Applications for edge detection techniques using Chandra and XMM-Newton data: galaxy clusters and beyond


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Authors
Walker, SA 
Sanders, JS 
Fabian, AC 
Abstract

The unrivalled spatial resolution of the Chandra X-ray observatory has allowed many breakthroughs to be made in high-energy astrophysics. Here we explore applications of Gaussian gradient magnitude (GGM) filtering to X-ray data, which dramatically improves the clarity of surface brightness edges in X-ray observations, and maps gradients in X-ray surface brightness over a range of spatial scales. In galaxy clusters, we find that this method is able to reveal remarkable substructure behind the cold fronts in Abell 2142 and Abell 496, possibly the result of Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities. In Abell 2319 and Abell 3667, we demonstrate that the GGM filter can provide a straightforward way of mapping variations in the widths and jump ratios along the lengths of cold fronts. We present results from our ongoing programme of analysing the Chandra and XMM–Newton archives with the GGM filter. In the Perseus cluster, we identify a previously unseen edge around 850 kpc from the core to the east, lying outside a known large-scale cold front, which is possibly a bow shock. In MKW 3s we find an unusual ‘V’ shape surface brightness enhancement starting at the cluster core, which may be linked to the AGN jet. In the Crab nebula a new, moving feature in the outer part of the torus is identified which moves across the plane of the sky at a speed of ~0.1c, and lies much further from the central pulsar than the previous motions seen by Chandra.

Description
Keywords
techniques: image processing, galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium, intergalactic medium, X-rays: galaxies: clusters
Journal Title
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
0035-8711
1365-2966
Volume Title
461
Publisher
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Sponsorship
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/N000927/1)
European Research Council (Advanced Grant FEEDBACK)