I am a graduate student in Physics at MIT. I study galaxy clusters and AGN feedbacks.


All-sky optical and X-ray survey to identify galaxy cluster among all the point sources.

The Clusters Hiding in Plain Sight (CHiPS) Survey is designed around the idea the the centrally concentrated galaxy clusters or clusters hosting central QSOs can be misidentified as field active galactic nuclei (AGN) in previous all-sky survey. We attempt to obtain a sample of such galaxy clusters by conducting an extensive optical follow-up survey of an all-sky X-ray point sources. The primary question the sample will answer is whether there are other extreme-BCG (brightest cluster galaxy) clusters, similar to the Phoenix cluster, in our universe. This will tell us about the nature of highly efficient star formation in a galaxy cluster by distinguishing a short-lived phenomenon from a common occurrence in cool cores. Additionally, we will identify any clusters in central QSOs as a secondary product of the survey. These clusters are also interesting in their own right. First, they will allow us to study the effect of quasar-mode feedback on the intracluster medium (ICM). Once the survey is complete, we will have a better understanding of biases in X-ray sources. which is crucial for constraining cosmological parameters via cluster counts, including the mean matter density, the normalization of the density fluctuation power spectrum and the dark energy equation-of state parameter.


Every BCG with a strong radio AGN has an X-ray cool core: is the cool core - noncool core dichotomy too simple?

Abstract: Radio AGN feedback in X-ray cool cores has been proposed as a crucial ingredient in the evolution of baryonic structures. However, it has long been known that strong radio AGN also exist in "noncool core" clusters, which brings up the question whether an X-ray cool core is always required for radio feedback. In this work, we present a systematic analysis of BCGs and strong radio AGN in 152 groups and clusters from the Chandra archive. All 69 BCGs with radio AGN more luminous than 2x10^23 W Hz^-1 at 1.4 GHz are found to have X-ray cool cores. The BCG cool cores can be divided into two classes, the large-cool-core (LCC) class and the corona class. Small coronae, easily overlooked at z>0.1, can trigger strong heating episodes in groups and clusters, long before large cool cores are formed. Strong radio outbursts triggered by coronae may destroy embryonic large cool cores and thus provide another mechanism to prevent formation of large cool cores. However, it is unclear whether coronae are decoupled from the radio feedback cycles as they have to be largely immune to strong radio outbursts. Our sample study also shows the absence of groups with a luminous cool core while hosting a strong radio AGN, which is not observed in clusters. This points to a greater impact of radio heating on low-mass systems than clusters. As examples of the corona class, we also present detailed analyses of a BCG corona associated with a strong radio AGN (ESO 137-006 in A3627) and one of the faintest coronae known (NGC 4709 in the Centaurus cluster). Our results suggest that the traditional cool core / noncool core dichotomy is too simple. A better alternative is the cool core distribution function, with the enclosed X-ray luminosity or gas mass.

Pub.: 20 Sep '09, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

Morphology of the Virgo Cluster: Gas versus Galaxies

Abstract: We draw a quantitative comparison of the distribution of the galaxies and the intra-cluster gas in the Virgo cluster by extending the morphological analysis by Binggeli et al. (1987) to the intra-cluster gas. We use the Virgo Cluster Catalog in combination with data from the ROSAT All-Sky Survey. The galaxy distribution and the gas distribution are relatively similar. In both wavebands the irregular structure of Virgo can be decomposed into three major subclusters centred on M87, M49, and M86. A new statistical method of subcluster decomposition is applied. Radial galaxy and X-ray density profiles of the three subclusters are fitted with beta-models, allowing analytic deprojection. Comparison of these profiles reveals, that there is no general luminosity segregation. The gas density profile is steeper than the galaxy density profile in the inner part, while this trend is reversed in the outer part. A comparison among the subclusters shows the poorer the subcluster the steeper its radial profile, i.e. the more compact it is, both in the optical and the X-rays. The subcluster profiles for different Hubble types confirm the well-known result that the distribution of the late-type galaxies is more extended than the early types. Differential and integrated mass density profiles of the different components in the M87 and M49 subclusters are presented. The total, gravitating mass is inferred from the distribution of the X-ray gas. In the M87 subcluster the gas mass is about three times the mass in galaxies, while it accounts only for 8% to 14% of the total mass at 0.4 and 1 Mpc, respectively. In the M49 subcluster there is more mass in the galaxies than in the gas and the gas-to-total mass fraction is only 1%, which is unusually low for a cluster. The mass-to-light ratios show relatively constant values around 500Msol/Lsol.

