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Astron. Astrophys. 339, 623-628 (1998)

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Cosmology with galaxy clusters

II. Projection effects on Hubble constant and gas mass fraction

Asantha R. Cooray

Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637, USA (asante@hyde.uchicago.edu)

Received 19 May 1998 / Accepted 18 August 1998


It is well known that a combined analysis of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect and the X-ray emission observations can be used to determine the angular diameter distance to galaxy clusters, from which the Hubble constant is derived. The present values of the Hubble constant derived through the SZ/X-ray route have a broad distribution ranging from 30 to 70 km s-1 Mpc-1. We show that this broad distribution is primarily due to the projection effect of aspherical clusters which have been modeled using spherical geometries. The projection effect is also expected to broaden the measured gas mass fraction in galaxy clusters. However, the projection effect either under- or overestimate the Hubble constant and the gas mass fraction in an opposite manner, producing an anticorrelation. Using the published data for SZ/X-ray clusters, we show that the current Hubble constant distribution is negatively correlated with the measured gas mass fraction for same clusters, suggesting that the projection effects are present in current results. If the gas mass fraction of galaxy clusters, when measured out to an outer hydrostatic radius is constant, it may be possible to account for the line of sight geometry of galaxy clusters. However, to perform such an analysis, an independent measurement of the total mass of galaxy clusters, such as from weak lensing, is needed. Using the weak lensing, optical velocity dispersion, SZ and X-ray data, we outline an alternative method to calculate the Hubble constant, which is subjected less to projection effect than the present method based on only the SZ and X-ray data. For A2163, the Hubble constant based on published SZ, X-ray and weak lensing observations is 49 [FORMULA] 29 km s-1 Mpc-1.

Key words: galaxies: clusters: general – distance scale

SIMBAD Objects


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: October 21, 1998