X-ray Spectroscopy of Galaxy Clusters - Astrophysics > Cosmology and Nongalactic AstrophysicsReport as inadecuate

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Abstract: Galaxy clusters, the largest clearly defined objects in our Universe, areideal laboratories to study in detail the cosmic evolution of the intergalacticintracluster medium ICM and the cluster galaxy population. For the ICM, whichis heated to X-ray radiating temperatures, X-ray spectroscopy is the mostimportant tool to obtain insight into the structure and astrophysics of galaxyclusters. In this review we recall the basic principles of the interpretationof X-ray spectra from a hot, tenuous plasma and we illustrate the wide range ofscientific applications of X-ray spectroscopy. The determination of galaxycluster masses, important for cosmology, rest crucially on a precisespectroscopic ICM temperature determination. The study of the thermal structureof the ICM provides a very interesting fossil record of the energy releaseduring galaxy formation and evolution. The temperature and pressuredistribution of the ICM gives us important insight into the process of galaxycluster merging and the dissipation of the merger energy in form of turbulentmotion. Cooling cores in the centers are interesting laboratories toinvestigate the interplay between gas cooling, star- and black hole formationand energy feedback, which is diagnosed by means of X-ray spectroscopy. Theelement abundances deduced from X-ray spectra of the ICM provide a cosmichistory record of the contribution of different supernovae to thenucleosynthesis of heavy elements and their spatial distribution partlyreflects important transport processes in the ICM. Some discussion of plasmadiagnostics for conditions out of thermal equilibrium and an outlook on thefuture prospects of X-ray spectroscopic cluster studies complete our review.

Author: Hans Boehringer, Norbert Werner

Source: https://arxiv.org/

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