Journal Article

An estimate of the electron density in filaments of galaxies at <i>z</i>∼ 0.1

Amelia Fraser-McKelvie, Kevin A. Pimbblet and Jasmina S. Lazendic

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 415, issue 2, pages 1961-1966
Published in print August 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18847.x
An estimate of the electron density in filaments of galaxies at z∼ 0.1

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Most of the baryons in the Universe are thought to be contained within filaments of galaxies, but as yet, no single study has published the observed properties of a large sample of known filaments to determine typical physical characteristics such as temperature and electron density. This paper presents a comprehensive large-scale search conducted for X-ray emission from a population of 41 bona fide filaments of galaxies to determine their X-ray flux and electron density. The sample is generated from the filament catalogue of Pimbblet et al., which is in turn sourced from the two-degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS). Since the filaments are expected to be very faint and of very low density, we used stacked ROSAT All-Sky Survey data. We detect a net surface brightness from our sample of filaments of (1.6 ± 0.1) × 10−14 erg cm−2 s−1 arcmin−2 in the 0.9–1.3 keV energy band for 1-keV plasma, which implies an electron density of ne= (4.7 ± 0.2) × 10−4 h1/2100 cm−3. Finally, we examine if a filament’s membership to a supercluster leads to an enhanced electron density as reported by Kull & Böhringer. We suggest it remains unclear if supercluster membership causes such an enhancement.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: general; cosmology: observations; large-scale structure of Universe; X-rays: general

Journal Article.  4223 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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