Mergers and Non-Thermal Processes in Clusters

Craig L. Sarazin
2005 Highlights of Astronomy  
AbstractClusters of galaxies generally form by the gravitational merger of smaller clusters and groups. Mergers drive shocks in the intra-cluster gas which heat the intra-cluster gas. Mergers disrupt cluster cooling cores. Mergers produce large, temporary increases in the X-ray luminosities and temperatures of cluster; such merger boost may bias estimates of cosmological parameters from clusters. Chandra observations of the X-ray signatures of mergers, particularly "cold fronts," will be
more » ... ts," will be discussed. X-ray observations of shocks can be used to determine the kinematics of the merger. As a result of particle acceleration in shocks and turbulent acceleration following mergers, clusters of galaxies should contain very large populations of relativistic electrons and ions. Observations and models for the radio, extreme ultraviolet, hard X-ray, and gamma-ray emission from non-thermal particles accelerated in these shocks are described.
doi:10.1017/s1539299600015823 fatcat:i3kdr6fjhncclocdrxjrwi4mre