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Astronomy Colloquium: "The Physics of Gas Sloshing in the Cores of Galaxy Clusters"

Event Type
Astronomy Department
Astronomy 134
Feb 25, 2014   3:45 pm  
John ZuHone, NASA GFSC
Originating Calendar
Astronomy Colloquium Speaker Calendar

Many X-ray observations of relaxed galaxy clusters reveal the presence of

sharp, spiral-shaped discontinuities in the surface brightness of the X-ray

emitting gas. Spectral analysis of these features shows that the colder gas

is on the brighter side, hence they have been dubbed "cold fronts." These

features arise naturally in simulations from the cool-core gas "sloshing" in

the gravitational potential. Their sharpness and stability has important

implications for the microphysics of the ICM. The sloshing motions may have

other effects, such as contributing to the heating of the cluster core and

the acceleration of relativistic particles. I will present simulations of

gas sloshing in clusters, explain their formation and evolution, and discuss

the implications for the physics of the ICM, including fresh results on heat

conduction, viscosity, and radio mini-halos. I will also briefly discuss yt, an emerging software toolkit for analyzing astrophysical data from simulations and other datasets.

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