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Astron. Astrophys. 332, L49-L52 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

What does cluster redshift evolution reveal?

A. Blanchard and J.G. Bartlett

Observatoire Astronomique, 11, rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France

Received 9 December 1997 / Accepted 6 February 1998


Evolution of the cluster population has been recognized as a powerful cosmological tool. While the present-day abundance of X-ray clusters is degenerate in [FORMULA], n and [FORMULA], Oukbir and Blanchard (1992, 1997) have pointed out that the number density evolution of X-ray clusters with redshift can be used to determine [FORMULA]. Here, we clarify the origin of this statement by identifying those parameters to which the evolution of cluster number density is most sensitive. We find that the evolution is controlled by only two parameters: the amplitude of fluctuations, [FORMULA], on the scale associated with the mass under consideration, [FORMULA] [FORMULA] Mpc, and the cosmological background density, [FORMULA]. In contrast, evolution is remarkably insensitive to the slope of the power spectrum. We verify that the number density evolution of clusters is a powerful probe of the mean density of the universe, under the condition that [FORMULA] is chosen to reproduce current-day abundances. Comparison of the cluster abundance at [FORMULA], from the EMSS, to the present-day abundance, from the ROSAT BCS sample, unambiguously reveals the existence of significant negative evolution. This number evolution, in conjunction with the absence of any negative evolution in the luminosity-temperature relation, provides robust evidence in favor of a critical density universe ([FORMULA]), in agreement with the analysis by Sadat et al. (1998).

Key words: cosmology: observations – cosmology: theory – large – scale structure of the Universe – galaxies: clusters: general

Send offprint requests to: A. Blanchard
Send correspondence to: blanchard@astro.u-strasbg.fr


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: March 30, 1998