Pub.: 30 Nov '98, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

An Infrared Survey of Brightest Cluster Galaxies. II: Why are Some Brightest Cluster Galaxies Forming Stars?

Abstract: Quillen et al.(2007) presented an imaging survey with the {\it Spitzer Space Telescope} of 62 brightest cluster galaxies with optical line emission located in the cores of X-ray luminous clusters. They found that at least half of these sources have signs of excess infrared emission. Here we discuss the nature of the IR emission and its implications for cool core clusters. The strength of the mid-IR excess emission correlates with the luminosity of the optical emission lines. Excluding the four systems dominated by an AGN, the excess mid-infrared emission in the remaining brightest cluster galaxies is likely related to star formation. The mass of molecular gas (estimated from CO observations) is correlated with the IR luminosity as found for normal star forming galaxies. The gas depletion time scale is about 1 Gyr. The physical extent of the infrared excess is consistent with that of the optical emission line nebulae. This supports the hypothesis that the star formation occurs in molecular gas associated with the emission line nebulae and with evidence that the emission line nebulae are mainly powered by ongoing star formation. We find a correlation between mass deposition rates (${\dot M}_X$) estimated from the X-ray emission and the star formation rate estimated from the infrared luminosity. The star formation rates are 1/10 to 1/100 of the mass deposition rates suggesting that the re-heating of the ICM is generally very effective in reducing the amount of mass cooling from the hot phase but not eliminating it completely.

Pub.: 12 Mar '08, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

An HST/WFC3-UVIS View of the Starburst in the Cool Core of the Phoenix Cluster

Abstract: We present Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 observations of the core of the Phoenix Cluster SPT-CLJ2344-4243 in five broadband filters spanning rest-frame 1000--5500A. These observations reveal complex, filamentary blue emission, extending for >40kpc from the brightest cluster galaxy. We observe an underlying, diffuse population of old stars, following an r^1/4 distribution, confirming that this system is somewhat relaxed. The spectral energy distribution in the inner part of the galaxy, as well as along the extended filaments, is a smooth continuum and is consistent with that of a star-forming galaxy, suggesting that the extended, filamentary emission is not due to the central AGN, either from a large-scale ionized outflow or scattered polarized UV emission, but rather a massive population of young stars. We estimate an extinction-corrected star formation rate of 798 +/- 42 Msun/yr, consistent with our earlier work based on low spatial resolution ultraviolet, optical, and infrared imaging. The lack of tidal features and multiple bulges, combine with the need for an exceptionally massive (>10^11 Msun) cold gas reservoir, suggest that this star formation is not the result of a merger of gas-rich galaxies. Instead, we propose that the high X-ray cooling rate of ~2700 Msun/yr is the origin of the cold gas reservoir. The combination of such a high cooling rate and the relatively weak radio source in the cluster core suggests that feedback has been unable to halt cooling in this system, leading to this tremendous burst of star formation.

Pub.: 10 Feb '13, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

The Feedback-Regulated Growth of Black Holes and Bulges through Gas Accretion and Starbursts in Cluster Central Dominant Galaxies

Abstract: We present an analysis of the growth of black holes through accretion and bulges through star formation in 33 galaxies at the centers of cooling flows. Most of these systems show evidence of cavities in the intracluster medium (ICM) inflated by radio jets emanating from their active galactic nuclei (AGN). We present a new and extensive analysis of X-ray cavities in these systems. We find that AGN are energetically able to balance radiative losses (cooling) from the ICM in more than half of our sample. Using a subsample of 17 systems, we examine the relationship between cooling and star formation. We find that the star formation rates are approaching or are comparable to X-ray and far UV limits on the rates of gas condensation onto the central galaxy. The remaining radiative losses could be offset by AGN feedback. The vast gulf between radiative losses and the sink of cooling material, which has been the primary objection to cooling flows, has narrowed and, in some cases, is no longer a serious issue. Using the cavity (jet) powers, we place strong lower limits on the rate of growth of supermassive black holes in central galaxies, and we find that they are growing at an average rate of ~ 0.1 solar masses per year, with some systems growing as quickly as ~ 1 solar mass per year. We find a trend between bulge growth (star formation) and black hole growth that is approximately in accordance with the slope of the local (Magorrian) relation between black hole and bulge mass. However, the large scatter in the trend suggests that bulges and black holes do not always grow in lock step. (Abridged)

