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Resilience of sloshing cold fronts against subsequent minor mergers

Vaezzadeh, Iraj; Roediger, Elke; Cashmore, Claire; Hunt, Matthew; Zuhone, John; Forman, William; Jones, Christine; Kraft, Ralph; Nulsen, Paul; Su, Yuanyuan; Churazov, Eugene


Iraj Vaezzadeh

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Dr Elke Roediger
Reader in Astrophysics, Director of the E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics

Matthew Hunt

John Zuhone

William Forman

Christine Jones

Ralph Kraft

Paul Nulsen

Yuanyuan Su

Eugene Churazov


Minor mergers are common in galaxy clusters. They have the potential to create sloshing cold fronts (SCFs) in the intracluster medium of the cluster. However, the resilience of SCFs to subsequent minor mergers is unknown. Here we investigate the extent to which SCFs established by an off-axis minor merger are disrupted by a subsequent minor merger. We perform a suite of 13 hydrodynamic + N-body simulations of idealized triple cluster mergers in which we vary the approach direction and impact parameter of the tertiary cluster. Except for ∼1 Gyr after the first core passage of the tertiary cluster, clear SCFs are present in all merger configurations. Subsequent head-on minor mergers reduce the number of SCFs significantly, while subsequent off-axis minor mergers only moderately reduce the number of SCFs. In particular, outer (> 500, kpc) SCFs are resilient. The results of this work indicate that SCFs are easily formed in the course of a minor merger and are long-lived even if a further minor merger takes place. SCFs thus should be ubiquitous, but deriving the merger history of a given cluster based on its observed SCFs might be more complex than previously thought.


Vaezzadeh, I., Roediger, E., Cashmore, C., Hunt, M., Zuhone, J., Forman, W., …Churazov, E. (2022). Resilience of sloshing cold fronts against subsequent minor mergers. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 514(1), 518-534.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 18, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 30, 2022
Publication Date Jul 1, 2022
Deposit Date May 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 16, 2022
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 514
Issue 1
Pages 518-534
Keywords Galaxies: clusters; Galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium; Galaxies: clusters: general; Methods: numerical
Public URL


Accepted manuscript (63.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
©: 2022 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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