Journal Article

A comparison of different cluster mass estimates: consistency or discrepancy?

Xiang-Ping Wu, Tzihong Chiueh, Li-Zhi Fang and Yan-Jie Xue

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 301, issue 3, pages 861-871
Published in print December 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
A comparison of different cluster mass estimates: consistency or discrepancy?

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Rich and massive clusters of galaxies at intermediate redshift are capable of magnifying and distorting the images of background galaxies. A comparison of different mass estimators among these clusters can provide useful information about the distribution and composition of cluster matter and its dynamical evolution. Using the hitherto largest sample of lensing clusters drawn from the literature, we compare the gravitating masses of clusters derived from the strong/weak gravitational lensing phenomena, from the X-ray measurements based on the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium, and from the conventional isothermal sphere model for the dark matter profile characterized by the velocity dispersion and core radius of galaxy distributions in clusters. While there is excellent agreement between the weak lensing, X-ray and isothermal sphere model-determined cluster masses, these methods are likely to underestimate the gravitating masses enclosed within the central cores of clusters by a factor of 2–4 as compared with the strong lensing results. Such a mass discrepancy has probably arisen from the inappropriate applications of the weak lensing technique and the hydrostatic equilibrium hypothesis to the central regions of clusters, as well as from assuming an unreasonably large core radius for both luminous and dark matter profiles. Nevertheless, it is pointed out that these cluster mass estimators may be safely applied on scales greater than the core sizes. Namely, the overall clusters of galaxies at intermediate redshift can still be regarded as the dynamically relaxed systems, in which the velocity dispersion of galaxies and the temperature of X-ray emitting gas are good indicators of the underlying gravitational potentials of clusters.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: general; dark matter; gravitational lensing; X-rays: galaxies

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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