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Published June 2018 | Published + Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Substructure and merger detection in resolved NIKA Sunyaev-Zel'dovich images of distant clusters


Substructures in the hot gas atmosphere of galaxy clusters are related to their formation history and to the astrophysical processes at play in the intracluster medium (ICM). The thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (tSZ) effect is directly sensitive to the line-of-sight integrated ICM pressure, and is thus particularly adapted to study ICM substructures. In this paper, we apply structure-enhancement filtering algorithms to high-resolution tSZ observations (e.g., NIKA) of distant clusters in order to search for pressure discontinuities, compressions, and secondary peaks in the ICM. The same filters are applied to toy-model images and to synthetic tSZ images extracted from RHAPSODY-G cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, in order to better interpret the extracted features. We also study the noise propagation through the filters and quantify the impact of systematic effects, such as data-processing-induced artifacts and point-source residuals, the latter being identified as the dominant potential contaminant. In three of our six NIKA-observed clusters we identify features at high signal-to-noise ratio that show clear evidence for merger events. In MACS J0717.5+3745 (z = 0.55), three strong pressure gradients are observed on the east, southeast, and west sectors, and two main peaks in the pressure distribution are identified. We observe a lack of tSZ compact structure in the cool-core cluster PSZ1 G045.85+57.71 (z = 0.61), and a tSZ gradient ridge dominates in the southeast. In the highest redshift cluster, CL J1226.9+3332 (z = 0.89), we detect a ridge pressure gradient of ~45 arcsec (360 kpc) in length associated with a secondary pressure peak in the west region. Our results show that current tSZ facilities have now reached the angular resolution and sensitivity to allow an exploration of the details of pressure substructures in clusters, even at high redshift. This opens the possibility to quantify the impact of the dynamical state on the relation between the tSZ signal and the mass of clusters, which is important when using tSZ clusters to test cosmological models. This work also marks the first NIKA cluster sample data release.

Additional Information

© 2018 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 14 September 2017; Accepted 5 December 2017. Published online 25 June 2018. Based on observations carried out under project number 237–13, 110–14, and 222–14, with the NIKA camera at the IRAM 30 m Telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain). We are thankful to the anonymous referee for useful comments, which helped improve the quality of the paper. We would like to thank the IRAM staff for their support during the campaigns. The NIKA dilution cryostat has been designed and built at the Institut Néel. In particular, we acknowledge the crucial contribution of the Cryogenics Group, and in particular Gregory Garde, Henri Rodenas, Jean Paul Leggeri, Philippe Camus. This work has been partially funded by the Foundation Nanoscience Grenoble, the LabEx FOCUS ANR-11-LABX-0013 and the ANR under the contracts "MKIDS", "NIKA" and ANR-15-CE31-0017. This work has benefited from the support of the European Research Council Advanced Grants ORISTARS and M2C under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (Grant Agreement nos. 291294 and 340519). We acknowledge funding from the ENIGMASS French LabEx (B. C. and F. R.), the CNES post-doctoral fellowship program (R. A.), the CNES doctoral fellowship program (A. R.) and the FOCUS French LabEx doctoral fellowship program (A. R.). R.A. acknowledges support from Spanish Ministerio de Economía and Competitividad (MINECO) through grant number AYA2015-66211-C2-2. E. P. acknowledges the support of the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche under grant ANR-11-BS56-015. O.H. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 679145, project COSMO_SIMS). D.M. acknowledges support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) through the SNSF Early.Postdoc and Advanced.Postdoc Mobility Fellowships.

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023