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Title: PERSPECTIVES ON INTRACLUSTER ENRICHMENT AND THE STELLAR INITIAL MASS FUNCTION IN ELLIPTICAL GALAXIES

Stars formed in galaxy cluster potential wells must be responsible for the high level of enrichment measured in the intracluster medium (ICM); however, there is increasing tension between this truism and the parsimonious assumption that the stars in the generally old population studied optically in cluster galaxies emerged from the same formation sites at the same epochs. We construct a phenomenological cluster enrichment model to demonstrate that ICM elemental abundances are underestimated by a factor >2 for standard assumptions about the stellar population-a discrepancy we call the ''cluster elemental abundance paradox''. Recent evidence of an elliptical galaxy initial mass function (IMF) skewed to low masses deepens the paradox. We quantify the adjustments to the star formation efficiency and IMF, and Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) production efficiency, required to resolve this while being consistent with the observed ICM abundance pattern. The necessary enhancement in metal enrichment may, in principle, originate in the observed stellar population if a larger fraction of stars in the supernova-progenitor mass range form from an IMF that is either bottom-light or top-heavy, with the latter in some conflict with observed ICM abundance ratios. Other alternatives that imply more modest revisions to the IMF, mass return and remnantmore » fractions, and primordial fraction, posit an increase in the fraction of 3-8 M{sub Sun} stars that explode as SNIa or assume that there are more stars than conventionally thought-although the latter implies a high star formation efficiency. We discuss the feasibility of these various solutions and the implications for the diversity of star formation in the universe, the process of elliptical galaxy formation, and the origin of this ''hidden'' source of ICM metal enrichment.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Also at CRESST and X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22131052
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 773; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; EFFICIENCY; GALACTIC EVOLUTION; GALAXY CLUSTERS; MASS; METALS; SUPERNOVAE; UNIVERSE; VISIBLE RADIATION