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Solar abundance ratios of the iron-peak elements in the Perseus cluster

Solar abundance ratios of the iron-peak elements in the Perseus cluster
Solar abundance ratios of the iron-peak elements in the Perseus cluster
The metal abundance of the hot plasma that permeates galaxy clusters represents the accumulation of heavy elements produced by billions of supernovae. Therefore, X-ray spectroscopy of the intracluster medium provides an opportunity to investigate the nature of supernova explosions integrated over cosmic time. In particular, the abundance of the iron-peak elements (chromium, manganese, iron and nickel) is key to understanding how the progenitors of typical type Ia supernovae evolve and explode. Recent X-ray studies of the intracluster medium found that the abundance ratios of these elements differ substantially from those seen in the Sun, suggesting differences between the nature of type Ia supernovae in the clusters and in the Milky Way. However, because the K-shell transition lines of chromium and manganese are weak and those of iron and nickel are very close in photon energy, high-resolution spectroscopy is required for an accurate determination of the abundances of these elements. Here we report observations of the Perseus cluster, with statistically significant detections of the resonance emission from chromium, manganese and nickel. Our measurements, combined with the latest atomic models, reveal that these elements have near-solar abundance ratios with respect to iron, in contrast to previous claims. Comparison between our results and modern nucleosynthesis calculations disfavours the hypothesis that type Ia supernova progenitors are exclusively white dwarfs with masses well below the Chandrasekhar limit (about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun). The observed abundance pattern of the iron-peak elements can be explained by taking into account a combination of near- and sub-Chandrasekhar-mass type Ia supernova systems, adding to the mounting evidence that both progenitor types make a substantial contribution to cosmic chemical enrichment.
0028-0836
478-480
Aharonian, Felix
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Akamatsu, Hiroki
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Akimoto, Fumie
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Ebisawa, Ken
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Furuzawa, Akihiro
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Gandhi, Poshak
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Giustini, Margherita
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Gu, Liyi
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Guainazzi, Matteo
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Haba, Yoshito
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Hagino, Kouichi
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Hamaguchi, Kenji
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Harrus, Ilana M.
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Hatsukade, Isamu
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Hayashi, Katsuhiro
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Hayashi, Takayuki
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Hayashida, Kiyoshi
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Hiraga, Junko S.
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Hornschemeier, Ann
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Hitomi Collaboration
Aharonian, Felix
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Akamatsu, Hiroki
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Akimoto, Fumie
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Allen, Steven W.
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Angelini, Lorella
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Audard, Marc
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Awaki, Hisamitsu
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Axelsson, Magnus
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Bamba, Aya
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Bautz, Marshall W.
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Blandford, Roger
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Brenneman, Laura W.
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Brown, Gregory V.
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Bulbul, Esra
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Cackett, Edward M.
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Chiao, Meng P.
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Coppi, Paolo S.
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Costantini, Elisa
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de Plaa, Jelle
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den Herder, Jan-Willem
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Done, Chris
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Dotani, Tadayasu
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Ebisawa, Ken
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Eckart, Megan E.
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Enoto, Teruaki
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Ezoe, Yuichiro
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Fabian, Andrew C.
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Ferrigno, Carlo
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Foster, Adam R.
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Fujimoto, Ryuichi
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Fukazawa, Yasushi
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Furuzawa, Akihiro
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Galeazzi, Massimiliano
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Gallo, Luigi C.
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Gandhi, Poshak
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Giustini, Margherita
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Goldwurm, Andrea
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Gu, Liyi
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Guainazzi, Matteo
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Haba, Yoshito
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Hagino, Kouichi
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Hamaguchi, Kenji
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Harrus, Ilana M.
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Hatsukade, Isamu
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Hayashi, Katsuhiro
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Hayashi, Takayuki
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Hayashida, Kiyoshi
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Hiraga, Junko S.
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Hornschemeier, Ann
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Aharonian, Felix, Akamatsu, Hiroki, Akimoto, Fumie, Allen, Steven W., Angelini, Lorella, Audard, Marc, Awaki, Hisamitsu, Axelsson, Magnus, Bamba, Aya, Bautz, Marshall W., Blandford, Roger, Brenneman, Laura W., Brown, Gregory V., Bulbul, Esra, Cackett, Edward M., Chernyakova, Maria, Chiao, Meng P., Coppi, Paolo S., Costantini, Elisa, de Plaa, Jelle, den Herder, Jan-Willem, Done, Chris, Dotani, Tadayasu, Ebisawa, Ken, Eckart, Megan E., Enoto, Teruaki, Ezoe, Yuichiro, Fabian, Andrew C., Ferrigno, Carlo, Foster, Adam R., Fujimoto, Ryuichi, Fukazawa, Yasushi, Furuzawa, Akihiro, Galeazzi, Massimiliano, Gallo, Luigi C., Gandhi, Poshak, Giustini, Margherita, Goldwurm, Andrea, Gu, Liyi, Guainazzi, Matteo, Haba, Yoshito, Hagino, Kouichi, Hamaguchi, Kenji, Harrus, Ilana M., Hatsukade, Isamu, Hayashi, Katsuhiro, Hayashi, Takayuki, Hayashida, Kiyoshi, Hiraga, Junko S. and Hornschemeier, Ann , Hitomi Collaboration (2017) Solar abundance ratios of the iron-peak elements in the Perseus cluster. Nature, 551 (7681), 478-480. (doi:10.1038/nature24301).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The metal abundance of the hot plasma that permeates galaxy clusters represents the accumulation of heavy elements produced by billions of supernovae. Therefore, X-ray spectroscopy of the intracluster medium provides an opportunity to investigate the nature of supernova explosions integrated over cosmic time. In particular, the abundance of the iron-peak elements (chromium, manganese, iron and nickel) is key to understanding how the progenitors of typical type Ia supernovae evolve and explode. Recent X-ray studies of the intracluster medium found that the abundance ratios of these elements differ substantially from those seen in the Sun, suggesting differences between the nature of type Ia supernovae in the clusters and in the Milky Way. However, because the K-shell transition lines of chromium and manganese are weak and those of iron and nickel are very close in photon energy, high-resolution spectroscopy is required for an accurate determination of the abundances of these elements. Here we report observations of the Perseus cluster, with statistically significant detections of the resonance emission from chromium, manganese and nickel. Our measurements, combined with the latest atomic models, reveal that these elements have near-solar abundance ratios with respect to iron, in contrast to previous claims. Comparison between our results and modern nucleosynthesis calculations disfavours the hypothesis that type Ia supernova progenitors are exclusively white dwarfs with masses well below the Chandrasekhar limit (about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun). The observed abundance pattern of the iron-peak elements can be explained by taking into account a combination of near- and sub-Chandrasekhar-mass type Ia supernova systems, adding to the mounting evidence that both progenitor types make a substantial contribution to cosmic chemical enrichment.

