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E. R. Tittley, M. Henriksen (JCA, UMBC)
Chandra x-ray observations of the hot halo gas in galaxy clusters have resulted in the discovery of structures and phenomena neither previously seen by x-ray telescopes nor predicted by numerical simulations. Steep x-ray flux gradients that are not axi-symmetric have been observed (Markevitch 2000, Vikhlinin 2000, Mazzotta 2001). The gradients have been given the moniker `cold fronts.' Cold fronts have been attributed to movement of the cluster cores within the potential well and are thought to be stabilized against thermal diffusion by magnetic fields We report on preliminary work using high resolution numerical simulations of cluster mergers which indicate that post-merger oscillations of the primary cluster core are responsible for the motion of the cool core gas with respect to the surrounding hot gas. The simulations solve the hydrodynamics using SPH. The oscillations provide a previously unexploitable tool for studying the dark-matter density profile of clusters.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.