Journal Article

Comparison of approximately isothermal gravitational potentials of elliptical galaxies based on X-ray and optical data

E. Churazov, S. Tremaine, W. Forman, O. Gerhard, P. Das, A. Vikhlinin, C. Jones, H. Böhringer and K. Gebhardt

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 404, issue 3, pages 1165-1185
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16377.x
Comparison of approximately isothermal gravitational potentials of elliptical galaxies based on X-ray and optical data

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We analyse six X-ray bright elliptical galaxies, observed with Chandra and XMM–Newton, and approximate their gravitational potentials by isothermal spheres ϕ=v2c log r over a range of radii from ∼0.5 to ∼25 kpc. We then compare the circular speed vc derived from X-ray data with the estimators available from optical data. In particular, we discuss two simple and robust procedures for evaluating the circular speed of the galaxy using the observed optical surface brightness and the line-of-sight velocity dispersion profiles. The best-fitting relation between the circular speeds derived from optical observations of stars and X-ray observations of hot gas is vc,opt≃ηvc,X, where η= 1.10–1.15 (depending on the method), suggesting, albeit with large statistical and systematic uncertainties, that non-thermal pressure on average contributes ∼20–30 per cent of the gas thermal pressure.

Keywords: galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; X-rays: galaxies: clusters

Journal Article.  14487 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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