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Hydrodynamic simulations of merging clusters of galaxies

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posted on 2023-06-07, 21:28 authored by Benedict W Ritchie, Peter ThomasPeter Thomas
We present the results of high-resolution AP3M+SPH simulations of merging clusters of galaxies. We find that the compression and shocking of the core gas during a merger can lead to large increases in bolometric X-ray luminosities and emission-weighted temperatures of clusters. Cooling flows are completely disrupted during equal-mass mergers, with the mass deposition rate dropping to zero as the cores of the clusters collide. The large increase in the cooling time of the core gas strongly suggests that cooling flows will not recover from such a merger within a Hubble time. Mergers with subclumps having one eighth of the mass of the main cluster are also found to disrupt a cooling flow if the merger is head-on. However, in this case the entropy injected into the core gas is rapidly radiated away and the cooling flow restarts within a few Gyr of the merger. Mergers in which the subcluster has an impact parameter of 500 kpc do not disrupt the cooling flow, although the mass deposition rate is reduced by ~30 per cent. Finally, we find that equal mass, off-centre mergers can effectively mix gas in the cores of clusters, while head on mergers lead to very little mixing. Gas stripped from the outer layers of subclumps results in parts of the outer layers of the main cluster being well mixed, although they have little effect on the gas in the core of the cluster. None of the mergers examined here resulted in the intracluster medium being well mixed globally.


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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society




Oxford University Press





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Ritchie was a postgraduate student and Thomas his student. They contribured equally to the paper. (37 citations)

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