High-redshift cool-core galaxy clusters detected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect in the south pole telescope survey

D. R. Semler, R. Šuhada, K. A. Aird, M. L.N. Ashby, M. Bautz, M. Bayliss, G. Bazin, S. Bocquet, B. A. Benson, L. E. Bleem, M. Brodwin, J. E. Carlstrom, C. L. Chang, H. M. Cho, A. Clocchiatti, T. M. Crawford, A. T. Crites, T. De Haan, S. Desai, M. A. DobbsJ. P. Dudley, R. J. Foley, E. M. George, M. D. Gladders, A. H. Gonzalez, N. W. Halverson, N. L. Harrington, F. W. High, G. P. Holder, W. L. Holzapfel, S. Hoover, J. D. Hrubes, C. Jones, M. Joy, R. Keisler, L. Knox, A. T. Lee, E. M. Leitch, J. Liu, M. Lueker, D. Luong-Van, A. Mantz, D. P. Marrone, M. McDonald, J. J. McMahon, J. Mehl, S. S. Meyer, L. Mocanu, J. J. Mohr, T. E. Montroy, S. S. Murray, T. Natoli, S. Padin, T. Plagge, C. Pryke, C. L. Reichardt, A. Rest, J. Ruel, J. E. Ruhl, B. R. Saliwanchik, A. Saro, J. T. Sayre, K. K. Schaffer, L. Shaw, E. Shirokoff, J. Song, H. G. Spieler, B. Stalder, Z. Staniszewski, A. A. Stark, K. Story, C. W. Stubbs, A. Van Engelen, K. Vanderlinde, J. D. Vieira, A. Vikhlinin, R. Williamson, O. Zahn, A. Zenteno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We report the first investigation of cool-core properties of galaxy clusters selected via their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect. We use 13 galaxy clusters uniformly selected from 178 deg2 observed with the South Pole Telescope (SPT) and followed up by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. They form an approximately mass-limited sample (>3 × 1014 M h -170) spanning redshifts 0.3 < z < 1.1. Using previously published X-ray-selected cluster samples, we compare two proxies of cool-core strength: surface brightness concentration (cSB) and cuspiness (α). We find that c SBis better constrained. We measure c SBfor the SPT sample and find several new z > 0.5 cool-core clusters, including two strong cool cores. This rules out the hypothesis that there are no z > 0.5 clusters that qualify as strong cool cores at the 5.4σ level. The fraction of strong cool-core clusters in the SPT sample in this redshift regime is between 7% and 56% (95% confidence). Although the SPT selection function is significantly different from the X-ray samples, the high-z c SBdistribution for the SPT sample is statistically consistent with that of X-ray-selected samples at both low and high redshifts. The cool-core strength is inversely correlated with the offset between the brightest cluster galaxy and the X-ray centroid, providing evidence that the dynamical state affects the cool-core strength of the cluster. Larger SZ-selected samples will be crucial in understanding the evolution of cluster cool cores over cosmic time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number183
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 10 2012


  • X-rays: galaxies: clusters
  • galaxies: clusters: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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