P. E. J. Nulsen

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (275)1014.21 Total impact

  • Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 09/2015; 10(S313):277-282. DOI:10.1017/S174392131500232X
  • Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 09/2015; 10(S313):266-270. DOI:10.1017/S1743921315002306
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    ABSTRACT: Merging galaxy clusters leave long-lasting signatures on the baryonic and non-baryonic cluster constituents, including shock fronts, cold fronts, X-ray substructure, radio halos, and offsets between the dark matter and the gas components. Using observations from Chandra, the Jansky Very Large Array, the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope, and the Hubble Space Telescope, we present a multiwavelength analysis of the merging Frontier Fields cluster MACS J0416.1-2403 (z=0.396), which consists of a NE and a SW subclusters whose cores are separated on the sky by ~250 kpc. We find that the NE subcluster has a compact core and hosts an X-ray cavity, yet it is not a cool core. Approximately 450 kpc south-south west of the SW subcluster, we detect a density discontinuity that corresponds to a compression factor of ~1.5. The discontinuity was most likely caused by the interaction of the SW subcluster with a less massive structure detected in the lensing maps SW of the subcluster's center. For both the NE and the SW subclusters, the dark matter and the gas components are well-aligned, suggesting that MACS J0416.1-2403 is a pre-merging system. The cluster also hosts a radio halo, which is unusual for a pre-merging system. The halo has a 1.4 GHz power of (1.06 +/- 0.09) x 10^{24} W Hz^{-1}, which is somewhat lower than expected based on the X-ray luminosity of the cluster. We suggest that we are either witnessing the birth of a radio halo, or have discovered a rare ultra-steep spectrum halo.
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    ABSTRACT: We present results from a very deep (650 ks) Chandra X-ray observation of the galaxy group NGC~5813, the deepest Chandra observation of a galaxy group to date. Earlier observations showed two pairs of cavities distributed roughly collinearly, with each pair associated with an elliptical shock front. The new observations confirm a third pair of outer cavities, collinear with the other pairs, and reveal an associated outer outburst shock at ~30 kpc. This system is therefore unique in exhibiting three cavity pairs, each associated with an unambiguous AGN outburst shock front. The implied mean kinetic power is roughly the same for each outburst, demonstrating that the average AGN kinetic luminosity can remain stable over long timescales (~50 Myr). The two older outbursts have larger, roughly equal total energies as compared with the youngest outburst, implying that the youngest outburst is ongoing. We find that the radiative cooling rate and the mean shock heating rate of the gas are well balanced at each shock front, suggesting that AGN outburst shock heating alone is sufficient to offset cooling and establish AGN/ICM feedback within at least the central 30 kpc. This heating takes place roughly isotropically and most strongly at small radii, as is required for feedback to operate. We suggest that shock heating may play a significant role in AGN feedback at smaller radii in other systems, where weak shocks are more difficult to detect. We find non-zero shock front widths that are too large to be explained by particle diffusion. Instead, all measured widths are consistent with shock broadening due to propagation through a turbulent ICM with a mean turbulent speed of ~70 km/s. Finally, we place lower limits on the temperature of any volume-filling thermal gas within the cavities that would balance the internal cavity pressure with the external ICM.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2015; 805(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/805/2/112 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of PLCK G036.7+14.9 from the Chandra-Planck Legacy Program. The high resolution X-ray observations reveal two close subclusters, G036N and G036S, which were not resolved by previous ROSAT, optical, or recent Planck observations. We perform detailed imaging and spectral analyses and use a simplified model to study the kinematics of this system. The basic picture is that PLCK G036.7+14.9 is undergoing a major merger (mass ratio close to unity) between the two massive subclusters, with the merger largely along the line-of-sight and probably at an early stage. G036N hosts a small, moderate cool-core, while G036S has at most a very weak cool-core in the central 40 kpc region. The difference in core cooling times is unlikely to be caused by the ongoing merger disrupting a pre-existing cool-core in G036S. G036N