CHEERS: The chemical evolution RGS sample
1 SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
3 MTA-Eötvös University Lendület Hot Universe Research Group, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/A, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
4 Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlarská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic
5 School of Science, Hiroshima University, 1-3-1 Kagamiyama, 739-8526 Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan
6 Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, 452 Lomita Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-4085, USA
7 Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
8 Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
9 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
10 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
11 Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
12 Dept. of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
13 Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), JAXA, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, 252-5210 Kanagawa, Japan
14 Anton Pannekoek Institute/GRAPPA, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 94249, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Received: 19 October 2016
Accepted: 16 July 2017
Context. The chemical yields of supernovae and the metal enrichment of the intra-cluster medium (ICM) are not well understood. The hot gas in clusters of galaxies has been enriched with metals originating from billions of supernovae and provides a fair sample of large-scale metal enrichment in the Universe. High-resolution X-ray spectra of clusters of galaxies provide a unique way of measuring abundances in the hot intracluster medium (ICM). The abundance measurements can provide constraints on the supernova explosion mechanism and the initial-mass function of the stellar population. This paper introduces the CHEmical Enrichment RGS Sample (CHEERS), which is a sample of 44 bright local giant ellipticals, groups, and clusters of galaxies observed with XMM-Newton.
Aims. The CHEERS project aims to provide the most accurate set of cluster abundances measured in X-rays using this sample. This paper focuses specifically on the abundance measurements of O and Fe using the reflection grating spectrometer (RGS) on board XMM-Newton. We aim to thoroughly discuss the cluster to cluster abundance variations and the robustness of the measurements.
Methods. We have selected the CHEERS sample such that the oxygen abundance in each cluster is detected at a level of at least 5σ in the RGS. The dispersive nature of the RGS limits the sample to clusters with sharp surface brightness peaks. The deep exposures and the size of the sample allow us to quantify the intrinsic scatter and the systematic uncertainties in the abundances using spectral modeling techniques.
Results. We report the oxygen and iron abundances as measured with RGS in the core regions of all 44 clusters in the sample. We do not find a significant trend of O/Fe as a function of cluster temperature, but we do find an intrinsic scatter in the O and Fe abundances from cluster to cluster. The level of systematic uncertainties in the O/Fe ratio is estimated to be around 20−30%, while the systematic uncertainties in the absolute O and Fe abundances can be as high as 50% in extreme cases. Thanks to the high statistics of the observations, we were able to identify and correct a systematic bias in the oxygen abundance determination that was due to an inaccuracy in the spectral model.
Conclusions. The lack of dependence of O/Fe on temperature suggests that the enrichment of the ICM does not depend on cluster mass and that most of the enrichment likely took place before the ICM was formed. We find that the observed scatter in the O/Fe ratio is due to a combination of intrinsic scatter in the source and systematic uncertainties in the spectral fitting, which we are unable to separate. The astrophysical source of intrinsic scatter could be due to differences in active galactic nucleus activity and ongoing star formation in the brightest cluster galaxy. The systematic scatter is due to uncertainties in the spatial line broadening, absorption column, multi-temperature structure, and the thermal plasma models.
Key words: X-rays: galaxies: clusters / galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium / supernovae: general / galaxies: abundances
© ESO, 2017