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X-ray clusters of galaxies as tracers of structure in the Universe

Nature volume 409, pages 3945 (04 January 2001) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Clusters of galaxies are visible tracers of the network of matter in the Universe, marking the high-density regions where filaments of dark matter join together. When observed at X-ray wavelengths these clusters shine like cosmic lighthouses, as a consequence of the hot gas trapped within their gravitational potential wells. The X-ray emission is linked directly to the total mass of a cluster, and so can be used to investigate the mass distribution for a sizeable fraction of the Universe. The picture that has emerged from recent studies is remarkably consistent with the predictions for a low-density Universe dominated by cold dark matter.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the REFLEX collaboration for giving us the opportunity to discuss material in advance of publication; C. Collins, F. Governato and M. Urry for reading the manuscript; D. Lazzati and A. Moretti for their help with some of the figures; and M. Girardi for providing the data files on which Fig. 5 is based. We also acknowledge several discussions on X-ray clusters with P. Rosati.

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  1. *INFN, Sezione di Trieste, c/o Dipartimento di Astronomia dell'Università, Via Tiepolo 11, I-34131, Trieste, Italy

    • Stefano Borgani
  2. †INFN, Sezione di Perugia, c/o Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università

    • Stefano Borgani
  3. ‡Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera , Via Bianchi 46, I-23807, Merate, Italy

    • Luigi Guzzo

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