A method to search for bulk motions in the ICM with Chandra CCD spectra: application to the Bullet Cluster.
LIU A., YU H., TOZZI P. and ZHU Z.-H.
Abstract (from CDS):
We propose a strategy to search for bulk motions in the intracluster medium (ICM) of merging clusters based on Chandra CCD data. Our goal is to derive robust measurements of the average redshift of projected ICM regions obtained from the centroid of the Kα line emission. We thoroughly explore the effect of the unknown temperature structure along the line of sight to accurately evaluate the systematic uncertainties on the ICM redshift. We apply our method to the "Bullet cluster" (1E 0657-56). We directly identify 23 independent regions on the basis of the surface brightness contours, and measure the redshift of the ICM averaged along the line of sight in each. We find that the redshift distribution across these regions is marginally inconsistent with the null hypothesis of a constant redshift or no bulk motion in the ICM, at a confidence level of about 2σ. We tentatively identify the regions most likely affected by bulk motions and find a maximum velocity gradient of about (46 ± 13) km s–1 kpc–1 along the line of sight on a scale of ∼260 kpc along the path of the "bullet." We interpret this as the possible signature of a significant mass of ICM pushed away along a direction perpendicular to the merging. This preliminary result is promising for a systematic search for bulk motions in bright, moderate-redshift clusters based on spatially resolved spectral analysis of Chandra CCD data.