Evolution of X-ray cavities

Marcus Brüggen, Evan Scannapieco, Sebastian Heinz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The physics of X-ray cavities in galaxy clusters can be constrained by their observed morphological evolution, which is dependent on such poorly-understood properties as the turbulent density field and magnetic fields. Here we combine numerical simulations that include subgrid turbulence and software that produces synthetic X-ray observations to examine the evolution of X-ray cavities in the the absence of magnetic fields. Our results reveal an anisotropic size evolution that is very different from simplified, analytical predictions. These differences highlight some of the key issues that must be accurately quantified when studying AGN-driven cavities, and help to explain why the inferred pV energy in these regions appears to be correlated with their distance from the cluster center. Interpreting X-ray observations will require detailed modeling of effects including mass-entrainment, distortion by drag forces, and projection. Current limitations do not allow a discrimination between purely hydrodynamic and magnetically-dominated models for X-ray cavities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMonster's Fiery Breath
Subtitle of host publicationFeedback in Galaxies, Groups, and Clusters - Proceedings of the International Conference
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
EventInternational Conference on Monster's Fiery Breath: Feedback in Galaxies, Groups, and Clusters - Madison, WI, United States
Duration: Jun 1 2009Jun 5 2009

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


OtherInternational Conference on Monster's Fiery Breath: Feedback in Galaxies, Groups, and Clusters
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMadison, WI


  • Galaxy clusters
  • Hydrodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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