also hosts an unresolved radio source in the center, which may be heating the gas if the radio source is extended. The Planck derived mass is higher than the X-ray measured mass of either subcluster, but is lower than the X-ray measured mass of the whole cluster, due to the fact that Planck does not resolve PLCK G036.7+14.9 into subclusters and interprets it as a single cluster. This mass discrepancy could induce significant bias to the mass function if such previously unresolved systems are common in the Planck cluster sample. High resolution X-ray observations are necessary to identify the fraction of such systems and correct such a bias for the purpose of precision cosmological studies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2015; 804(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/804/2/129 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present results from Chandra, XMM-Newton, and ROSAT observations of the Planck SZ-detected cluster A3716 (PLCKG345.40-39.34 - G345). We show that G345 is, in fact, two subclusters separated on the sky by 400 kpc. We measure the subclusters' gas temperatures (~ 2-3 keV), total (~ 1-2 x 10^14 solar masses) and gas (~ 1-2 x 10^13 solar masses) masses, gas mass fraction within r500, entropy profiles, and X-ray luminosities (~ 10^43 erg/s). Using the gas density and temperature profiles for both subclusters, we show that there is good (0.8 sigma) agreement between the expected Sunyaev-Zel'dovich signal predicted from the X-ray data and that measured from the Planck mission, and better agreement within 0.6 sigma when we re-computed the Planck value assuming a two component cluster model, with relative amplitudes fixed based on the X-ray data. Dynamical analysis shows that the two galaxy subclusters are very likely (> 97% probability) gravitationally bound, and in the most likely scenario, the subclusters will undergo core passage in 500 +- 200 Myr. The northern subcluster is centrally peaked and has a low entropy core, while the southern subcluster has a high central entropy. The high central entropy in the southern subcluster can be explained either by the mergers of several groups, as suggested by the presence of five giant ellipticals or by AGN energy injection, as suggested by the presence of a strong radio source in one of its massive elliptical galaxies, or by a combination of both processes.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2015; 803(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/803/2/108 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cygnus A, the nearest truly powerful radio galaxy, resides at the centre of a massive galaxy cluster. Chandra X-ray observations reveal its cocoon shocks, radio lobe cavities and an X-ray jet, which are discussed here. It is argued that X-ray emission from the outer regions of the cocoon shocks is nonthermal. The X-ray jets are best interpreted as synchrotron emission, suggesting that they, rather than the radio jets, are the path of energy flow from the nucleus to the hotspots. In that case, a model shows that the jet flow is non-relativistic and carries in excess of one solar mass per year.
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 02/2015; 10(S313). DOI:10.1017/S1743921315002240
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    ABSTRACT: (abridged) Elliptical cluster galaxies moving through the ICM are successively stripped of their gaseous atmospheres. Deep X-ray observations reveal the detailed structure of galactic tails and wakes and of the interface between the galactic gas and the ICM. This fine-structure depends on dynamic conditions (galaxy potential, initial gas contents, orbit in the host cluster), stripping stage (early infall, pre-/post-pericenter passage), as well as on the still ill-constrained ICM plasma properties (thermal conductivity, viscosity, magnetic field structure). The first paper of this series describes flow patterns and stages of inviscid gas stripping. Here we study the effect of a Spitzer-like temperature dependent viscosity corresponding to Reynolds numbers, Re, of 50 to 5000 w.r.t. the ICM flow around the remnant atmosphere. Global flow patterns are independent of viscosity in this range. Viscosity suppresses Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities (KHIs) at the sides of the remaining atmosphere and prevents mixing of cool stripped gas with the hotter ICM in the galaxy's wake. Thus, viscously stripped galaxies have long X-ray bright cool wakes. We provide a collection of mock X-ray images for different stripping stages and conditions. While these qualitative results are generic, we aim at the most direct comparison to observations and tailored our simulations to the Virgo elliptical galaxy M89 (NGC 4552), where Re ~ 50 corresponds to a viscosity of 10% of the Spitzer level. Paper III of this series compares in detail new deep Chandra and archival XMM-Newton data to our simulations. The comparison disfavors an isotropic viscosity near the Spitzer value in the Virgo ICM, and suggests a near pericenter position of M89 in the Virgo cluster.