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The cold cores of X-ray galaxy clusters, Joana Santos (INAF, Observatório Astronómico di Trieste)

Jul. 23 - 20:30 - 2009

Clusters of galaxies are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the Universe.<br /> The hot, X-ray emitting intracluster gas that pervades clusters is the stage of complex,<br /> nongravitational phenomena. Cool cores (CCs) are a manifestation of these complex <br /> physical processes. High-resolution X-ray observations have established that CCs dominate the local cluster <br /> population, with an abundance of about 70%. However, tracing this fraction to the most distant - and <br /> thus faint and small - clusters, presents serious difficulties. In this talk I introduce the physics of cool cores and outline the original 'cooling flow' problem. I present our investigation on the fraction of CCs in the most distant cluster sample (redshift z=[0.7-1.4]) currently available in the archive of the CHANDRA observatory. Through a spatial analysis based on the surface brightness properties of these clusters, and by measuring their central cooling times, we find that the majority of the high-z clusters are in an intermediate state of cooling. I discuss the impact of this result and suggest alternative methods to confirm it.

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