Galaxy clusters are an established and powerful test-bed for theories of both galaxy evolution and cosmology. Accurate interpretation of cluster observations often requires robust identification of the location of the centre. Using a statistical sample of clusters drawn from a suite of cosmological simulations in which we have explored a range of galaxy formation models, we investigate how the location of this centre is affected by the choice of observable - stars, hot gas, or the full mass distribution as can be probed by the gravitational potential. We explore several measures of cluster centre: the minimum of the gravitational potential, which would expect to define the centre if the cluster is in dynamical equilibrium; the peak of the density; the centre of brightest cluster galaxy (BCG); and the peak and centroid of X-ray luminosity. We find that the centre of BCG correlates more strongly with the minimum of the gravitational potential than the X-ray defined centres, while active galactic nuclei feedback acts to significantly enhance the offset between the peak X-ray luminosity and minimum gravitational potential. These results highlight the importance of centre identification when interpreting clusters observations, in particular when comparing theoretical predictions and observational data.

How does our choice of observable influence our estimation of the centre of a galaxy cluster? Insights from cosmological simulations

BIFFI, VERONICA;BORGANI, STEFANO;
2016

Abstract

Galaxy clusters are an established and powerful test-bed for theories of both galaxy evolution and cosmology. Accurate interpretation of cluster observations often requires robust identification of the location of the centre. Using a statistical sample of clusters drawn from a suite of cosmological simulations in which we have explored a range of galaxy formation models, we investigate how the location of this centre is affected by the choice of observable - stars, hot gas, or the full mass distribution as can be probed by the gravitational potential. We explore several measures of cluster centre: the minimum of the gravitational potential, which would expect to define the centre if the cluster is in dynamical equilibrium; the peak of the density; the centre of brightest cluster galaxy (BCG); and the peak and centroid of X-ray luminosity. We find that the centre of BCG correlates more strongly with the minimum of the gravitational potential than the X-ray defined centres, while active galactic nuclei feedback acts to significantly enhance the offset between the peak X-ray luminosity and minimum gravitational potential. These results highlight the importance of centre identification when interpreting clusters observations, in particular when comparing theoretical predictions and observational data.
http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/456/3/2566
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
cui2015.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Digital Rights Management non definito
Dimensione 707.29 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
707.29 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2867089
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 29
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 26
social impact