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2014; 806(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/806/1/104 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: (abridged) Elliptical cluster galaxies are successively stripped of their gaseous atmospheres due to their motion through the ICM. The stripped galactic gas forms a 'tail' in the galaxy's wake. Deep X-ray observations reveal the fine-structure of the gas tail and of the interface between galactic gas and ICM. This fine-structure depends on dynamic conditions (galaxy potential, initial gas contents, orbit in the host cluster), stripping stage (early infall, pre-/post-pericenter passage), and on the still ill-constrained ICM plasma properties (thermal conductivity, viscosity, magnetic field structure). In a series of papers, we aim at disentangling dynamic and plasma effects in order to use observed stripped ellipticals as probes of the ICM plasma properties. This first paper determines flow phases and flow patterns of successive gas stripping by means of hydrodynamical simulations. During quasi-steady stripping, the flow of ICM around the remnant atmosphere is similar to the flow around solid bodies, including a 'deadwater region' downstream of the remnant atmosphere. The size and shape of the galaxy's remnant atmosphere is shaped by the ambient flow. Gas removal takes place predominantly at the sides of the remnant atmosphere. The downstream atmosphere is shaped into a tail because it is shielded from the ICM wind and thus is not stripped easily. This remnant tail contains only unstripped, unmixed galactic gas. Paper II of this series describes the effect of viscosity on flow patterns and resulting observable features. While the qualitative results are generic, we aim at the most direct comparison to observations and tailored our simulations to the Virgo elliptical galaxy M89 (NGC 4552). Paper III of this series compares in detail new deep Chandra and archival XMM-Newton observations to our simulations.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2014; 806(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/806/1/103 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use a combination of deep Chandra X-ray observations and radio continuum imaging to investigate the origin and current state of the intra-group medium in the spiral-rich compact group HCG 16. We confirm the presence of a faint ($L_{X,{\rm bolo}}$=1.87$^{+1.03}_{-0.66}$$\times$10$^{41}$ erg/s), low temperature (0.30$^{+0.07}_{-0.05}$ keV) intra-group medium (IGM) extending throughout the ACIS-S3 field of view, with a ridge linking the four original group members and extending to the southeast, as suggested by previous Rosat and XMM-Newton observations. This ridge contains 6.6$^{+3.9}_{-3.3}$$\times$10$^9$ solar masses of hot gas and is at least partly coincident with a large-scale HI tidal filament, indicating that the IGM in the inner part of the group is highly multi-phase. We present evidence that the group is not yet virialised, and show that gas has probably been transported from the starburst winds of NGC 838 and NGC 839 into the surrounding IGM. Considering the possible origin of the IGM, we argue that material ejected by galactic winds may have played a significant role, contributing 20-40% of the observed hot gas in the system.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2014; 793(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/793/2/74 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new Chandra X-ray observation of the off-axis galaxy group merger RXJ0751.3+5012. The hot atmospheres of the two colliding groups appear highly distorted by the merger. The images reveal arc-like cold fronts around each group core, produced by the motion through the ambient medium, and the first detection of a group merger shock front. We detect a clear density and temperature jump associated with a bow shock of Mach number M=1.9+/-0.4 ahead of the northern group. Using galaxy redshifts and the shock velocity of 1100+/-300 km/s, we estimate that the merger axis is only 10deg from the plane of the sky. From the projected group separation of 90 kpc, this corresponds to a time since closest approach of 0.1 Gyr. The northern group hosts a dense, cool core with a ram pressure stripped tail of gas extending 100 kpc. The sheared sides of this tail appear distorted and broadened by Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. We use the presence of this substructure to place an upper limit on the magnetic field strength and, for Spitzer-like viscosity, show that the development of these structures is consistent with the critical perturbation length above which instabilities can grow in the intragroup medium. The northern group core also hosts a galaxy pair, UGC4052, with a surrounding IR and near-UV ring 40 kpc in diameter. The ring may have been produced by tidal stripping of a smaller galaxy by UGC4052 or it may be a collisional ring generated by a close encounter between the two large galaxies.