Pub.: 20 Jul '06, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

The many lives of active galactic nuclei: cooling flows, black holes and the luminosities and colours of galaxies

Abstract: We simulate the growth of galaxies and their central supermassive black holes by implementing a suite of semi-analytic models on the output of the Millennium Run, a very large simulation of the concordance LCDM cosmogony. Our procedures follow the detailed assembly history of each object and are able to track the evolution of all galaxies more massive than the Small Magellanic Cloud throughout a volume comparable to that of large modern redshift surveys. In this first paper we supplement previous treatments of the growth and activity of central black holes with a new model for `radio' feedback from those AGN that lie at the centre of a quasistatic X-ray emitting atmosphere in a galaxy group or cluster. We show that for energetically and observationally plausible parameters such a model can simultaneously explain: (i) the low observed mass drop-out rate in cooling flows; (ii) the exponential cut-off at the bright end of the galaxy luminosity function; and (iii) the fact that the most massive galaxies tend to be bulge-dominated systems in clusters and to contain systematically older stars than lower mass galaxies. This success occurs because static hot atmospheres form only in the most massive structures, and radio feedback (in contrast, for example, to supernova or starburst feedback) can suppress further cooling and star formation without itself requiring star formation. We discuss possible physical models which might explain the accretion rate scalings required for our phenomenological `radio mode' model to be successful.

Pub.: 14 Jun '06, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

The flip-side of galaxy formation: A combined model of Galaxy Formation and Cluster Heating

Abstract: Only ~10% of baryons in the universe are in the form of stars, yet most models of luminous structure formation have concentrated on the properties of the luminous stellar matter. In this paper we focus on the "flip side" of galaxy formation and investigate the properties of the material that is not presently locked up in galaxies. This "by-product" of galaxy formation can be observed as an X-ray emitting plasma (the intracluster medium, hereafter ICM) in groups and clusters, and we present a version of the Durham semi-analytic galaxy formation model GALFORM that allows us to investigate the properties of the ICM. As we would expect on the basis of gravitational scaling arguments, the previous model (presented in Bower et al. 2006) fails to reproduce even the most basic observed properties of the ICM; however, we present a simple modification to the model to allow for heat input into the ICM from the AGN "radio mode" feedback. This heating acts to expel gas from the X-ray luminous central regions of the host halo. With this modification, the model reproduces the observed gas mass fractions and luminosity-temperature relation of groups and clusters. Introducing the heating process into the model requires changes to a number of model parameters in order to retain a good match to the observed galaxy properties. With the revised parameters, the best fitting luminosity function is comparable to that presented in Bower et al. (2006). The new model makes a fundamental step forward, providing a unified model of galaxy and cluster ICM formation. However, the detailed comparison with the data is not completely satisfactory, and we highlight key areas for improvement.

Pub.: 26 Sep '08, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

Mechanical Feedback from Active Galactic Nuclei in Galaxies, Groups, and Clusters

Abstract: The radiative cooling timescales at the centers of hot atmospheres surrounding elliptical galaxies, groups, and clusters are much shorter than their ages. Therefore, hot atmospheres are expected to cool and to form stars. Cold gas and star formation are observed in central cluster galaxies but at levels below those expected from an unimpeded cooling flow. X-ray observations have shown that wholesale cooling is being offset by mechanical heating from radio active galactic nuclei. Feedback is widely considered to be an important and perhaps unavoidable consequence of the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes. We show that cooling X-ray atmospheres and the ensuing star formation and nuclear activity are probably coupled to a self-regulated feedback loop. While the energetics are now reasonably well understood, other aspects of feedback are not. We highlight the problems of atmospheric heating and transport processes, accretion, and nuclear activity, and we discuss the potential role of black hole spin. We discuss X-ray imagery showing that the chemical elements produced by central galaxies are being dispersed on large scales by outflows launched from the vicinity of supermassive black holes. Finally, we comment on the growing evidence for mechanical heating of distant cluster atmospheres by radio jets and its potential consequences for the excess entropy in hot halos and a possible decline in the number of distant cooling flows.

