Formation of cool cores in galaxy clusters via hierarchical mergers.
MOTL P.M., BURNS J.O., LOKEN C., NORMAN M.L. and BRYAN G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a new scenario for the formation of cool cores in rich galaxy clusters, based on results from recent high spatial dynamic range, adaptive mesh Eulerian hydrodynamic simulations of large-scale structure formation. We find that cores of cool gas, material that would be identified as a classical cooling flow on the basis of its X-ray luminosity excess and temperature profile, are built from the accretion of discrete stable subclusters. Any ``cooling flow'' present is overwhelmed by the velocity field within the cluster; the bulk flow of gas through the cluster typically has speeds up to about 2000 km/s, and significant rotation is frequently present in the cluster core. The inclusion of consistent initial cosmological conditions for the cluster within its surrounding supercluster environment is crucial when the evolution of cool cores in rich galaxy clusters is simulated. This new model for the hierarchical assembly of cool gas naturally explains the high frequency of cool cores in rich galaxy clusters, despite the fact that a majority of these clusters show evidence of substructure that is believed to arise from recent merger activity. Furthermore, our simulations generate complex cluster cores in concordance with recent X-ray observations of cool fronts, cool ``bullets'', and filaments in a number of galaxy clusters. Our simulations were computed with a coupled N-body, Eulerian, adaptive mesh refinement, hydrodynamics cosmology code that properly treats the effects of shocks and radiative cooling by the gas. We employ up to seven levels of refinement to attain a peak resolution of 15.6 kpc within a volume 256 Mpc on a side and assume a standard ΛCDM cosmology.
Galaxies: Cooling Flows - Cosmology: Theory - Galaxies: Clusters: General - Hydrodynamics - Methods: Numerical