ChandraObservation of A2256: A Cluster at the Early Stage of Merging

M. Sun, S. S. Murray, M. Markevitch, A. Vikhlinin
2002 Astrophysical Journal  
We present here observations of the rich cluster of galaxies A2256. In addition to the known cool subcluster, a new structure was resolved 2' east of the peak of the main cluster. Its position is roughtly at the center of a low-brightness radio halo. Spectral analysis shows that the "shoulder" has high iron abundance (∼ 1). We suggest that this structure is either another merging component or an internal structure of the main cluster. The X-ray redshifts of several regions were measured. The
more » ... ults agree with the optical ones and suggest that the main cluster, the subcluster and the "shoulder" are physically associated and interacting. The subcluster has low temperature (∼ 4.5 keV) and high iron abundance (∼ 0.6) in the central 150 kpc. The image shows a relatively sharp brightness gradient at the south of the subcluster peak running south-south-east (SSE). A temperature jump was found across the edge, with higher temperature ahead of the edge in the low density region. This phenomenon is qualitatively similar to the "cold fronts" found in A2142 and A3667. If the "shoulder" is ignored, the temperature map resembles those simulations at the early stage of merging while the subcluster approached the main cluster from somewhere west. This fact and the observed edge, in combination with the clear iron abundance contrast between the center of the subcluster (∼ 0.6) and the main cluster (∼ 0.2), all imply that the ongoing merger is still at the early stage. At least three member galaxies, including a radio head-tail galaxy, were found to have corresponding X-ray emission.
doi:10.1086/324721 fatcat:mhucthbn3rcwlcxhsjizxxnvg4