The Toothbrush Cluster

Deep VLA observations of the cluster 1RXS J0603.3+4214 in the frequency range 1-2 GHz.


Most cosmic systems lie in clusters containing a couple of a great many items. Our Milky Way, for instance, has a place with a cluster of around fifty cosmic systems called the Local Group whose other expansive part is the Andromeda world around 2.3 million light-years away.

Clusters are the most monstrous gravitationally bound objects in the universe and shape (as indicated by current thoughts) in a “bottoms-up” mold with littler structures growing first and bigger groupings amassing later in astronomical history.

Dark matter assumes a critical part of this development procedure. Precisely how they develop, in any case, seems to rely upon a few contending physical procedures including the conduct of the intracluster gas. There is more mass in this gas than there is in every one of the stars of a group’s worlds, and the gas can have a temperature of ten million Kelvin or significantly higher.

Accordingly, the gas assumes an essential part of the cluster’s development. The hot intracluster gas contains quickly moving charged particles that transmit emphatically at radio wavelengths, now and then uncovering long filamentary structures.

The Toothbrush cluster, 1RXS J0603.3+4214, has three of these radio structures and also a vast corona. The most conspicuous radio element reaches out finished more than six million light years, with three unmistakable parts that look like the brush and handle of a toothbrush.

Its handle is especially cryptic in light of the fact that, other than being substantial and straight, it is helter-skelter from the pivot of the group. The radiance is thought to come about because of turbulence delivered by the merger of cosmic systems, albeit some different conceivable outcomes have been recommended.

CfA astronomers Reinout van Weeren, Bill Forman, Felipe Andrade-Santos, Ralph Kraft, and Christine Jones and their colleagues used the Very Large Array (VLA) facility to observe the relativistic particles in the cluster with precise, sensitive radio imaging, which they compared with Chandra X-ray and other datasets. In the radio, the Toothbrush cluster has a very narrow ridge, created by a huge shock resulting from the merger, and at least thirty-two previously undetected compact sources.

The halo’s radio and X-ray morphologies are very similar and lend support to the merger scenario. Astronomers are also able to estimate the strength of the magnetic field, and combined with other results, use it to conclude that the merger scenario is most suitable.

The full study is available on ApJ 2017.

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