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Astron. Astrophys. 344, 749-754 (1999)

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The fundamental plane of clusters of galaxies: a quest for understanding cluster dynamics and morphology

Christoph Fritsch 1 and Thomas Buchert 2,3

1 Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, D-85740 Garching, Germany
2 Theoretische Physik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Theresienstrasse 37, D-80333 München, Germany
3 Theory Division, CERN, CH-1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland

Received 16 June 1998 / Accepted 3 December 1998


We discuss implications of the fundamental plane parameters of clusters of galaxies derived from combined optical and X-ray data of a sample of 78 nearby clusters. In particular, we investigate the dependence of these parameters on the dynamical state of the cluster. We introduce a new concept of allocation of the fundamental plane of clusters derived from their intrinsic morphological properties, and put some theoretical implications of the existence of a fundamental plane into perspective.

Key words: cosmology: dark matter – galaxies: fundamental parameters – galaxies: clusters: general

Send offprint requests to: T. Buchert

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: March 29, 1999