Giant radio relics are arc-shaped diffuse sources with Mpc-scale found in the peripheries of some dynamically disturbed galaxy clusters. According to the leading scenario of relic formation, shock waves occurring in merger events amplify the local magnetic field and (re)accelerate particles. However, Mach numbers associated with merger shocks are typically low, and hence inefficient at accelerating particles from the thermal pool. We analyzed a deep Chandra
observation (334 ks) to study the relic region in the cluster Abell 115. Temperature and surface brightness profiles taken across the relic both show a clear discontinuity, which is consistent with a shock. This result supports the relic–shock connection and represents a test case to study the origin of radio relics. In this particular case, we suggest that a re-acceleration scenario is more suitable. The relic morphology and position are consistent with a shock produced in an off-axis merger between clusters with different masses.
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