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Accretion shocks in clusters of galaxies and their SZ signature from cosmological simulations


Molnar, S M; Hearn, N; Haiman, Z; Bryan, G; Evrard, A E; Lake, G (2009). Accretion shocks in clusters of galaxies and their SZ signature from cosmological simulations. Astrophysical Journal, 696(2):1640-1656.

Abstract

Cold dark matter (CDM) hierarchical structure formation models predict the existence of large-scale accretion shocks between the virial and turnaround radii of clusters of galaxies. Kocsis et al. suggest that the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich signal associated with such shocks might be observable with the next generation radio interferometer, ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array). We study the three-dimensional distribution of accretion shocks around individual clusters of galaxies drawn from adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) and smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of ΛCDM (dark energy dominated CDM) models. In relaxed clusters, we find two distinct sets of shocks. One set ("virial shocks"), with Mach numbers of 2.5-4, is located at radii 0.9-1.3 R vir, where R vir is the spherical infall estimate of the virial radius, covering about 40%-50% of the total surface area around clusters at these radii. Another set of stronger shocks ("external shocks") is located farther out, at about 3 R vir, with large Mach numbers (≈100), covering about 40%-60% of the surface area. We simulate SZ surface brightness maps of relaxed massive galaxy clusters drawn from high-resolution AMR runs, and conclude that ALMA should be capable of detecting the virial shocks in massive clusters of galaxies. More simulations are needed to improve estimates of astrophysical noise and to determine optimal observational strategies.

Cold dark matter (CDM) hierarchical structure formation models predict the existence of large-scale accretion shocks between the virial and turnaround radii of clusters of galaxies. Kocsis et al. suggest that the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich signal associated with such shocks might be observable with the next generation radio interferometer, ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array). We study the three-dimensional distribution of accretion shocks around individual clusters of galaxies drawn from adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) and smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of ΛCDM (dark energy dominated CDM) models. In relaxed clusters, we find two distinct sets of shocks. One set ("virial shocks"), with Mach numbers of 2.5-4, is located at radii 0.9-1.3 R vir, where R vir is the spherical infall estimate of the virial radius, covering about 40%-50% of the total surface area around clusters at these radii. Another set of stronger shocks ("external shocks") is located farther out, at about 3 R vir, with large Mach numbers (≈100), covering about 40%-60% of the surface area. We simulate SZ surface brightness maps of relaxed massive galaxy clusters drawn from high-resolution AMR runs, and conclude that ALMA should be capable of detecting the virial shocks in massive clusters of galaxies. More simulations are needed to improve estimates of astrophysical noise and to determine optimal observational strategies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:May 2009
Deposited On:25 Feb 2010 17:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:56
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing
ISSN:0004-637X
Funders:Swiss NSF, NASA, Hungarian National Office for Research and Technology
Publisher DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/696/2/1640
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/0902.3323
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-30882

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