The hot interstellar medium of normal elliptical galaxies. II. Morphological evidence for active galactic nucleus feedback.
DIEHL S. and STATLER T.S.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report on the discovery of a new quantitative relationship between X-ray gas morphology and radio and X-ray AGN luminosities in normal elliptical galaxies. This is the second paper in a series using data on 54 objects from the Chandra public archive and builds on the findings of Paper I, which demonstrated that hydrostatic equilibrium in elliptical galaxies holds, at best, only approximately and that the shape of the X-ray isophotes is unrelated to the shape of the gravitational potential. Instead, the gas is almost always asymmetrically disturbed. In this paper we quantify the amount of asymmetry and study its correlation with other galaxy properties. We also determine radio powers and derive X-ray AGN luminosities for our galaxy sample. We find that the amount of asymmetry in the gas is correlated with both measures of AGN activity, in the sense that the hot gas is more disturbed in galaxies with higher radio and X-ray AGN luminosities. We find no evidence that galaxy density has significant effects on gas morphology. We do, however, find evidence for a correlation between gas asymmetry and the presence of hot ambient gas, which we interpret as a signature of hydrodynamic interactions with an external ambient medium. Surprisingly, the AGN-morphology connection persists all the way down to the weakest AGN luminosities in rather X-ray-faint galaxies. This is strong morphological evidence that supports the general importance of AGN feedback, even in normal elliptical galaxies.
Galaxies: Cooling Flows - Galaxies: Elliptical and Lenticular, cD - Galaxies: ISM - X-Rays: Galaxies - X-Rays: ISM