Pub.: 30 Mar '12, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

Tracing cosmic evolution with clusters of galaxies

Abstract: The most successful cosmological models to date envision structure formation as a hierarchical process in which gravity is constantly drawing lumps of matter together to form increasingly larger structures. Clusters of galaxies currently sit atop this hierarchy as the largest objects that have had time to collapse under the influence of their own gravity. Thus, their appearance on the cosmic scene is also relatively recent. Two features of clusters make them uniquely useful tracers of cosmic evolution. First, clusters are the biggest things whose masses we can reliably measure because they are the largest objects to have undergone gravitational relaxation and entered into virial equilibrium. Mass measurements of nearby clusters can therefore be used to determine the amount of structure in the universe on scales of 10^14 to 10^15 solar masses, and comparisons of the present-day cluster mass distribution with the mass distribution at earlier times can be used to measure the rate of structure formation, placing important constraints on cosmological models. Second, clusters are essentially ``closed boxes'' that retain all their gaseous matter, despite the enormous energy input associated with supernovae and active galactic nuclei, because the gravitational potential wells of clusters are so deep. The baryonic component of clusters therefore contains a wealth of information about the processes associated with galaxy formation, including the efficiency with which baryons are converted into stars and the effects of the resulting feedback processes on galaxy formation. This article reviews our theoretical understanding of both the dark-matter component and the baryonic component of clusters. (Abridged)

Pub.: 06 Oct '04, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

Cosmology and Astrophysics from Relaxed Galaxy Clusters II: Cosmological Constraints

Abstract: We present cosmological constraints from measurements of the gas mass fraction, $f_{gas}$, for massive, dynamically relaxed galaxy clusters. Our data set consists of Chandra observations of 40 such clusters, identified in a comprehensive search of the Chandra archive, as well as high-quality weak gravitational lensing data for a subset of these clusters. Incorporating a robust gravitational lensing calibration of the X-ray mass estimates, and restricting our measurements to the most self-similar and accurately measured regions of clusters, significantly reduces systematic uncertainties compared to previous work. Our data for the first time constrain the intrinsic scatter in $f_{gas}$, $(7.4\pm2.3)$% in a spherical shell at radii 0.8-1.2 $r_{2500}$, consistent with the expected variation in gas depletion and non-thermal pressure for relaxed clusters. From the lowest-redshift data in our sample we obtain a constraint on a combination of the Hubble parameter and cosmic baryon fraction, $h^{3/2}\Omega_b/\Omega_m=0.089\pm0.012$, that is insensitive to the nature of dark energy. Combined with standard priors on $h$ and $\Omega_b h^2$, this provides a tight constraint on the cosmic matter density, $\Omega_m=0.27\pm0.04$, which is similarly insensitive to dark energy. Using the entire cluster sample, extending to $z>1$, we obtain consistent results for $\Omega_m$ and interesting constraints on dark energy: $\Omega_\Lambda=0.65^{+0.17}_{-0.22}$ for non-flat $\Lambda$CDM models, and $w=-0.98\pm0.26$ for flat constant-$w$ models. Our results are both competitive and consistent with those from recent CMB, SNIa and BAO data. We present constraints on models of evolving dark energy from the combination of $f_{gas}$ data with these external data sets, and comment on the possibilities for improved $f_{gas}$ constraints using current and next-generation X-ray observatories and lensing data. (Abridged)

Pub.: 21 Mar '14, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

New constraints on dark energy from the observed growth of the most X-ray luminous galaxy clusters

