Author(s): , , ,
Institution(s): 1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
The study of galaxy cluster merger events is of major astrophysical interest as they have a profound and long-lasting impact on the thermodynamic evolution of the ICM. Observed as part of our large Chandra XVP program on the Planck ESZ sample, we discovered that the cluster A3411 is undergoing a spectacular merger event. Radio observations also reveal large-scale diffuse emission, suggesting the presence of shocks and turbulence in the ICM. Most interestingly, in the Chandra observations we indeed find evidence of a brightness discontinuity, roughly at the location of the radio emission,corresponding to a low-Mach number shock. This suggests that even low-Mack number shocks could be responsible for the acceleration of particles to relativistic energies and makes A3411 an ideal laboratory to study this poorly understood process.
In partnership with the Chandra-Planck Collaboration.