Stormy Weather in Galaxy Clusters

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Science  17 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5362, pp. 400-404
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5362.400

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Recent x-ray, optical, and radio observations coupled with particle and gas dynamics numerical simulations reveal an unexpectedly complex environment within clusters of galaxies, driven by ongoing accretion of matter from large-scale supercluster filaments. Mergers between clusters and continuous infall of dark matter and baryons from the cluster periphery produce long-lived “stormy weather” within the gaseous cluster atmosphere—shocks, turbulence, and winds of more than 1000 kilometers per second. This weather may be responsible for shaping a rich variety of extended radio sources, which in turn act as “barometers” and “anemometers” of cluster weather.

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