Abstract: We present constraints on the mean matter density, Omega_m, the normalization of the density fluctuation power spectrum, sigma_8, and the dark-energy equation-of-state parameter, w, obtained from measurements of the X-ray luminosity function of the largest known galaxy clusters at redshifts z<0.7, as compiled in the Massive Cluster Survey (MACS) and the local BCS and REFLEX galaxy cluster samples. Our analysis employs an observed mass-luminosity relation, calibrated by hydrodynamical simulations, including corrections for non-thermal pressure support and accounting for the presence of intrinsic scatter. Conservative allowances for all known systematic uncertainties are included, as are standard priors on the Hubble constant and mean baryon density. We find Omega_m=0.28 +0.11 -0.07 and sigma_8=0.78 +0.11 -0.13 for a spatially flat, cosmological-constant model, and Omega_m=0.24 +0.15 -0.07, sigma_8=0.85 +0.13 -0.20 and w=-1.4 +0.4 -0.7 for a flat, constant-w model. Future work improving our understanding of redshift evolution and observational biases affecting the mass--X-ray luminosity relation have the potential to significantly tighten these constraints. Our results are consistent with those from recent analyses of type Ia supernovae, cosmic microwave background anisotropies, the X-ray gas mass fraction of relaxed galaxy clusters, baryon acoustic oscillations and cosmic shear. Combining the new X-ray luminosity function data with current supernova, cosmic microwave background and cluster gas fraction data yields the improved constraints Omega_m=0.269 +- 0.016, sigma_8=0.82 +- 0.03 and w=-1.02 +- 0.06. (Abridged)

Pub.: 27 Mar '08, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

The rapid evolution of AGN feedback in brightest cluster galaxies: switching from quasar-mode to radio-mode feedback

Abstract: We present an analysis of the 2-10 keV X-ray emission associated with the active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). Our sample consists of 32 BCGs that lie in highly X-ray luminous cluster of galaxies (L_X-ray (0.1-2.4 keV) > 3*10^44 erg/s) in which AGN-jetted outflows are creating and sustaining clear Xray cavities. Our sample covers the redshift range 0 < z < 0.6 and reveals strong evolution in the nuclear X-ray luminosities, such that the black holes in these systems have become on average at least 10 times fainter over the last 5 Gyrs. Mindful of potential selection effects, we propose two possible scenarios to explain our results: 1) either that the AGNs in BCGs with X-ray cavities are steadily becoming fainter, or more likely, 2) that the fraction of these BCGs with radiatively efficient nuclei is decreasing with time from roughly 60 per cent at z=0.6 to 30 per cent at z=0.1. Based on this strong evolution, we predict that a significant fraction of BCGs in z=1 clusters may host quasars at their centres, potentially complicating the search for such clusters at high redshift. In analogy with black-hole binaries and based on the observed Eddington ratios of our sources, we further propose that the evolving AGN population in BCGs with X-ray cavities may be transiting from a canonical low/hard state, analogous to that of X-ray binaries, to a quiescent state over the last 5 Gyrs.

Pub.: 14 Feb '13, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

Planck 2015 results. XIII. Cosmological parameters

Abstract: We present results based on full-mission Planck observations of temperature and polarization anisotropies of the CMB. These data are consistent with the six-parameter inflationary LCDM cosmology. From the Planck temperature and lensing data, for this cosmology we find a Hubble constant, H0= (67.8 +/- 0.9) km/s/Mpc, a matter density parameter Omega_m = 0.308 +/- 0.012 and a scalar spectral index with n_s = 0.968 +/- 0.006. (We quote 68% errors on measured parameters and 95% limits on other parameters.) Combined with Planck temperature and lensing data, Planck LFI polarization measurements lead to a reionization optical depth of tau = 0.066 +/- 0.016. Combining Planck with other astrophysical data we find N_ eff = 3.15 +/- 0.23 for the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom and the sum of neutrino masses is constrained to < 0.23 eV. Spatial curvature is found to be |Omega_K| < 0.005. For LCDM we find a limit on the tensor-to-scalar ratio of r <0.11 consistent with the B-mode constraints from an analysis of BICEP2, Keck Array, and Planck (BKP) data. Adding the BKP data leads to a tighter constraint of r < 0.09. We find no evidence for isocurvature perturbations or cosmic defects. The equation of state of dark energy is constrained to w = -1.006 +/- 0.045. Standard big bang nucleosynthesis predictions for the Planck LCDM cosmology are in excellent agreement with observations. We investigate annihilating dark matter and deviations from standard recombination, finding no evidence for new physics. The Planck results for base LCDM are in agreement with BAO data and with the JLA SNe sample. However the amplitude of the fluctuations is found to be higher than inferred from rich cluster counts and weak gravitational lensing. Apart from these tensions, the base LCDM cosmology provides an excellent description of the Planck CMB observations and many other astrophysical data sets.

