Schedule Mar 18, 2011
Revealing the ICM Transport Properties with a Deep Chandra observation of Abell 2146
Helen Russell (Univ. Waterloo)

Shock fronts generated by galaxy cluster mergers provide a key tool for studying the cluster gas. However, unambiguous detections of merger shock fronts are rare and only a few examples, including the Bullet cluster and Abell 520, have been found to date. Abell 2146 is a spectacular cluster merger showing two Mach ~2 shock fronts and a gas structure remarkably similar to the Bullet cluster (eg. Markevitch et al. 2002). The X-ray image shows a cool subcluster with a ram pressure stripped tail of gas just exiting the primary cluster. The subcluster is preceded by a bow shock and we estimate that it passed through the primary core only 0.1-0.3 Gyr ago. In addition, we observe a slower upstream shock propagating through the outer region of the primary cluster. I will present the first images and results from the deep 400ks Chandra observation of this cluster. This new dataset reveals complex and potentially turbulent substructure along the edges of the ram pressure stripped cool core and provides two new tests of the establishment of electron-ion equilibrium behind each shock front.

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