Volume 371, Number 1, May III 2001
|Page(s)||19 - 24|
|Published online||15 May 2001|
New light on the baryon fraction in galaxy clusters
Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, LAT, CNRS, 14 Av. Édouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
2 Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg, ULP, CNRS, 11 rue de l'Université, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Corresponding author: R. Sadat, email@example.com
Accepted: 7 March 2001
The baryon fraction in clusters, combined with constr aints from primordial nucleosynthesis is currently used to provide a robust upper limit on the cosmological density parameter . Current analyses lead to gas fractions at virial radii which are typically of the order of 0.20, favoring a low density universe. In this work, we examine critically this issue through the analysis of the baryon distribution in clusters. We find that the currently derived gas fraction profile increases regularly from the inner part to the outer part, up to the virial radius, and beyond. Such a shape contrasts with what is expected from numerical hydro-dynamical simulations, in which the gas fraction is more or less constant in the outer region, reaching a plateau when the contrast density falls off below 104. We argue that such a difference is hardly explained by reheating effects, while taking into account various factors entering into the determination of clusters gas fraction may erase such a difference. Indeed, using recent estimates on gas content in the outer part of clusters (Vikhlinin et al. [CITE]) and applying the correction factor due to the effect of gas clumping, we find that the gas fraction shape over the range is roughly consistent with hydro-dynamical simulations for a universal gas fraction in the range 8-11% (for ), the mass estimators being calibrated from numerical simulations. In contrast, values of the order of 20% do not give acceptable fit to the data on any scale. We conclude that high values of cannot be ruled out on the basis of the baryon fraction argument.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / cosmology: miscellaneous
© ESO, 2001
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