Published in:

Astrophysical Journal 670,2 (2007) 1010-1026;


We propose a new Monte Carlo method to study extended X-ray sources with the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) aboard XMM-Newton. The smoothed particle inference (SPI) technique, described in a companion paper, is applied here to the EPIC data for the clusters of galaxies Abell 1689, Centaurus, and RX J0658-55 (the "bullet cluster"). We aim to show the advantages of this method of simultaneous spectral and spatial modeling over traditional X-ray spectral analysis. In Abell 1689 we confirm our earlier findings about structure in the temperature distribution and produce a high-resolution temperature map. We also find a hint of velocity structure within the gas, consistent with previous findings. In the bullet cluster, RX J0658-55, we produce the highest resolution temperature map ever to be published of this cluster, allowing us to trace what looks like the trail of the motion of the bullet in the cluster. We even detect a south-to-north temperature gradient within the bullet itself. In the Centaurus cluster we detect, by dividing up the luminosity of the cluster in bands of gas temperatures, a striking feature to the northeast of the cluster core. We hypothesize that this feature is caused by a subcluster left over from a substantial merger that slightly displaced the core. We conclude that our method is very powerful in determining the spatial distributions of plasma temperatures and very useful for systematic studies in cluster structure.


galaxies : clusters : individual (Abell 1689, 1ES 0657-55.8,;; Centaurus);; methods : data analysis;; X-rays : galaxies : clusters;; Astronomy & Astrophysics

Date of this Version

January 2007



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