Multiple merging in the Abell cluster 1367

L.Cortese, G.Gavazzi, A.Boselli, J.Iglesias-Paramo, L.Carrasco

We present a dynamical analysis of the central ~ 1.3 square degrees of the cluster of galaxies Abell 1367, based on 273 redshift measurements (of which 119 are news). From the analysis of the 146 confirmed cluster members we derive a significantly non-Gaussian velocity distribution, with a mean location C_BI = 6484+/-81 km/s and a scale S_BI = 891+/-58 km/s. The cluster appears elongated from the North-West to the South-East with two main density peaks associated with two substructures. The North-West subcluster is probably in the early phase of merging into the South-East substructure (~ 0.2 Gyr before core crossing). A dynamical study of the two subclouds points out the existence of a group of star-forming galaxies infalling into the core of the South-East subcloud and suggests that two other groups are infalling into the NW and SE subclusters respectively. These three subgroups contain a higher fraction of star-forming galaxies than the cluster core, as expected during merging events. Abell 1367 appears as a young cluster currently forming at the intersection of two filaments.

Download Paper (PostScript)