The role of penetrating gas streams in setting the dynamical state of galaxy clusters

E. Zinger*, A. Dekel, Y. Birnboim, A. Kravtsov, D. Nagai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We utilize cosmological simulations of 16 galaxy clusters at redshifts z = 0 and z = 0.6 to study the effect of inflowing streams on the properties of the X-ray emitting intracluster medium. We find that the mass accretion occurs predominantly along streams that originate from the cosmic web and consist of heated gas. Clusters that are unrelaxed in terms of their X-ray morphology are characterized by higher mass inflow rates and deeper penetration of the streams, typically into the inner third of the virial radius. The penetrating streams generate elevated random motions, bulk flows and cold fronts. The degree of penetration of the streams may change over time such that clusters can switch from being unrelaxed to relaxed over a time-scale of several giga years.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)412-432
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium


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