Schedule Mar 18, 2011
Discovery and Cosmological Implications of the Most Massive Known Cluster at z > 1
Ryan Foley (Harvard-Smithsonian)

Using the South Pole Telescope (SPT), we have discovered the most massive known galaxy cluster at z > 1, SPT-CL J2106-5844. In addition to producing a strong Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect signal, this system is a luminous X-ray source and its numerous constituent galaxies display spatial and color clustering, all indicating the presence of a massive galaxy cluster. VLT and Magellan spectroscopy of 18 member galaxies shows that the cluster is at z = 1.132^+0.002_-0.003. SPT-CL J2106-5844 displays extreme X-ray properties for a cluster, having a core-excluded temperature of kT = 11.0^+2.6_-1.9 keV and a luminosity (within r_500) of L_X (0.5 - 2.0 keV) = (13.9 +/- 1.0) x 10^44 erg/s. The combined mass estimate from measurements of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect and X-ray data is M_200 = (1.27 +/- 0.21) x 10^15 M_sun. The discovery of such a massive gravitationally collapsed system at high redshift provides an interesting laboratory for galaxy formation and evolution, and is a powerful probe of extreme perturbations of the primordial matter density field. We discuss the latter, determining that, under the assumption of LambdaCDM cosmology with only Gaussian perturbations, there is only a 7% chance of finding a galaxy cluster similar to SPT-CL J2106-5844 in the 2500 deg^2 SPT survey region, and that only one such galaxy cluster is expected in the entire sky.

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