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Hunting for stellar splashback: defining the size of a galaxy cluster

17 Mar 2021, 13:20 UTC
Hunting for stellar splashback: defining the size of a galaxy cluster
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Title: Stellar splashback: the edge of the intracluster lightAuthors: Alis J Deason, Kyle A Oman, Azadeh Fattahi, Matthieu Schaller, Mathilde Jauzac, Yuanyuan Zhang, Mireia Montes, Yannick M Bahé, Claudio Dalla Vecchia, Scott T Kay, Tilly A Evans.First Author’s Institution: Institute for Computational Cosmology, Department of Physics, University of Durham, Durham, UKStatus: Published in MNRAS [closed access]
Sizing up a clusterAccording to our current favoured cosmological model, ΛCDM, galaxies are born and evolve in dark matter halos (see this astrobite for more information on halos). These halos and the galaxies that inhabit them can grow through mergers, an example of hierarchical structure formation which is a key prediction of ΛCDM. Some of the largest halos that have formed by the present day are host to galaxy clusters, which are made up of hundreds to thousands of individual galaxies, all in orbit within the same halo. Quantifying the size of a galaxy cluster by defining an edge that marks where its dark matter halo ends is a complex task. Due to this complexity, there are many different methods used in the astronomy literature that all attempt to define the edge of a halo. One relatively new halo boundary definition, termed the splashback ...

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