Abell 754: A Non–Head-on Collision of Subclusters

Mark J. Henriksen, Maxim L. Markevitch
1996 Astrophysical Journal  
We have analyzed spatially resolved spectra of A754 obtained with ASCA. The combination of spectral and imaging capabilities of ASCA has set unprecedented constraints on the hydrodynamical effects of a cluster merger. We find significant gas temperature variations over the cluster face, indicating shock heating of the atmosphere during the merger. The hottest region, >12 keV, is located in the region of the Northwest galaxy clump though the entire region along the cluster axis appears to be
more » ... er than the mean cluster temperature (~9 keV). The cool, ~5 keV gas originally found with the HEAO1-A2 experiment, resides in the exterior of the cluster atmosphere and in plume of gas we identify with a stripped cool atmosphere of the infalling subcluster. We have also attempted to reconstruct an iron abundance map of this merging system. Though poorly constrained, no significant deviations of abundance from the mean value are apparent in the individual regions. A754 is the only cluster so far which shows the significant temperature pattern expected in a subcluster merger, in both the ROSAT (Henry & Briel 1995) and ASCA data, providing the first possibility to compare it with theoretical predictions. The observed temperature and surface brightness maps suggest that the two colliding subunits have missed each other by about 1 Mpc, and are now moving perpendicular to the cluster axis in the image plane (as, e.g., in the simulations by Evrard etal 1996).
doi:10.1086/310180 fatcat:bymcrafobjabtonbsd4h7kwimi