Event Detail Information
Astronomy Colloquium: "The Physics of Gas Sloshing in the Cores of Galaxy Clusters"
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.