Unveiling the composition of radio plasma bubbles in galaxy clusters with the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect
Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str.1, PO Box 1317, 85741 Garching, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, PO Box 3818, Charlottesville, VA 22903-0818, USA
Accepted: 23 August 2004
The Chandra X-ray Observatory is finding a large number of cavities in the X-ray emitting intra-cluster medium which often coincide with the lobes of the central radio galaxy. We propose high-resolution Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) observations to infer the still unknown dynamically dominant component of the radio plasma bubbles. This work calculates the thermal and relativistic SZ emission of different compositions of these plasma bubbles while simultaneously allowing for the cluster's kinetic SZ effect. As examples, we present simulations of an Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) observation and of a Green Bank Telescope (GBT) observation of the cores of the Perseus cluster and Abell 2052. We predict a 5σ detection of the southern radio bubble of Perseus in a few hours with the GBT and ALMA while assuming a relativistic electron population within the bubble. In Abell 2052, a similar detection would require a few tens of hours with either telescope, the longer exposures mainly being the result of the higher redshift and the lower central temperature of this cluster. Future high-sensitivity multi-frequency SZ observations will be able to infer the energy spectrum of the dynamically dominant electron population in order to measure its temperature or spectral characteristics. This knowledge can yield indirect indications for an underlying radio jet model.
Key words: cosmology: cosmic microwave background / galaxies: cluster: general / galaxies: cluster: individual: Perseus (A426) / galaxies: cluster: individual: A2052 / galaxies: cooling flows / galaxies: intergalactic medium
© ESO, 2005