X-ray spectra of clusters of galaxiesX-ray line observations of clusters of galaxies have shown that the X-ray emission in clusters is mainly thermal emission from hot diffuse gas, and that much of this gas has come out of stars, probably having been ejected from galaxies in the cluster. Future high resolution observations should allow us to determine the physical state of the gas. X-ray line measurements and abundance determinations can lead to strong constraints on the origin of the intracluster gas, and on the chemical evolution and history of galaxies. Some of the stronger resonant X-ray lines may be observable as absorption lines against a background quasar. Such X-ray absorption line measurement can be used to directly derive distances to clusters, using a technique similar to (and possibly complementary to) that the well-known method using the Zel'dovich-Syunyaev effect.
Sarazin, Craig L. (Virginia, University Charlottesville, United States)