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2014; 444(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu1469 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an analysis of deep Chandra X-ray observations of the galaxy cluster MS 0735.6+7421, which hosts the most energetic radio AGN known. Our analysis has revealed two cavities in its hot atmosphere with diameters of 200-240 kpc. The total cavity enthalpy, mean age, and mean jet power are $9\times 10^{61}$ erg, $1.6\times 10^{8}$ yr, and $1.7\times 10^{46}$ erg/s, respectively. The cavities are surrounded by nearly continuous temperature and surface brightness discontinuities associated with an elliptical shock front of Mach number 1.26 (1.17-1.30) and age of $1.1\times 10^{8}$ yr. The shock has injected at least $4\times 10^{61}$ erg into the hot atmosphere at a rate of $1.1\times 10^{46}$ erg/s. A second pair of cavities and possibly a second shock front are located along the radio jets, indicating that the AGN power has declined by a factor of 30 over the past 100 Myr. The multiphase atmosphere surrounding the central galaxy is cooling at a rate of 36 Msun/yr, but does not fuel star formation at an appreciable rate. In addition to heating, entrainment in the radio jet may be depleting the nucleus of fuel and preventing gas from condensing out of the intracluster medium. Finally, we examine the mean time intervals between AGN outbursts in systems with multiple generations of X-ray cavities. We find that, like MS0735, their AGN rejuvenate on a timescale that is approximately 1/3 of their mean central cooling timescales, indicating that jet heating is outpacing cooling in these systems.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2014; 442(4). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu1030 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report ALMA Early Science observations of the A1835 brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in the CO (3-2) and CO (1-0) emission lines. We detect 5 × 1010M ☉ of molecular gas within 10 kpc of the BCG. Its ensemble velocity profile width of ~130 km s–1 FWHM is too narrow for the molecular clouds to be supported in the galaxy by dynamic pressure. The gas may instead be supported in a rotating, turbulent disk oriented nearly face-on. Roughly 1010M ☉ of molecular gas is projected 3-10 kpc to the northwest and to the east of the nucleus with line-of-sight velocities lying between –250 km s–1 and +480 km s–1 with respect to the systemic velocity. The high-velocity gas may be either inflowing or outflowing. However, the absence of high-velocity gas toward the nucleus that would be expected in a steady inflow, and its bipolar distribution on either side of the nucleus, are more naturally explained as outflow. Star formation and radiation from the active galactic nucleus (AGN) are both incapable of driving an outflow of this magnitude. The location of the high-velocity gas projected behind buoyantly rising X-ray cavities and favorable energetics suggest an outflow driven by the radio AGN. If so, the molecular outflow may be associated with a hot outflow on larger scales reported by Kirkpatrick and colleagues. The molecular gas flow rate of approximately 200 M ☉ yr–1 is comparable to the star formation rate of 100-180 M ☉ yr–1 in the central disk. How radio bubbles would lift dense molecular gas in their updrafts, how much gas will be lost to the BCG, and how much will return to fuel future star formation and AGN activity are poorly understood. Our results imply that radio-mechanical (radio-mode) feedback not only heats hot atmospheres surrounding elliptical galaxies and BCGs, but it is able to sweep higher density molecular gas away from their centers.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2014; 785(1):44. