Astronomers Feature In Detail Gigantic Cluster Of Galaxies

Italian astronomers performed X-ray observations of the massive cluster of galaxies ClG-J104803.7 + 313843, using ESA’s XMM-Newton spacecraft. The results of the observational campaign shed more light on the properties of this cluster.

Galaxy clusters contain up to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. They are the largest known gravitationally binding structures in the universe and can serve as excellent laboratories for studying galaxy evolution and cosmology.

With a redshift of approximately 0.76, ClG-J104803.7 + 313843 is a galaxy cluster that has not been extensively studied. With an estimated mass of about 980 trillion solar masses, ClG-J104803.7 + 313843 is one of the most massive galaxy clusters known to date.

A team of astronomers led by Iacopo Bartalucci from the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Cosmic Physics in Milan, Italy, recently performed X-ray observations of ClG-J104803.7 + 313843 using the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) XMM-Newton. The EPIC data allowed them to take a closer look at cluster morphology, which provided more insight into the nature of this object.

“We present the X-ray analysis of cluster ClG-J104803.7 + 313843. This object is part of a sample of 44 candidate clusters presented in Buddendiek et al. (2015) which were confirmed by optical tracking using the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) and the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT),” the researchers wrote in the article.

The team inspected the morphology of ClG-J104803.7 + 313843 and found signs of merging activities in the periphery and a flat core. However, it was noted that the lack of significant fusion capabilities could be due to the low statistics combined with the low angular resolution of the collected data.

According to the study, the inner part of the cluster at about 1.5 arcmins appears to be quite regular, showing a rounded shape with a moderately shiny core. The morphology appears to be more irregular at large scales, with the shape being ellipsoidal and elongated along a northwest-southeast direction. Two weak substructures were identified in the south and south-east sectors.

Observations confirmed that ClG-J104803.7 + 313843 has a redshift of about 0.76 and found that its mass is approximately 564 trillion solar masses. Therefore, the cluster turned out to be less massive than previously estimated.

“ClG-J104803.7 + 313843 was initially detected as an object of ∼ 10 15 solar masses, while our work shows that it is still massive but has a smaller mass with a reduction in relative error on the order of ∼ 3 times. This result shows the importance of X-ray characterization”, explained the astronomers.

The researchers added that X-ray observations like the one presented in their research, along with auxiliary multi-wavelength studies are needed to improve our understanding of massive clusters like ClG-J104803.7 + 313843, but also similar objects at levels superior redshifts.