Journal Article

The X-ray brightest clusters of galaxies from the Massive Cluster Survey

H. Ebeling, A. C. Edge, A. Mantz, E. Barrett, J. Patrick Henry, C. J. Ma and L. van Speybroeck

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 1, pages 83-93
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16920.x
The X-ray brightest clusters of galaxies from the Massive Cluster Survey

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We present a statistically complete sample of very X-ray luminous galaxy clusters detected in the MAssive Cluster Survey (MACS). This second MACS release comprises all 34 MACS clusters with nominal X-ray fluxes in excess of 2 × 10−12 erg s−1 cm−2 (0.1–2.4 keV) in the ROSAT Bright Source Catalogue; two-thirds of them are new discoveries. Extending over the redshift range from 0.3 to 0.5, this subset complements the complete sample of the 12 most distant MACS clusters (z > 0.5) published in 2007 and further exemplifies the efficacy of X-ray selection for the compilation of samples of intrinsically massive galaxy clusters. Extensive follow-up observations with Chandra/ACIS led to three additional MACS cluster candidates being eliminated as (predominantly) X-ray point sources. For another four clusters – which, however, remain in our sample of 34 – the point-source contamination was found to be about 50 per cent. The median X-ray luminosity of 1.3 × 1045 erg s−1 (0.1–2.4 keV, Chandra, within r500) of the clusters in this subsample demonstrates the power of the MACS strategy to find the most extreme and rarest clusters out to significant redshift. A comparison of the optical and X-ray data for all clusters in this release finds a wide range of morphologies with no obvious bias in favour of either relaxed or merging systems.

Keywords: catalogues; surveys; galaxies: clusters: general; X-rays: galaxies: clusters

Journal Article.  5303 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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