Philosophical Society of Washington

Clusters of Galaxies as Cosmological Probes

Richard Mushotzky
Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

2088th Meeting Abstract
Friday, March 20, 1998 at 8:15 PM


Clusters of galaxies are the largest bound objects in the universe. Studies of them have profound implications for the origin and evolution of structure in the universe.

Most of the “normal material” (baryons) in clusters are in the form of hot x-ray emitting gas which is enriched in iron, oxygen, and silicon.

The recent spectacular advances in x-ray astronomy allow the measurement of the mass of the cluster and the determination of the total amount of heavy elements in the hot cluster gas from x-ray imaging spectroscopy. Mr. Mushotzky will show some of these recent results and comment on why and how they are important for our understanding of the universe.

About the Author:

Richard Mushotzky received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at San Diego in 1976. He became a science research fellow at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center working on the HDAO-1 x-ray satellite, which was launched in August, 1977. He has been a staff astrophysicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center since then.

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