ROSAT observations of the soft X-ray background and of the cluster soft excess emission in the Hercules supercluster
NASA National Space Science Technology Center, Huntsville, AL, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Department of Physics, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL, USA e-mail: email@example.com
3 SRON, Utrecht, The Netherlands e-mail: J.S.Kaastra@sron.nl
Accepted: 28 July 2005
Recent observations with the XMM-Newton satellite confirmed the existence of the soft excess phenomenon in galaxy clusters, earlier discovered in several EUVE, ROSAT and BeppoSAX observations. Among the clusters for which XMM has reported detection of soft excess emission are MKW03s and A2052, two clusters in the Hercules concentration. The Hercules supercluster lies along the southern extension of the North Polar Spur, a region of bright soft X-ray emission clearly visible in ROSAT All-Sky Survey images. We analyze 11 pointed ROSAT PSPC observations toward 3 clusters in the Hercules concentration, MKW03s, A2052 and A2063, and 8 neighboring fields in order to investigate the soft X-ray emission in that region of the sky. We find that the soft X-ray emission varies by a factor of few on scales of few degrees, rendering the background subtraction a complex task. If the North Polar Spur emission is of local origin, we find that only A2052 and A2063 have evidence of cluster soft excess emission, and that the OVII emission lines detected in XMM observations of A2052 and MKW03s are not associated with the cluster. If part or all of the North Polar Spur soft X-ray enhancement is of extragalactic nature, the three clusters feature strong soft excess emission, and the OVII emission lines observed by XMM are genuinely associated with the clusters. We interpret the soft excess emission with the presence of warm gas, either intermixed with the hot intra-cluster medium or in filamentary structures located around the clusters, and estimate that the warm gas is approximately as massive as the hot intra-cluster medium.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: individual: MKW03s, A2052, A2063 / X-rays: galaxies: clusters
© ESO, 2005