WEIGHING GALAXY CLUSTERS WITH GAS. I. ON THE METHODS OF COMPUTING HYDROSTATIC MASS BIAS
Erwin T. Lau, Daisuke Nagai, Kaylea Nelson
Mass estimates of galaxy clusters from X-ray and Sunyeav-Zel'dovich observations assume the intracluster gas is in hydrostatic equilibrium with their gravitational potential. However, since galaxy clusters are dynamically active objects whose dynamical states can deviate significantly from the equilibrium configuration, the departure from the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption is one of the largest sources of systematic uncertainties in cluster cosmology. In the literature there has been two
... hods for computing the hydrostatic mass bias based on the Euler and the modified Jeans equations, respectively, and there has been some confusion about the validity of these two methods. The word "Jeans" was a misnomer, which incorrectly implies that the gas is collisionless. To avoid further confusion, we instead refer these methods as "summation" and "averaging" methods respectively. In this work, we show that these two methods for computing the hydrostatic mass bias are equivalent by demonstrating that the equation used in the second method can be derived from taking spatial averages of the Euler equation. Specifically, we identify the correspondences of individual terms in these two methods mathematically and show that these correspondences are valid to within a few percent level using hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy cluster formation. In addition, we compute the mass bias associated with the acceleration of gas and show that its contribution is small in the virialized regions in the interior of galaxy cluster, but becomes non-negligible in the cluster outskirts of massive clusters where materials are being actively accreted. We discuss implications for understanding the origin of hydrostatic mass biases and for characterizing them using hydrodynamical simulations as well as observations.