Douglass, E. M., Blanton, E. L., Randall, Scott W., Clarke, T. E., Edwards, L. O. V., Sabry, Z., and ZuHone, John A. 2018. "The Megaparsec-scale Gas-sloshing Spiral in the Remnant Cool Core Cluster Abell 1763." The Astrophysical Journal 868:121. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aae9e7
We present a multiwavelength study of the massive galaxy cluster Abell 1763 at redshift z = 0.231. Image analysis of a 19.6 ks Chandra archival observation reveals a cluster-wide spiral of enhanced surface brightness in the intracluster medium (ICM). While such spirals are understood to form in clusters with sloshing strong cool cores (SCCs), the gas comprising the spiral’s apex is of intermediate entropy (∼110 keV cm2) and cooling time (∼6.8 Gyr), indicating core disruption is occurring throughout the spiral formation process. Two subclusters dominated by the second- and third-ranked galaxies in the system lie along a line parallel to the elongation axis of the primary cluster’s ICM. Both subsystems appear to have fallen in along a previously discovered intercluster filament and are each considered candidates as the perturber responsible for initiating disruptive core sloshing. Dynamical analysis indicates infall is occurring with a relative radial velocity of ∼1800 km s‑1. The brightest cluster galaxy of Abell 1763 possesses a high line-of-sight peculiar velocity (v pec ∼ 650 km s‑1) and hosts a powerful (P 1.4 ∼ 1026 W Hz‑1) bent double-lobed radio source, likely shaped by the relative bulk ICM flow induced in the merger. The cluster merger model of SCC destruction invokes low impact parameter infall as the condition required for core transformation. In contrast to this, the high angular momentum event occurring in Abell 1763 suggests that off-axis mergers play a greater role in establishing the non-cool core cluster population than previously assumed.