The impact of mergers on relaxed X-ray clusters - III. Effects on compact cool cores

GB Poole, A Babul, IG McCarthy, Alastair Sanderson, MA Fardal

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59 Citations (Scopus)


We use the simulations presented in Poole et al. to examine the effects of mergers on the properties of cool cores in X-ray clusters. Motivated by recent Chandra and XMM-Newton observations, we propose a scheme for classifying the morphology of clusters based on their surface brightness and entropy profiles. Three dominant morphologies emerge: two hosting compact cores and central temperatures which are cool [CCC (compact cool core) systems] or warm [CWC (compact warm core) systems] and one hosting extended cores which are warm [EWC (extended warm core) systems]. In the cases we have studied, CCC states are disrupted only after direct collisions with merging cluster cores. This can happen in head-on collisions or during second pericentric passage in off-axis mergers. By the time they are relaxed, our remnant cores have generally been heated to warm core (CWC or EWC) states but subsequently recover CCC states by the end of the simulation. The only case resulting in a long-lived EWC state is a slightly off-axis 3: 1 merger for which the majority of shock heating occurs during the accretion of a low-entropy stream formed from the disruption of the secondary's cool core. Since t(dyn)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1175
Number of pages13
JournalRoyal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2008


  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • X-rays: general
  • cosmology: theory
  • intergalactic medium


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