Quantifying the collisionless nature of dark matter and galaxies in A1689

Doron Lemze*, Yoel Rephaeli, Rennan Barkana, Tom Broadhurst, Rick Wagner, Mike L. Norman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We use extensive measurements of the cluster A1689 to assess the expected similarity in the dynamics of galaxies and dark matter (DM) in their motion as collisionless "particles" in the cluster gravitational potential. To do so, we derive the radial profile of the specific kinetic energy of the cluster galaxies from the Jeans equation and observational data. Assuming that the specific kinetic energies of galaxies and DM are roughly equal, we obtain the mean value of the DM velocity anisotropy parameter and the DM density profile. Since this deduced profile has a scale radius that is higher than inferred from lensing observations, we tested the validity of the assumption by repeating the analysis using results of simulations for the profile of the DM velocity anisotropy. Results of both analyses indicate a significant difference between the kinematics of galaxies and DM within r ≳ 0.3rvir. This finding is also reflected in the shape of the galaxy number density profile, which flattens markedly with respect to the steadily rising DM profile at small radii. Thus, r ≳ 0.3rvir seems to be a transition region interior to which collisional effects significantly modify the dynamical properties of the galaxy population with respect to those of DM in A1689.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2011


  • Galaxies: clusters: individual (A1689)


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