Journal Article

A statistically selected <i>Chandra</i> sample of 20 galaxy clusters – II. Gas properties and cool core/non-cool core bimodality

Alastair J. R. Sanderson, Ewan O'Sullivan and Trevor J. Ponman

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 395, issue 2, pages 764-776
Published in print May 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
A statistically selected Chandra sample of 20 galaxy clusters – II. Gas properties and cool core/non-cool core bimodality

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We investigate the thermodynamic and chemical structure of the intracluster medium (ICM) across a statistical sample of 20 galaxy clusters analysed with the Chandra X-ray satellite. In particular, we focus on the scaling properties of the gas density, metallicity and entropy and the comparison between clusters with and without cool cores (CCs). We find marked differences between the two categories except for the gas metallicity, which declines strongly with radius for all clusters (Zr−0.31), outside ∼0.02r500. The scaling of gas entropy is non-self-similar and we find clear evidence of bimodality in the distribution of logarithmic slopes of the entropy profiles. With only one exception, the steeper sloped entropy profiles are found in CC clusters whereas the flatter slope population are all non-CC clusters. We explore the role of thermal conduction in stabilizing the ICM and conclude that this mechanism alone is sufficient to balance cooling in non-CC clusters. However, CC clusters appear to form a distinct population in which heating from feedback is required in addition to conduction. Under the assumption that non-CC clusters are thermally stabilized by conduction alone, we find the distribution of Spitzer conduction suppression factors, fc, to be lognormal, with a log (base 10) mean of −1.50 ± 0.03 (i.e. fc= 0.032) and log standard deviation 0.39 ± 0.02.

Keywords: conduction; galaxies: clusters: general; cooling flows; X-rays: galaxies: clusters

Journal Article.  10443 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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