Journal Article

Are fossil groups a challenge of the cold dark matter paradigm?

Stefano Zibetti, Daniele Pierini and Gabriel W. Pratt

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 392, issue 2, pages 525-536
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14098.x
Are fossil groups a challenge of the cold dark matter paradigm?

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We study six groups and clusters of galaxies suggested in the literature to be ‘fossil’ systems (i.e. to have luminous diffuse X-ray emission and a magnitude gap of at least 2 mag R between the first and the second ranked member within half of the virial radius), each having good quality X-ray data and Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectroscopic or photometric coverage out to the virial radius. The poor cluster AWM 4 is clearly established as a fossil system, and we confirm the fossil nature of four other systems (RX J1331.5+1108, RX J1340.6+4018, RX J1256.0+2556 and RX J1416.4+2315), while the cluster RX J1552.2+2013 is disqualified as fossil system. For all systems, we present the luminosity functions within 0.5 and 1 virial radius that are consistent, within the uncertainties, with the universal luminosity function of clusters. For the five bona fide fossil systems, having a mass range 2 × 1013–3 × 1014 M, we compute accurate cumulative substructure distribution functions (CSDFs) and compare them with the CSDFs of observed and simulated groups/clusters available in the literature. We demonstrate that the CSDFs of fossil systems are consistent with those of normal observed clusters and do not lack any substructure with respect to simulated galaxy systems in the cosmological Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) framework. In particular, this holds for the archetype fossil group RX J1340.6+4018 as well, contrary to earlier claims.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: general; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: formation; galaxies: luminosity function, mass function; cosmology: observations

Journal Article.  9252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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