Indexed on: 01 Dec '99Published on: 01 Dec '99Published in: Pramana
Clusters of galaxies are excellent probes of cosmic structure and evolution. X-ray studies of clusters provide some of their key parameters, viz., temperature of the hot intra-cluster gas, its metallicity, X-ray luminosity and surface brightness giving mass distribution and mass-flow rate in the case of cooling flows. X-ray measurements for a large sample of clusters have lead to estimates of the total gravitating mass in them, which can be compared to the virial masses derived from dynamical considerations and gravitational lensing in some of them. X-ray derived total masses are consistent with masses obtained from the other methods after the effects due to the presence of cooling flows are taken into account in the analyses. Estimated virial masses, lack of evolution in X-ray properties, and detection of several very hot clusters at high redshifts indicate a Universe with a low value (≤ 0.3) for the Ω parameter.