Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union


The structure of the universe is believed to have formed by clustering hierarchically from small to large scales. Much of this evolution occurs very slowly but at a few special times more rapid, violent activity may occur as major subunits collide at high velocities. The Abell 2125 complex ($z=0.247$) appears to be undergoing such an event as shown by modeling of the optical velocity field and by the detection with the VLA of an unusually large number of associated radio active galaxies. We present an 80 ksec Chandra imaging of Abell 2125, together with extensive complementary multi-wavelength data. We show direct evidence for galaxy transformation and destruction during the cluster formation. The Chandra data unambiguously separate the X-ray contributions from discrete sources and large-scale diffuse gas in the Abell 2125 complex, which consists of various merging clusters/groups of galaxies and low-surface brightness emission. This enables us to study processes affecting galaxy evolution during this special time from scales of Mpc down to a few kpc. The overall level of activity plus the special time for the cluster-cluster merger suggests that an important phase of galaxy evolution can take place during such events.


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