AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 58. The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect: Latest Results and Future Prospects
Topical, Oral, Tuesday, June 1, 1999, 2:30-4:00pm, 4:15-6:00pm, Continental Ballroom B

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[58.11] Overcoming Systematics in Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect Distance Measurements

J.J. Mohr, E.D. Reese, J.E. Carlstrom, G.P. Holder (U Chicago), A.E. Evrard (U Michigan)

We use an ensemble of numerical cluster simulations to examine the expected statistical and systematic uncertainties encountered when using interferometric Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) and X-ray observations to measure distances. We use clusters evolved within four cosmological models of interest, including an \Omega0=0.3 model with and without \Lambda0 and a model with \Omega=1. Cluster asphericities are common in all our models, because there is significant cluster accretion at the present epoch.

We find that these realistic departures from spherical symmetry result in a ~20% random SZ distance uncertainty and only a small systematic. On the other hand, the gradual drop in intracluster medium temperature with distance from the cluster center introduces a systematic distance error of similar scale when clusters are analyzed using isothermal models. We estimate to what extent the Chandra and XMM X-ray telescopes will allow more sophisticated cluster analyses that will reduce systematic errors in SZ distance estimates.

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