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Journal Article

Is there an enormous cold front at the virial radius of the Perseus cluster?


Sanders,  J. S.
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Walker, S. A., Mirakhor, M. S., ZuHone, J., Sanders, J. S., Fabian, A. C., & Diwanji, P. (2022). Is there an enormous cold front at the virial radius of the Perseus cluster? The Astrophysical Journal, 929(1): 37. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac5894.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-AD07-C
We present new XMM-Newton observations extending the mosaic of the Perseus cluster out to the virial radius to the west. Previous studies with ROSAT have reported a large excess in surface brightness to the west, possibly the result of large-scale gas sloshing. In our new XMM-Newton observations we have found two X-ray surface brightness edges at 1.2 and 1.7 Mpc to the west. The temperature measurements obtained with Suzaku data indicate that the temperature increases sharply at each edge, consistent with what would be expected from cold fronts. However the the XMM-Newton data are affected by stray light, which at present is a poorly understood source of systematic error that can also lead to curved features in X-ray images. To test our results, we compared our X-ray surface brightness profile with that obtained from ROSAT PSPC data. While the edge at 1.2 Mpc is confirmed by ROSAT PSPC, the ROSAT data quality is insufficient to confirm the outer edge at 1.7 Mpc. Further observations with future X-ray telescopes will be needed to confirm the existence of the outer edge at 1.7 Mpc. By comparing with numerical simulations, we find that these large cold fronts require a large impact parameter, and low-mass ratio mergers that can produce fast gas motions without destroying the cluster core.