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Accepted/In Press date: 21 September 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 November 2017
Published date: November 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416840
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416840
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 1256f922-5168-4b2b-bf27-3c3433fe3711
ORCID for Poshak Gandhi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3105-2615

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Date deposited: 11 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 05:20

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Contributors

Author: Felix Aharonian
Author: Hiroki Akamatsu
Author: Fumie Akimoto
Author: Steven W. Allen
Author: Lorella Angelini
Author: Marc Audard
Author: Hisamitsu Awaki
Author: Magnus Axelsson
Author: Aya Bamba
Author: Marshall W. Bautz
Author: Roger Blandford
Author: Laura W. Brenneman
Author: Gregory V. Brown
Author: Esra Bulbul
Author: Edward M. Cackett
Author: Maria Chernyakova
Author: Meng P. Chiao
Author: Paolo S. Coppi
Author: Elisa Costantini
Author: Jelle de Plaa
Author: Jan-Willem den Herder
Author: Chris Done
Author: Tadayasu Dotani
Author: Ken Ebisawa
Author: Megan E. Eckart
Author: Teruaki Enoto
Author: Yuichiro Ezoe
Author: Andrew C. Fabian
Author: Carlo Ferrigno
Author: Adam R. Foster
Author: Ryuichi Fujimoto
Author: Yasushi Fukazawa
Author: Akihiro Furuzawa
Author: Massimiliano Galeazzi
Author: Luigi C. Gallo
Author: Poshak Gandhi ORCID iD
Author: Margherita Giustini
Author: Andrea Goldwurm
Author: Liyi Gu
Author: Matteo Guainazzi
Author: Yoshito Haba
Author: Kouichi Hagino
Author: Kenji Hamaguchi
Author: Ilana M. Harrus
Author: Isamu Hatsukade
Author: Katsuhiro Hayashi
Author: Takayuki Hayashi
Author: Kiyoshi Hayashida
Author: Junko S. Hiraga
Author: Ann Hornschemeier

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