Independent Evidence for earlier formation epochs of fossil groups of galaxies through the intracluster light: the case for RX J100742.53+380046.6

Renato A. Dupke, Yolanda Jimenez-teja, Yuanyuan Su, Eleazar R. Carrasco, Anton M. Koekemoer, Rebeca Batalha, Lucas Johnson, Jimmy Irwin, Eric Miller, Paola Dimauro, Nicolas De Oliveira, Jose Vilchez

Submitted on 1 July 2022


Fossil groups (FG) of galaxies still present a puzzle to theories of structure formation. Despite the low number of bright galaxies, they have relatively high velocity dispersions and ICM temperatures often corresponding to cluster-like potential wells. Their measured concentrations are typically high, indicating early formation epochs as expected from the originally proposed scenario for their origin as being older undisturbed systems. This is, however, in contradiction with the typical lack of expected well developed cool cores. Here, we apply a cluster dynamical indicator recently discovered in the intracluster light fraction (ICLf) to a classic FG, RX J1000742.53+380046.6, to assess its dynamical state. We also refine that indicator to use as an independent age estimator. We find negative radial temperature and metal abundance gradients, the abundance achieving supersolar values at the hot core. The X-ray flux concentration is consistent with that of cool core systems. The ICLf analysis provides an independent probe of the system's dynamical state and shows that the system is very relaxed, more than all clusters, where the same analysis has been performed. The specific ICLf is more 5 times higher than any of the clusters previously analyzed, which is consistent with an older non-interactive galaxy system that had its last merging event within the last 5Gyr. The specific ICLf is predicted to be an important new tool to identify fossil systems and to constrain the relative age of clusters.


Comment: 22 pages, 10 figures 6 tables, accepted by ApJ

Subjects: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics; Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena