intracluster medium


Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

intracluster medium

(in-tră-klus -ter) (ICM) The invisible medium that lies between the galaxies in a cluster. It is mostly comprised of hot (107–108 K) gas emitting strongly in X-rays. See clusters of galaxies; X-ray astronomy.

intracluster medium

[‚in·trə′kləs·tər ‚mēd·ē·əm]
(astronomy)
A hot, tenuous gas that fills the space between the members of a cluster of galaxies and emits x-rays.
References in periodicals archive ?
Many large elliptical galaxies are ensconced within a gaseous halo that, like the intracluster medium, is hot and emits X-rays.
In rich clusters such as Virgo, the rate at which the intracluster medium radiates suggests that hundreds of solar masses of cold gas should be falling into the central galaxy (M87) each year.
There is only one way out of this conundrum: something must be heating the central regions of the intracluster medium to offset the cooling.
Instead, X-ray images from Chandra and XMM-Newton show bubbles, shock waves, ripples, and filaments within the intracluster medium of many galaxy clusters (S&T: May 2002, page 20, and December 2003, page 18).