Constraining gas motions in the Centaurus cluster using X-ray surface brightness fluctuations and metal diffusion [HEAP]

We compare two different methods of constraining the characteristic velocity and spatial scales of gas motions in the X-ray bright, nearby Centaurus cluster, using new deep (760ks) Chandra observations. The power spectrum of excess surface brightness fluctuations in the 0.5-6.0 keV band in a sector to the west is measured and compared to theoretical expectations for Kolmogorov index fluctuations. The observed power spectrum is flatter than these expectations, and the surface brightness fluctuations are around the 8 percent level on length scales of 2 kpc. We convert the 2D power spectrum of fluctuations into a 3D power spectrum using the method of Churazov et al., and then convert this into constraints on the one-component velocity of the gas motions as a function of their length scale. We find one-component velocities in the range 100-150 km/s on spatial scales of 4-10 kpc. An independent constraint on the characteristic velocity and length scales of the gas motions is then found by considering the diffusion coefficient needed to explain the distribution of metals in the Centaurus cluster, combined with the need to balance the rate of gas cooling with the rate of heat dissipated by the gas motions. We find that these two methods of constraining the velocity and length scales of the gas motions are in good agreement.

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S. Walker, J. Sanders and A. Fabian
Wed, 19 Aug 15

Comments: 8 pages, 7 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS