Published in "Clusters of Galaxies", eds. W. R. Oegerle, M. J. Fitchett and L. Danly 1990
Abstract. This contribution reviews the X-ray properties of clusters of galaxies and includes a brief summary of the X-ray characteristics of early-type galaxies and compact, dense groups. The discussion of clusters of galaxies emphasizes the importance of X-ray observations for determining cluster substructure and the role of central, dominant galaxies. The X-ray images show that substructure is present in at least 30% of rich (Abell) clusters and, hence that many rich clusters whose other properties are those of dynamically young systems, suggests that most cluster classification systems which utilize a property related to dynamical evolution, require a second dimension related to the dominance of the central galaxy. X-ray surveys of rich clusters show that central, dominant galaxies are twice as common as optical classifications suggest. The evidence for mass deposition ("cooling flows") around central, dominant galaxies is reviewed. Finally, the implications of X-ray gas mass and iron abundance measurements for understanding the origin of the intracluster medium are discussed.
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