Unveiling the physics of gaseous halos through X-ray spectroscopy
Aurora Simionescu, Netherlands Institute for Space Research
As bright X-ray emitters, the cores of clusters of galaxies have been studied for over 50 years, with many exciting applications ranging from plasma physics to precision cosmology. I will discuss three main directions in which the study of gaseous haloes can be pushed to new frontiers using X-ray astronomy.
The first is to expand our studies to the much fainter, outer regions of massive galaxy clusters, which can teach us how these objects grow by accreting matter from the surrounding large-scale structure. The second is to expand our studies to significantly higher spectral resolution, revealing the dynamics of the intra-cluster medium for the first time and giving a much clearer picture of its chemical composition. The third is to expand these studies to the much less massive (and also fainter) halos of galaxy groups and eventually the circumgalactic medium, where feedback from supermassive black holes plays an increasingly important role.
I will briefly summarise the current state-of the art and point our some recent progress in these three fields, as well as present the outstanding open questions and how future space missions and mission concepts will help address them.