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/785/1/44 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report ALMA Early Science observations of the Abell 1835 brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in the CO (3-2) and CO (1-0) emission lines. We detect $5\times 10^{10}~\rm M_\odot$ of molecular gas within 10 kpc of the BCG. Its ensemble velocity profile width of $\sim 130 ~\rm km~s^{-1}$ FWHM is too narrow for the molecular cloud sto be supported in the galaxy by dynamic pressure. The gas may instead be supported in a rotating, turbulent disk oriented nearly face-on. Roughly $10^{10}~\rm M_\odot$ of molecular gas is projected $3-10 ~\rm kpc$ to the north-west and to the east of the nucleus with line of sight velocities lying between $-250 ~\rm km~s^{-1}$ to $+480 ~\rm km~s^{-1}$ with respect to the systemic velocity. The high velocity gas may be either inflowing or outflowing. However, the absence of high velocity gas toward the nucleus that would be expected in a steady inflow, and its bipolar distribution on either side of the nucleus, are more naturally explained as outflow. Star formation and radiation from the AGN are both incapable of driving an outflow of this magnitude. If so, the molecular outflow may be associated a hot outflow on larger scales reported by Kirkpatrick and colleagues. The molecular gas flow rate of approximately $200~\rm M_\odot ~yr^{-1}$ is comparable to the star formation rate of $100-180~\rm M_\odot ~yr^{-1}$ in the central disk. How radio bubbles would lift dense molecular gas in their updrafts, how much gas will be lost to the BCG, and how much will return to fuel future star formation and AGN activity are poorly understood. Our results imply that radio-mechanical (radio mode) feedback not only heats hot atmospheres surrounding elliptical galaxies and BCGs, it is able to sweep higher density molecular gas away from their centers.
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    ABSTRACT: We present a 250 ks Chandra observation of the cluster merger A2034 with the aim of understanding the nature of a sharp edge previously characterized as a cold front. The new data reveal that the edge is coherent over a larger opening angle and is significantly more bow-shock-shaped than previously thought. Within ~27° about the axis of symmetry of the edge, the density, temperature, and pressure drop abruptly by factors of 1.83^{+0.09}_{-0.08}, 1.85^{+0.41}_{-0.41}, and 3.4^{+0.8}_{-0.7}, respectively. This is inconsistent with the pressure equilibrium expected of a cold front and we conclude that the edge is a shock front. We measure a Mach number M = 1.59^{+0.06}_{-0.07} and corresponding shock velocity v shock ~= 2057 km s–1. Using spectra collected at the MMT with the Hectospec multi-object spectrograph, we identify 328 spectroscopically confirmed cluster members. Significantly, we find a local peak in the projected galaxy density associated with a bright cluster galaxy that is located just ahead of the nose of the shock. The data are consistent with a merger viewed within ~23° of the plane of the sky. The merging subclusters are now moving apart along a north-south axis approximately 0.3 Gyr after a small impact parameter core passage. The gas core of the secondary subcluster, which was driving the shock, appears to have been disrupted by the merger. Without a driving "piston," we speculate that the shock is dying. Finally, we propose that the diffuse radio emission near the shock is due to the revival of pre-existing radio plasma that has been overrun by the shock.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 780(2):163-. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/780/2/163 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a $250\,$ks Chandra observation of the cluster merger A2034 with the aim of understanding the nature of a sharp edge previously characterized as a cold front. The new data reveal that the edge is coherent over a larger opening angle and is significantly more bow-shock-shaped than previously thought. Within $\sim 27\,$degrees about the axis of symmetry of the edge the density, temperature and pressure drop abruptly by factors of $1.83^{+0.09}_{-0.08}$, $1.85^{+0.41}_{-0.41}$ and $3.4^{+0.8}_{-0.7}$, respectively. This is inconsistent with the pressure equilibrium expected of a cold front and we conclude that the edge is a shock front. We measure a Mach number $M = 1.59^{+0.06}_{-0.07}$ and corresponding shock velocity $v_{\rm shock}\simeq 2057\,$km/s. Using spectra collected at the MMT with the Hectospec multi-object spectrograph we identify 328 spectroscopically confirmed cluster members. Significantly, we find a local peak in the projected galaxy density associated with a bright cluster galaxy which is located just ahead of the nose of the shock. The data are consistent with a merger viewed within $\sim 23\,$degrees of the plane of the sky. The merging subclusters are now moving apart along a north-south axis approximately $0.3\,$Gyr after a small impact parameter core passage. The gas core of the secondary subcluster, which was driving the shock, appears to have been disrupted by the merger. Without a driving 'piston' we speculate that the shock is dying. Finally, we propose that the diffuse radio emission near the shock is due to the revival of pre-existing radio plasma which has been overrun by the shock.
