Astrophys. J., 721, 1262-1283 (2010/October-1)
On the origin of the extended hα filaments in cooling flow clusters.
McDONALD M., VEILLEUX S., RUPKE D.S.N. and MUSHOTZKY R.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a high spatial resolution Hα survey of 23 cooling flow clusters using the Maryland Magellan Tunable Filter, covering 1-2 orders of magnitude in cooling rate, dM/dt, temperature, and entropy. We find that 8/23 (35%) of our clusters have complex, filamentary morphologies at Hα, while an additional 7/23 (30%) have marginally extended or nuclear Hα emission, in general agreement with previous studies of line emission in cooling flow cluster brightest cluster galaxies. A weak correlation between the integrated near-UV luminosity and the Hα luminosity is also found for our complete sample with a large amount of scatter about the expected relation for photoionization by young stars. We detect Hα emission out to the X-ray cooling radius, but no further, in several clusters and find a strong correlation between the Hα luminosity contained in filaments and the X-ray cooling flow rate of the cluster, suggesting that the warm ionized gas is linked to the cooling flow. Furthermore, we detect a strong enhancement in the cooling properties of the intracluster medium (ICM) coincident with the Hα emission, compared to the surrounding ICM at the same radius. While the filaments in a few clusters may be entrained by buoyant radio bubbles, in general, the radially infalling cooling flow model provides a better explanation for the observed trends. The correlation of the Hα and X-ray properties suggests that conduction may be important in keeping the filaments ionized. The thinness of the filaments suggests that magnetic fields are an important part of channeling the gas and shielding it from the surrounding hot ICM.
galaxies: active - galaxies: clusters: general - galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium - galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD - ISM: jets and outflows - X-rays: galaxies: clusters
WBL 360-03 is LEDA 36944 in SIMBAD.
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