The morphologies and alignments of gas, mass, and the central galaxies of CLASH clusters of galaxies Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Morphology is often used to infer the state of relaxation of galaxy clusters. The regularity, symmetry, and degree to which a cluster is centrally concentrated inform quantitative measures of cluster morphology. The Cluster Lensing and Supernova survey with Hubble Space Telescope (CLASH) used weak and strong lensing to measure the distribution of matter within a sample of 25 clusters, 20 of which were deemed to be "relaxed" based on their X-ray morphology and alignment of the X-ray emission with the Brightest Cluster Galaxy. Toward a quantitative characterization of this important sample of clusters, we present uniformly estimated X-ray morphological statistics for all 25 CLASH clusters. We compare X-ray morphologies of CLASH clusters with those identically measured for a large sample of simulated clusters from the MUSIC-2 simulations, selected by mass. We confirm a threshold in X-ray surface brightness concentration of C ≳ 0.4 for cool-core clusters, where C is the ratio of X-ray emission inside 100 h_(70)^(−1) kpc compared to inside 500 h_(70)^(-1)kpc. We report and compare morphologies of these clusters inferred from Sunyaev–Zeldovich Effect (SZE) maps of the hot gas and in from projected mass maps based on strong and weak lensing. We find a strong agreement in alignments of the orientation of major axes for the lensing, X-ray, and SZE maps of nearly all of the CLASH clusters at radii of 500 kpc (approximately 1/2 R_(500) for these clusters). We also find a striking alignment of clusters shapes at the 500 kpc scale, as measured with X-ray, SZE, and lensing, with that of the near-infrared stellar light at 10 kpc scales for the 20 "relaxed" clusters. This strong alignment indicates a powerful coupling between the cluster- and galaxy-scale galaxy formation processes.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016