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    ABSTRACT: We present the analysis of a deep Chandra observation of a ~2 L * late-type galaxy, ESO 137-002, in the closest rich cluster A3627. The Chandra data reveal a long (gsim40 kpc) and narrow tail with a nearly constant width (~3 kpc) to the southeast of the galaxy, and a leading edge ~1.5 kpc from the galaxy center on the upstream side of the tail. The tail is most likely caused by the nearly edge-on stripping of ESO 137-002's interstellar medium (ISM) by ram pressure, compared to the nearly face-on stripping of ESO 137-001 discussed in our previous work. Spectral analysis of individual regions along the tail shows that the gas throughout it has a rather constant temperature, ~1 keV, very close to the temperature of the tails of ESO 137-001, if the same atomic database is used. The derived gas abundance is low (~0.2 solar with the single-kT model), an indication of the multiphase nature of the gas in the tail. The mass of the X-ray tail is only a small fraction (<5%) of the initial ISM mass of the galaxy, suggesting that the stripping is most likely at an early stage. However, with any of the single-kT, double-kT, and multi-kT models we tried, the tail is always "over-pressured" relative to the surrounding intracluster medium (ICM), which could be due to the uncertainties in the abundance, thermal versus non-thermal X-ray emission, or magnetic support in the ICM. The Hα data from the Southern Observatory for Astrophysical Research show a ~21 kpc tail spatially coincident with the X-ray tail, as well as a secondary tail (~12 kpc long) to the east of the main tail diverging at an angle of ~23° and starting at a distance of ~7.5 kpc from the nucleus. At the position of the secondary Hα tail, the X-ray emission is also enhanced at the ~2σ level. We compare the tails of ESO 137-001 and ESO 137-002, and also compare the tails to simulations. Both the similarities and differences of the tails pose challenges to the simulations. Several implications are briefly discussed. Based on observations made with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the Southern Observatory for Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2013; 777(2):122-. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/777/2/122 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a multi-wavelength study of the interstellar medium in eight nearby, X-ray and optically bright, giant elliptical galaxies. Using Herschel PACS, we map the cold gas in the lines of [CII], [OI], and [OIb]. Additionally, we present Ha+[NII] imaging of warm ionized gas with the SOAR telescope, and a study of the hot X-ray emitting plasma with Chandra. All systems with extended Ha emission in our sample (6/8 galaxies) display significant [CII] line emission indicating the presence of cold gas. This emission is co-spatial with the Ha+[NII] emitting nebulae and the lowest entropy X-ray emitting plasma. The entropy profiles of the hot galactic atmospheres show a clear dichotomy, with the systems displaying extended emission line nebulae having lower entropies beyond r~1 kpc than the cold-gas-poor systems. We show that while the hot atmospheres of the cold-gas-poor galaxies are thermally stable outside of their innermost cores, the atmospheres of the cold-gas-rich systems are prone to cooling instabilities. This result indicates that the cold gas is produced chiefly by thermally unstable cooling from the hot phase. We show that cooling instabilities may develop more easily in rotating systems and discuss an alternative condition for thermal instability for this case. The hot atmospheres of cold-gas-rich galaxies display disturbed morphologies indicating that the accretion of clumpy multiphase gas in these systems may result in variable power output of the AGN jets, potentially triggering sporadic, larger outbursts. In the two cold-gas-poor, X-ray morphologically relaxed galaxies of our sample, NGC 1399 and NGC 4472, powerful AGN outbursts may have destroyed or removed most of the cold gas from the cores, allowing the jets to propagate and deposit most of their energy further out, increasing the entropy of the hot galactic atmospheres and leaving their cores relatively undisturbed.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2013; 439(3). