reconciling the contradictory results obtained in the last ten years. Evolutionary effects below z ∼ 1 are marginally measurable with present-day data, while at z > 1 the constraints are severely limited by poor knowledge of the high-z cluster population. The path towards a full and comprehensive chemical history of the ICM requires the application of high angular resolution X-ray bolometers and a dramatic increase in the number of faint, extended X-ray sources.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium / X-rays: galaxies: clusters
© ESO 2020
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