Pub.: 17 Jun '16, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

Galaxy Cluster Baryon Fractions Revisited

Abstract: We measure the baryons contained in both the stellar and hot gas components for twelve galaxy clusters and groups at z~0.1 with M=1-5e14 Msun. This paper improves upon our previous work through the addition of XMM data, enabling measurements of the total mass and masses of each major baryonic component --- ICM, intracluster stars, and stars in galaxies --- for each system. We recover a relation for the stellar mass versus halo mass consistent with our previous result. We confirm that the partitioning of baryons between the stellar and hot gas components is a strong function of M500; the fractions of total mass in stars and X-ray gas within r500 scale as M500^-0.45 and M500^0.26, respectively. We also confirm that the combination of the BCG and intracluster stars is an increasingly important contributor to the stellar baryon budget in lower halo masses. We find a weak, but statistically significant, dependence of the total baryon fraction upon halo mass, scaling as M500^0.16. For M500>2e14, the total baryon fractions within r500 are on average 18% (7%) below the Universal value from the WMAP7 (Planck) analysis. For Planck, the difference between the Universal value and cluster baryon fractions is less than the systematic uncertainties associated with M500. The total baryon fractions exhibit significant scatter, particularly at M500<2e14 Msun where they range from 60-90% (65-100%) of the Universal value for WMAP7 (Planck). The ratio of the stellar-to-gas mass within r500, a measure of star formation efficiency, strongly decreases with M500. The fact that this relation remains tight at low mass implies that the larger scatter in the total baryon fractions at these masses arises from either true scatter in the total baryon content or observational scatter in M500, rather than late-time physical processes such as redistribution of gas to beyond r500. (abridged)

Pub.: 13 Sep '13, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

The State of the Warm and Cold Gas in the Extreme Starburst at the Core of the Phoenix Galaxy Cluster (SPT-CLJ2344-4243)

Abstract: [Abridged] We present new optical integral field spectroscopy (Gemini South) and submillimeter spectroscopy (Submillimeter Array) of the central galaxy in the Phoenix cluster (SPT-CLJ2344-4243). This cluster was previously reported to have a massive starburst (~800 Msun/yr) in the central, brightest cluster galaxy, most likely fueled by the rapidly-cooling intracluster medium. These new data reveal a complex emission-line nebula, extending for >30 kpc from the central galaxy. The total Halpha luminosity, assuming Halpha/Hbeta = 2.85, is L_Ha = 7.6 +/- 0.4 x10^43 erg/s, making this the most luminous emission line nebula detected in the center of a cool core cluster. Overall, the relative fluxes of the low-ionization lines (e.g., [O II], Hbeta) to the UV continuum are consistent with photoionization by young stars. In both the center of the galaxy and in a newly-discovered highly-ionized plume to the north of the galaxy, the ionization ratios are consistent with both shocks and AGN photoionization. We speculate that this extended plume may be a galactic wind, driven and partially photoionized by both the starburst and central AGN. We find evidence for shocks throughout the ISM of the central galaxy, most likely driven by a combination of stellar winds from massive young stars, core-collapse supernovae, and the central AGN. In addition to the warm, ionized gas, we detect a substantial amount of cold, molecular gas via the CO(3-2) transition, coincident in position with the galaxy center. We infer a molecular gas mass of M_H2 = 2.2 +/- 0.6 x10^10 Msun, which implies that the starburst will consume its fuel in ~30 Myr if it is not replenished. The combination of the high level of turbulence in the warm phase and the high L_IR/M_H2 ratio suggests that this violent starburst may be in the process of quenching itself.