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu006 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the analysis of a deep Chandra observation of a ~2L_* late-type galaxy, ESO 137-002, in the closest rich cluster A3627. The Chandra data reveal a long (>40 kpc) and narrow tail with a nearly constant width (~3 kpc) to the southeast of the galaxy, and a leading edge ~1.5 kpc from the galaxy center on the upstream side of the tail. The tail is most likely caused by the nearly edge-on stripping of ESO 137-002's ISM by ram pressure, compared to the nearly face-on stripping of ESO 137-001 discussed in our previous work. Spectral analysis of individual regions along the tail shows that the gas throughout it has a rather constant temperature, ~1 keV, very close to the temperature of the tails of ESO 137-001, if the same atomic database is used. The derived gas abundance is low (~0.2 solar with the single-kT model), an indication of the multiphase nature of the gas in the tail. The mass of the X-ray tail is only a small fraction (<5%) of the initial ISM mass of the galaxy, suggesting that the stripping is most likely at an early stage. However, with any of the single-kT, double-kT and multi-kT models we tried, the tail is always "over-pressured" relative to the surrounding ICM, which could be due to the uncertainties in the abundance, thermal vs. non-thermal X-ray emission, or magnetic support in the ICM. The H-alpha data from SOAR show a ~21 kpc tail spatially coincident with the X-ray tail, as well as a secondary tail (~12 kpc long) to the east of the main tail diverging at an angle of ~23 degrees and starting at a distance of ~7.5 kpc from the nucleus. At the position of the secondary H-alpha tail, the X-ray emission is also enhanced at the ~2 sigma level. We compare the tails of ESO 137-001 and ESO 137-002, and also compare the tails to simulations. Both the similarities and differences of the tails pose challenges to the simulations. Several implications are briefly discussed.
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    ABSTRACT: Transport coefficients in highly ionised plasmas like the intra-cluster medium (ICM) are still ill-constrained. They influence various processes, among them the mixing at shear flow interfaces due to the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI). The observed structure of potential mixing layers can be used to infer the transport coefficients, but the data interpretation requires a detailed knowledge of the long-term evolution of the KHI under different conditions. Here we present the first systematic numerical study of the effect of constant and temperature-dependent isotropic viscosity over the full range of possible values. We show that moderate viscosities slow down the growth of the KHI and reduce the height of the KHI rolls and their rolling-up. Viscosities above a critical value suppress the KHI. The effect can be quantified in terms of the Reynolds number Re = U{\lambda}/{\nu}, where U is the shear velocity, {\lambda} the perturbation length, and {\nu} the kinematic viscosity. We derive the critical Re for constant and temperature dependent, Spitzer-like viscosities, an empirical relation for the viscous KHI growth time as a function of Re and density contrast, and describe special behaviours for Spitzer-like viscosities and high density contrasts. Finally, we briefly discuss several astrophysical situations where the viscous KHI could play a role, i.e., sloshing cold fronts, gas stripping from galaxies, buoyant cavities, ICM turbulence, and high velocity clouds.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2013; 436(2). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1691 · 5.23 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,014.21 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1970–2015
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2014
    • University of Birmingham
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
      Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    • Australian Astronomical Observatory
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2007–2012
    • University of Waterloo
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • 2011
    • National Institute of Astrophysics
      • Astronomical Observatory of Bologna
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2009
    • University of Wisconsin–Madison
      Madison, Wisconsin, United States
    • University of Hertfordshire
      • School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics
      Hatfield, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Swinburne University of Technology
      • Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2008
    • Pennsylvania State University
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      University Park, Maryland, United States
  • 1984–2008
    • University of Wollongong
      • School of Engineering Physics
      Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2005–2006
    • Ohio University
      • Astrophysical Institute
      Athens, Ohio, United States
  • 2001
    • Wollongong Hospital
      City of Greater Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1977–1992
    • University of Cambridge
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1986
    • NASA
      • Goddard Space Flight Centre
      Вашингтон, West Virginia, United States