High-redshift cool-core galaxy clusters detected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect in the south pole telescope survey

D. R. Semler, R. Šuhada, K. A. Aird, M. L N Ashby, M. Bautz, M. Bayliss, G. Bazin, S. Bocquet, B. A. Benson, L. E. Bleem, M. Brodwin, J. E. Carlstrom, C. L. Chang, H. M. Cho, A. Clocchiatti, T. M. Crawford, A. T. Crites, T. De Haan, S. Desai, M. A. DobbsJ. P. Dudley, R. J. Foley, E. M. George, M. D. Gladders, A. H. Gonzalez, N. W. Halverson, N. L. Harrington, F. W. High, G. P. Holder, W. L. Holzapfel, S. Hoover, J. D. Hrubes, C. Jones, M. Joy, R. Keisler, L. Knox, A. T. Lee, E. M. Leitch, J. Liu, M. Lueker, D. Luong-Van, A. Mantz, D. P. Marrone, M. McDonald, J. J. McMahon, J. Mehl, S. S. Meyer, L. Mocanu, J. J. Mohr, T. E. Montroy, S. S. Murray, T. Natoli, S. Padin, T. Plagge, C. Pryke, C. L. Reichardt, A. Rest, J. Ruel, J. E. Ruhl, B. R. Saliwanchik, A. Saro, J. T. Sayre, K. K. Schaffer, L. Shaw, E. Shirokoff, J. Song, H. G. Spieler, B. Stalder, Z. Staniszewski, A. A. Stark, K. Story, C. W. Stubbs, A. Van Engelen, K. Vanderlinde, J. D. Vieira, A. Vikhlinin, R. Williamson, O. Zahn, A. Zenteno

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30 Scopus citations


We report the first investigation of cool-core properties of galaxy clusters selected via their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect. We use 13 galaxy clusters uniformly selected from 178 deg2 observed with the South Pole Telescope (SPT) and followed up by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. They form an approximately mass-limited sample (>3 × 1014 M h -170) spanning redshifts 0.3 < z < 1.1. Using previously published X-ray-selected cluster samples, we compare two proxies of cool-core strength: surface brightness concentration (cSB) and cuspiness (α). We find that c SBis better constrained. We measure c SBfor the SPT sample and find several new z > 0.5 cool-core clusters, including two strong cool cores. This rules out the hypothesis that there are no z > 0.5 clusters that qualify as strong cool cores at the 5.4σ level. The fraction of strong cool-core clusters in the SPT sample in this redshift regime is between 7% and 56% (95% confidence). Although the SPT selection function is significantly different from the X-ray samples, the high-z c SBdistribution for the SPT sample is statistically consistent with that of X-ray-selected samples at both low and high redshifts. The cool-core strength is inversely correlated with the offset between the brightest cluster galaxy and the X-ray centroid, providing evidence that the dynamical state affects the cool-core strength of the cluster. Larger SZ-selected samples will be crucial in understanding the evolution of cluster cool cores over cosmic time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number183
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 10 2012


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


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