Rossi X-ray timing explorer spectrum of A2319

Duane Gruber*, Yoel Rephaeli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cluster of galaxies A2319 was observed in 1999 for ∼ 160 ks by the PCA and HEXTE instruments aboard the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite. No noticeable variability is seen in the emission measured by either instrument over the ∼ 8 week observation. The quality of the data allows, for the first time, a meaningful search for emission whose spectral properties are distinct from those of the primary thermal emission with (previously measured) mean temperature in the range 8-10 keV. Fitting the RXTE data by a single thermal component, we obtain kT = 8.6 ± 0.1 (all errors are 90% confidence limits), a low iron abundance ZFe ∼ 0.16 ± 0.02, and large positive residuals below 6 keV and between 15 to 30 keV. The quality of the fit is drastically improved if a second component is added. A two-temperature model yields kT1 ≃ 10.1 ± 0.6, kT2 ≃ 2.8 ± 0.6, and of ZFe ∼ 0.23 ± 0.03, which is consistent with previously measured values. An equally good fit is obtained by a combination of a primary thermal and a secondary nonthermal component with kT ≃ 8.9 ± 0.6 and a power-law (photon) index a α ≃ 2.4 ± 0.3. We have repeated the analysis by performing joint fits to both these RXTE measurements and archival ASCA data. At most, 25% of the RXTE secondary component could be present in the ASCA data. Allowing for this difference, very similar results were obtained with only somewhat different values for the temperature (kT = 9.2 ± 0.5) and power-law index (α ≃ 2.5 ± 0.3) in the latter model. The deduced value of a is consistent with the measured spectrum of extended radio emission in A2319. Identifying the power-law emission as Compton scattering of the radio-emitting electrons by the cosmic microwave background (CMB), we obtain B ∼ 0.1-0.3 μG for the volume-averaged magnetic field, and ∼ 4 × 10-14(R/2Mpc)-3 ergs cm-3 for the mean energy density of the emitting electrons in the central region (radius R) of A2319.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-882
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2002


  • Galaxies: Clusters: General
  • Galaxies: Clusters: Individual (A2319) galaxies: Magnetic fields
  • Radiation mechanisms: Nonthermal


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