A Chandra view of the z = 1.62 galaxy cluster IRC-0218A

M. Pierre, N. Clerc, B. Maughan, F. Pacaud, C. Papovich, C. N.A. Willmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Context. Very few z > 1.5 clusters of galaxies are currently known. It is important to study the properties of galaxies in these clusters and the intra-cluster medium and, furthermore, to cross-check the reliability of the various mass estimates. This will help to clarify the process of structure formation and how distant clusters may be used to constrain cosmology. Aims. We present a 84 ks Chandra observation of IRC-0218A, a cluster of galaxies inferred by the presence of a galaxy overdensity in the infrared at a redshift of 1.62 and associated with some XMM emission. Methods. We performed a spatial analysis of the Chandra X-ray photon distribution. Results. The Chandra observation of IRC-0218A appears to be entirely dominated by a point source located at the centroid of the mid-infrared galaxy density. In addition, we detected weak extended emission (2.3σ) out to a radius of 25′′ with a flux of ~3 × 10 -15 erg s -1 cm -2 in the [0.3-2] keV band. Assuming that clusters evolve similarly, we infer a virial mass of M 200 = 7.7(±3.8) × 10 13 M . This is marginally compatible with our current estimate of the cluster dynamical mass (based on 10 redshifts), although there is no evidence that the galaxy peculiar velocities correspond to the motions of a virialized structure. The stellar mass enclosed in the inferred X-ray virial radius is estimated to be 1-2 × 10 12 M . We provide a detailed account of 28 X-ray point sources detected in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA4
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
StatePublished - 2012


  • X-rays: galaxies: clusters
  • galaxies: clusters: individual: IRC-0218a

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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