Iron abundance profiles of 12 clusters of galaxies observed with BeppoSAX
We have derived azimuthally averaged radial iron-abundance profiles of the X-ray gas contained within 12 clusters of galaxies with redshift 0.03 less than or equal to z less than or equal to 0.2 observed with BeppoSAX. We find evidence for a negative metal-abundance gradient in most of the clusters, particularly significant in clusters that possess cooling flows. The composite profile from the 12 clusters resembles that of cluster simulations of Metzler & Evrard. This abundance gradient could be the result of the spatial distribution of gas-losing galaxies within the cluster being more centrally condensed than the primordial hot gas. Both inside and outside the core region we find a higher abundance in cooling-flow clusters than in non-cooling-flow clusters. Outside of the cooling region this difference cannot be the result of more efficient sputtering of metals into the gaseous phase in cooling-flow clusters but might be the result of the mixing of low-metallicity gas from the outer regions of the cluster during a merger.