Astrophys. J., 874, 77-77 (2019/March-3)
Sub-Eddington supermassive black hole activity in Fornax early-type galaxies.
LEE N., GALLO E., HODGES-KLUCK E., COTE P., FERRARESE L., MILLER B., BALDASSARE V., PLOTKIN R. and TREU T.
Abstract (from CDS):
We characterize the incidence and intensity of low-level supermassive black hole activity within the Fornax cluster, through X-ray observations of the nuclei of 29 quiescent early-type galaxies. Using the Chandra X-ray Telescope, we target 17 galaxies from the Hubble Space Telescope Fornax Cluster Survey, down to a uniform (3σ) limiting X-ray luminosity threshold of 5 * 1038 erg s–1, which we combine with deeper, archival observations for an additional 12 galaxies. A nuclear X-ray point source is detected in 11 out of 29 targets. After accounting for the low-mass X-ray binary contamination to the nuclear X-ray signal, the X-ray active fraction is measured at 26.6% ± 9.6%. The results from this analysis are compared to similar investigations targeting quiescent early types in the Virgo cluster, as well as the field. After correcting for the different mass distributions, the measured Fornax active fraction is less than the field fraction, at more than 3σ, confirming that the funneling of gas to the nuclear regions of cluster members is inhibited compared to those galaxies in the field. At the same time, we find no statistically significant difference between Fornax and Virgo galaxies, with only marginal evidence for a lower active fraction in Fornax (1σ); if real, owing to Fornax's higher galaxy number density, this could indicate that galaxy-galaxy interactions are more effective at gas removal than galaxy-gas effects.
© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
galaxies: active - galaxies: clusters: general - galaxies: nuclei - X-rays: binaries
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