X-ray source overdensities in Chandra distant cluster fields: A new probe to map the cosmic tapestry?

N. Cappelluti, M. Cappi, M. Dadina, G. Malaguti, M. Branchesi, V. D'Elia, G. G.C. Palumbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The first systematic study of the serendipitous X-ray source density around 10 high z (0.24 < z < 1.2) clusters has been performed with Chandra. A factor ∼2 overdensity has been found in 4 cluster fields, increasing to 11 the number of known source overdensities around high ; clusters. The result is statistically highly significant (at >2σ per field, and >5σ overall) only on scales 8′ × 8′ and peculiar to cluster fields. The blank field fluctuations, i.e. the most sensitive measurements to dale of the X-ray cosmic variance on this scale, indicate 1σ variations within ∼15-25% around the average value. The first marginal evidence that these overdensities increase with cluster redshift is also presented. We speculate that the most likely explanation for what has been observed is that the X-ray sources are AGNs which trace filaments connected to the clusters. Nevertheless other possible explanations such as an "X-ray Butcher-Oemler" effect are not ruled out by the present results. If the association of the overdensities with large-scale structures and their positive relation with cluster redshift is confirmed, these studies could represent a new, direct, way of mapping the cosmic web and its parameters at high z.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Large-scale structure of Universe
  • X-rays: galaxies: clusters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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