Pub.: 20 Feb '14, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

The Redshift Evolution of the Mean Temperature, Pressure, and Entropy Profiles in 80 SPT-Selected Galaxy Clusters

Abstract: (Abridged) We present the results of an X-ray analysis of 80 galaxy clusters selected in the 2500 deg^2 South Pole Telescope survey and observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We divide the full sample into subsamples of ~20 clusters based on redshift and central density, performing an X-ray fit to all clusters in a subsample simultaneously, assuming self-similarity of the temperature profile. This approach allows us to constrain the shape of the temperature profile over 0<r<1.5R500, which would be impossible on a per-cluster basis, since the observations of individual clusters have, on average, 2000 X-ray counts. The results presented here represent the first constraints on the evolution of the average temperature profile from z=0 to z=1.2. We find that high-z (0.6<z<1.2) clusters are slightly (~40%) cooler both in the inner (r<0.1R500) and outer (r>R500) regions than their low-z (0.3<z<0.6) counterparts. Combining the average temperature profile with measured gas density profiles from our earlier work, we infer the average pressure and entropy profiles for each subsample. Overall, our observed pressure profiles agree well with earlier lower-redshift measurements, suggesting minimal redshift evolution in the pressure profile outside of the core. We find no measurable redshift evolution in the entropy profile at r<0.7R500. We observe a slight flattening of the entropy profile at r>R500 in our high-z subsample. This flattening is consistent with a temperature bias due to the enhanced (~3x) rate at which group-mass (~2 keV) halos, which would go undetected at our survey depth, are accreting onto the cluster at z~1. This work demonstrates a powerful method for inferring spatially-resolved cluster properties in the case where individual cluster signal-to-noise is low, but the number of observed clusters is high.

Pub.: 04 Jul '14, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

The universal galaxy cluster pressure profile from a representative sample of nearby systems (REXCESS) and the Y_SZ-M_500 relation

Abstract: (abridged) We investigate the regularity of cluster pressure profiles with REXCESS, a representative sample of 33 local clusters observed with XMM-Newton. The sample spans a mass range of 10^14 M_sun <M_500<10^15 M_sun. We derive an average profile from observations scaled by mass and z according to the standard self-similar model, and find that the dispersion about the mean is remarkably low beyond 0.2R_500, but increases towards the centre. Deviations about the mean are related to both the mass and the thermo-dynamical state of the cluster. Unrelaxed systems have systematically shallower profiles while cooling core systems are more concentrated. The scaled profiles exhibit a residual mass dependence with a slope of about 0.12; however, the departure from standard scaling decreases with radius and is consistent with zero at R_500. The scatter in the core and departure from self-similar mass scaling is smaller compared to that of the entropy profiles, showing that the pressure is the quantity least affected by dynamical history and non-gravitational physics. Comparison with several state of the art numerical simulations shows good agreement outside the core. Combining the observational data below R_500 with simulation data above, we derive the universal pressure profile, that, in an analytical form, defines the physical pressure profile of clusters as a function of mass and z up to the cluster 'boundary'. Using this profile and the observed pressure profiles, we investigate the scaling properties of the integrated Compton parameter Y, considering both the spherically integrated quantity and the cylindrically integrated quantity, directly related to the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect signal. We further derive the expected Y_SZ-M_500 and Y_SZ-L_X relations for any aperture.

