Journal Article

The Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect in <i>Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe</i> data

J. M. Diego and B. Partridge

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 2, pages 1179-1194
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15949.x
The Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect in Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe data

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Using Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) five year data, we look for the average Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect (SZE) signal from clusters of galaxies by stacking the regions around hundreds of known X-ray clusters. We detect the average SZE at a very high significance level. The average cluster signal is spatially resolved in the W band. This mean signal is compared with the expected signal from the same clusters calculated on the basis of archival ROSAT data. From the comparison, we conclude that the observed SZE seems to be less than the expected signal derived from X-ray measurements when a standard β-model is assumed for the gas distribution. This conclusion is model dependent. Our predictions depend mostly on the assumptions made about the core radius of clusters and the slope of the gas density profile. Models with steeper profiles are able to simultaneously fit both X-ray and WMAP data better than a β-model. However, the agreement is not perfect and we find that it is still difficult to make the X-ray and SZE results agree. A model assuming point source contamination in SZE clusters provides a better fit to the one-dimensional SZE profiles, thus suggesting that contamination from point sources could be contributing to a diminution of the SZE signal. Selecting a model that better fits both X-ray and WMAP data away from the very central region, we estimate the level of contamination and find that on average, the point source contamination is on the level of 16 mJy (at 41 GHz), 26 mJy (at 61 GHz) and 18 mJy (at 94 GHz). These estimated fluxes are marginally consistent with the estimated contamination derived from radio and infrared surveys, thus suggesting that the combination of a steeper gas profile and the contribution from point sources allows us to consistently explain the X-ray emission and SZE in galaxy clusters as measured by both ROSAT and WMAP.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: general; cosmic microwave background

Journal Article.  14422 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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