Gravitational lensing detection of an extremely dense environment around a galaxy cluster

Sereno, M.; Giocoli, Carlo; Izzo, Luca; Marulli, Federico; Veropalumbo, Alfonso; Ettori, Stefano; Moscardini, Lauro; Covone, Giovanni; Ferragamo, A.; Barrena, R. et al.
Bibliographical reference

Nature Astronomy, Volume 2, p. 744-750

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Galaxy clusters form at the highest-density nodes of the cosmic web1,2. The clustering of dark matter halos hosting these galaxy clusters is enhanced relative to the general mass distribution, with the matter density beyond the virial region being strongly correlated to the halo mass (halo bias)3. Halo properties other than mass can further enhance the halo clustering (secondary bias)4-7. Observational campaigns have ascertained the halo bias8-10, but efforts to detect this secondary bias for massive halos have been inconclusive11-13. Here, we report the analysis of the environment bias in a sample of massive clusters, selected through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect by the Planck mission14,15, focusing on the detection of the environment dark matter correlated to a single cluster, PSZ2 G099.86+58.45. The gravitational lensing signal of the outskirts is very large and can be traced up to 30 megaparsecs with a high signal-to-noise ratio (about 3.4), implying environment matter density in notable excess of the cosmological mean. Our finding reveals this system to be extremely rare in the current paradigm of structure formation and, implies that enhancing mechanisms around high-mass halos can be very effective. Future lensing surveys will probe the surroundings of single haloes, enabling the study of their formation and evolution of structure.
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