Pub.: 07 Oct '09, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

Chandra Cluster Cosmology Project III: Cosmological Parameter Constraints

Abstract: Chandra observations of large samples of galaxy clusters detected in X-rays by ROSAT provide a new, robust determination of the cluster mass functions at low and high redshifts. Statistical and systematic errors are now sufficiently small, and the redshift leverage sufficiently large for the mass function evolution to be used as a useful growth of structure based dark energy probe. In this paper, we present cosmological parameter constraints obtained from Chandra observations of 36 clusters with <z>=0.55 derived from 400deg^2 ROSAT serendipitous survey and 49 brightest z=~0.05 clusters detected in the All-Sky Survey. Evolution of the mass function between these redshifts requires Omega_Lambda>0 with a ~5sigma significance, and constrains the dark energy equation of state parameter to w0=-1.14+-0.21, assuming constant w and flat universe. Cluster information also significantly improves constraints when combined with other methods. Fitting our cluster data jointly with the latest supernovae, WMAP, and baryonic acoustic oscillations measurements, we obtain w0=-0.991+-0.045 (stat) +-0.039 (sys), a factor of 1.5 reduction in statistical uncertainties, and nearly a factor of 2 improvement in systematics compared to constraints that can be obtained without clusters. The joint analysis of these four datasets puts a conservative upper limit on the masses of light neutrinos, Sum m_nu<0.33 eV at 95% CL. We also present updated measurements of Omega_M*h and sigma_8 from the low-redshift cluster mass function.

Pub.: 14 Dec '08, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

Raining on black holes and massive galaxies: the top-down multiphase condensation model

Abstract: The atmospheres filling massive galaxies, groups, and clusters display remarkable similarities with rainfalls. Such plasma halos are shaped by AGN heating and subsonic turbulence (~150 km/s), as probed by Hitomi. The new 3D high-resolution simulations show the soft X-ray (< 1 keV) plasma cools rapidly via radiative emission at the high-density interface of the turbulent eddies, stimulating a top-down condensation cascade of warm, $10^4$ K filaments. The ionized (optical/UV) filaments extend up to several kpc and form a skin enveloping the neutral filaments (optical/IR/21-cm). The peaks of the warm filaments further condense into cold molecular clouds (<50 K; radio) with total mass up to several $10^7$ M$_\odot$, i.e., 5/50$\times$ the neutral/ionized masses. The multiphase structures inherit the chaotic kinematics and are dynamically supported. In the inner 500 pc, the clouds collide in inelastic way, mixing angular momentum and leading to chaotic cold accretion (CCA). The BHAR can be modeled via quasi-spherical viscous accretion with collisional mean free path ~100 pc. Beyond the inner kpc region pressure torques drive the angular momentum transport. In CCA, the BHAR is recurrently boosted up to 2 dex compared with the disc evolution, which arises as turbulence is subdominant. The CCA BHAR distribution is lognormal with pink noise power spectrum characteristic of fractal phenomena. The rapid self-similar CCA variability can explain the light curve variability of AGN and HMXBs. An improved criterium to trace thermal instability is proposed. The 3-phase CCA reproduces crucial observations of cospatial multiphase gas in massive galaxies, as Chandra X-ray images, SOAR H$\alpha$ warm filaments and kinematics, Herschel [C$^+$] emission, and ALMA giant molecular associations. CCA plays key role in AGN feedback, AGN unification/obscuration, the evolution of BHs, galaxies, and clusters.

Pub.: 29 Aug '16, Pinned: 02 Jun '17

A New Method For Galaxy Cluster Detection I: The Algorithm

Abstract: Numerous methods for finding clusters at moderate to high redshifts have been proposed in recent years, at wavelengths ranging from radio to X-rays. In this paper we describe a new method for detecting clusters in two-band optical/near-IR imaging data. The method relies upon the observation that all rich clusters, at all redshifts observed so far, appear to have a red sequence of early-type galaxies. The emerging picture is that all rich clusters contain a core population of passively evolving elliptical galaxies which are coeval and formed at high redshifts. The proposed search method exploits this strong empirical fact by using the red sequence as a direct indicator of overdensity. The fundamental advantage of this approach is that with appropriate filters, cluster elliptical galaxies at a given redshift are redder than all normal galaxies at lower redshifts. A simple color cut thus virtually eliminates all foreground contamination, even at significant redshifts. In this paper, one of a series of two, we describe the underlying assumptions and basic techniques of the method in detail, and contrast the method with those used by other authors. We provide a brief demonstration of the effectiveness of the technique using real redshift data, and from this conclude that the method offers a powerful yet simple way of identify galaxy clusters. We find that the method can reliably detect structures to masses as small as groups with velocity dispersions of only ~300 km/sec, with redshifts for all detected structures estimated to an accuracy of ~10%.

Pub.: 05 Aug '00, Pinned: 02 Jun '17