Substructure : Clues to the Formation of Clusters of

Abstract

We have examined the spatial distribution of substructure in clusters of galaxies using Einstein X-ray observations. Subclusters are found to have a markedly anisotropic distribution which reeects the surrounding matter distribution on supercluster scales. Our results suggest a picture in which cluster formation proceeds by mergers of sub-clusters along large-scale laments. The implications of such an anisotropic formation process for the shapes, orientations and kinematics of clusters are discussed brieey.

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