15-20 March 2020
Europe/Berlin timezone

The chemical history of galaxy clusters, groups, and ellipticals - Advances from previous missions and insights with eROSITA

17 Mar 2020, 12:20


Oral Presentation Clusters and Cosmology I


Francois Mernier (European Space Agency / ESTEC)


Although they are the building blocks of rocky planets and even life, the major fraction of metals in the Universe is found outside galaxies, within a hot, ionized intergalactic phase. When this plasma is hot and dense enough to glow in X-rays (i.e. pervading galaxy clusters, groups, and surrounding isolated elliptical galaxies), the abundance of key chemical elements can be measured via spectroscopy; hence providing us with crucial clues on the chemical history and evolution of large scale structures. In particular, past X-ray missions revealed that the bulk of metals in the intracluster medium was already in place before cluster formation, i.e. more than ~10 Gyr ago. In hot atmospheres pervading galaxy groups and ellipticals, however, the picture is less clear and many open questions remain. Whereas microcalorimeters onboard future missions (e.g. XRISM, Athena) will certainly bring a plethora of decisive results, moderate resolution spectroscopy combined with an unprecedented grasp has the potential to considerably improve our current knowledge of how and when these systems got chemically enriched. Here, we will review some of the most important results achieved with XMM-Newton, Chandra, and Suzaku, and we will show how (and on which aspects) eROSITA can push our understanding of galaxies and clusters enrichment to the next level.

Primary author

Francois Mernier (European Space Agency / ESTEC)

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