This X-ray image shows the cluster RXCJ0658.5-5556, a violently merging cluster. The dark blue region near the centre is the core of a sub-cluster flying through the main cluster body at high ‘supersonic’ speed, as indicated by a mach cone in front of this region. This sub-cluster had a pronounced low entropy core region that so far survived and is still visible. In front of the bow shock region (to the right of the blue region) we see a very dramatic entropy enhancement marked by an arrow which is the cluster gas heated by the shock front caused by the fast flying sub-cluster ‘bullet’. This is the first direct X-ray evidence of shock heating in merging clusters.
The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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European Space Agency. "XMM-Newton Probes Formation Of Galaxy Clusters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906075555.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2005, September 6). XMM-Newton Probes Formation Of Galaxy Clusters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 11, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906075555.htm
European Space Agency. "XMM-Newton Probes Formation Of Galaxy Clusters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906075555.htm (accessed March 11, 2014).