Characterization of intracluster medium temperature distributions of 62 galaxy clusters with XMM-Newton

K. A. Frank*, J. R. Peterson, K. Andersson, A. C. Fabian, J. S. Sanders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We measure the intracluster medium (ICM) temperature distributions for 62 galaxy clusters in the HIFLUGCS, an X-ray flux-limited sample, with available X-ray data from XMM-Newton. We search for correlations between the width of the temperature distributions and other cluster properties, including median cluster temperature, luminosity, size, presence of a cool core, active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity, and dynamical state. We use a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis, which models the ICM as a collection of X-ray emitting smoothed particles of plasma. Each smoothed particle is given its own set of parameters, including temperature, spatial position, redshift, size, and emission measure. This allows us to measure the width of the temperature distribution, median temperature, and total emission measure of each cluster. We find that none of the clusters have a temperature width consistent with isothermality. Counterintuitively, we also find that the temperature distribution widths of disturbed, non-cool-core, and AGN-free clusters tend to be wider than in other clusters. A linear fit to σkT-kT med finds σkT ∼ 0.20kT med + 1.08, with an estimated intrinsic scatter of ∼0.55 keV, demonstrating a large range in ICM thermal histories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2013


  • X-rays: galaxies: clusters
  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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