skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: SIMULATING ASTRO-H OBSERVATIONS OF SLOSHING GAS MOTIONS IN THE CORES OF GALAXY CLUSTERS

Astro-H will be the first X-ray observatory to employ a high-resolution microcalorimeter, capable of measuring the shift and width of individual spectral lines to the precision necessary for estimating the velocity of the diffuse plasma in galaxy clusters. This new capability is expected to bring significant progress in understanding the dynamics, and therefore the physics, of the intracluster medium. However, because this plasma is optically thin, projection effects will be an important complicating factor in interpreting future Astro-H measurements. To study these effects in detail, we performed an analysis of the velocity field from simulations of a galaxy cluster experiencing gas sloshing and generated synthetic X-ray spectra, convolved with model Astro-H Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS) responses. We find that the sloshing motions produce velocity signatures that will be observable by Astro-H in nearby clusters: the shifting of the line centroid produced by the fast-moving cold gas underneath the front surface, and line broadening produced by the smooth variation of this motion along the line of sight. The line shapes arising from inviscid or strongly viscous simulations are very similar, indicating that placing constraints on the gas viscosity from these measurements will be difficult. Our spectroscopic analysis demonstrates that, for adequate exposures,more » Astro-H will be able to recover the first two moments of the velocity distribution of these motions accurately, and in some cases multiple velocity components may be discerned. The simulations also confirm the importance of accurate treatment of point-spread function scattering in the interpretation of Astro-H/SXS spectra of cluster plasmas.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
  2. Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), JAXA, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, 252-5210 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518516
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 821; 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; ACCURACY; GALAXY CLUSTERS; LIMITING VALUES; LINE BROADENING; PLASMA; RESOLUTION; SCATTERING; SOFT X RADIATION; VELOCITY; VISCOSITY; X-RAY GALAXIES; X-RAY SPECTRA