Extreme-Ultraviolet Flux from the Virgo Cluster: Further Evidence for a 500,000-Kelvin Component

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Science  22 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5291, pp. 1338-1340
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5291.1338


A surprising discovery in x-ray astronomy was that clusters of galaxies often contain vast quantities of hot (20 million kelvin) diffuse gas. Substantial diffuse extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) emission has recently been detected in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Depending on the character of the interstellar medium in our galaxy, this emission could be either an aspect of the hot cluster gas or a previously undetected 500,000-kelvin component. Analysis of the observational data in combination with our current knowledge of the interstellar medium revealed that the EUV flux cannot be an effect of the interstellar medium. Hence, a warm cluster component appears likely.