Detection of hot gas in the filament connecting the clusters of galaxies Abell 222 and Abell 223
Publication date: 06 May 2008
Authors: Werner, N. et al.
Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Context: About half of the baryons in the local Universe are invisible and - according to simulations - their dominant fraction resides in filaments connecting clusters of galaxies in the form of low density gas with temperatures in the range of 105 < T < 107 K. This warm-hot intergalactic medium has never been detected indisputably using X-ray observations.
Aims: We aim to probe the low gas densities expected in the large-scale structure filaments by observing a filament connecting the massive clusters of galaxies A 222 and A 223 (z = 0.21), which has a favorable orientation approximately along our line-of-sight. This filament has been previously detected using weak lensing data and as an over-density of colour-selected galaxies.
Methods: We analyse X-ray images and spectra obtained from a deep observation (144 ks) of A 222/223 with XMM-Newton.
Results: We present observational evidence of X-ray emission from the filament connecting the two clusters. We detect the filament in the wavelet-decomposed soft-band (0.5-2.0 keV) X-ray image with a 5-sigma significance. Following the emission down to the 3-sigma significance level, the observed filament is ~1.2 Mpc wide. The temperature of the gas associated with the filament, determined from the spectra, is kT = 0.91±0.25 keV, and its emission measure corresponds to a baryon density of (3.4±1.3)×10-5(l/15 Mpc)-1/2