ASIAA Summer Students Program
ASIAA Summer Student Program 2023
July 3 - August 31

2023 Project Description

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A cosmic crash in your hands: improving the merging galaxy cluster catalogue of Subaru Survey

Data Analysis
Galaxy Clusters
Large Scale Structure of the Universe
Optical Astronomy
Subaru Survey


Rogerio Monteiro-Oliveira
Find out more about supervisors on ASIAA website

Task Description and Goals

Galaxy clusters are currently the largest structures found in the Universe. Despite the name, they are mostly composed of dark matter (80%) and a hot and X-ray-emitting intra-cluster gas (15%). Only 5% of their mass is, in fact, composed of galaxies. They are formed through the merger of the smallest structures in a very energetic process comparable even to the Big Bang. Depending on the merger configuration (details are not fully understood yet), the three components can be temporarily stripped out from the common potential well, providing us with a val opportunity to study them in detail. For example, merging galaxy clusters are often referred to as astrophysical particle colliders, helping to investigate the nature of dark matter.

In this project, intended to be the first step of a long program, we will explore and improve the catalogue of merging clusters published by Okabe et al. (2019), which is based on the outstanding products of the Subaru Survey. As the catalogue might contain non-realistic groups (i.e. just seen on the projection), we will first check if the pairs (or multiple systems) are gravitationally bound by applying a semi-analytical description of the two-body movement. Our ultimate goal is to select the most remarkable objects and then start a spectroscopic follow-up to provide: (i) a 3D description of the current motion, (ii) a full description of the merger kinematics, (iii) an improvement of the weak gravitational lensing mass maps, plus other things that the creativity will allow.

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