P. E. J. Nulsen

University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (268)1003.61 Total impact

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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.
    09/2014;
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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.
    09/2014;
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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). · 6.73 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). · 5.52 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.
    05/2014;
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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. · 6.73 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.
    02/2014;
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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-. · 6.73 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.
    11/2013;
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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-. · 6.73 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.
    10/2013; 439(3).
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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.
    09/2013;
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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). · 5.52 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 5E10 solar masses of molecular gas within 10 kpc of the BCG. Its velocity width of ~130 km/s FWHM is too narrow to be supported by dynamical pressure. The gas may instead be supported in a rotating, turbulent disk oriented nearly face-on. The disk is forming stars at a rate of 100-180 solar masses per year. Roughly 1E10 solar masses of molecular gas is projected 3-10 kpc to the north-west and to the east of the nucleus with line of sight velocities lying between -250 km/s to +480 km/s with respect to the systemic velocity. Although inflow cannot be ruled out, the rising velocity gradient with radius is consistent with a broad, bipolar outflow driven by radio jets or buoyantly rising X-ray cavities. The molecular outflow may be associated with an outflow of hot gas in Abell 1835 seen on larger scales. Molecular gas is flowing out of the BCG at a rate of approximately 200 solar masses per year, which is comparable to its star formation rate. How radio bubbles 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.
    08/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We report ALMA Early Science CO(1-0) and CO(3-2) observations of the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in Abell 1664. The BCG contains 1.1x10^{10} solar masses of molecular gas divided roughly equally between two distinct velocity systems: one from -250 to +250 km/s centred on the BCG's systemic velocity and a high velocity system blueshifted by 570 km/s with respect to the systemic velocity. The BCG's systemic component shows a smooth velocity gradient across the BCG center with velocity proportional to radius suggestive of solid body rotation about the nucleus. However, the mass and velocity structure are highly asymmetric and there is little star formation coincident with a putative disk. It may be an inflow of gas that will settle into a disk over several 10^8 yr. The high velocity system consists of two gas clumps, each ~2 kpc across, located to the north and southeast of the nucleus. Each has a line of sight velocity spread of 250-300 km/s. The velocity of the gas in the high velocity system tends to increase towards the BCG center and could signify a massive high velocity flow onto the nucleus. However, the velocity gradient is not smooth and these structures are also coincident with low optical-UV surface brightness regions, which could indicate dust extinction associated with each clump. If so, the high velocity gas would be projected in front of the BCG and moving toward us along the line of sight in a massive outflow most likely driven by the AGN. A merger origin is unlikely but cannot be ruled out.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2013; 784(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present new Chandra observations of Abell 2199 that show evidence of gas sloshing due to a minor merger, as well as impacts of the radio source, 3C 338, hosted by the central galaxy, NGC 6166, on the intracluster gas. The new data are consistent with previous evidence of a Mach 1.46 shock 100" from the cluster center, although there is still no convincing evidence for the expected temperature jump. Other interpretations of this feature are possible, but none is fully satisfactory. Large scale asymmetries, including enhanced X-ray emission 200" southwest of the cluster center and a plume of low entropy, enriched gas reaching 50" to the north of the center, are signatures of gas sloshing induced by core passage of a merging subcluster about 400 Myr ago. An association between the unusual radio ridge and low entropy gas are consistent with this feature being the remnant of a former radio jet that was swept away from the AGN by gas sloshing. A large discrepancy between the energy required to produce the 100" shock and the enthalpy of the outer radio lobes of 3C 338 suggests that the lobes were formed by a more recent, less powerful radio outburst. Lack of evidence for shocks in the central 10" indicates that the power of the jet now is some two orders of magnitude smaller than when the 100" shock was formed.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2013; 775(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results from extensive, new observations of the Perseus Cluster of galaxies, obtained as a Suzaku Key Project. The 85 pointings analyzed span eight azimuthal directions out to 2 degrees = 2.6 Mpc, to and beyond the virial radius r_200 ~ 1.8 Mpc, offering the most detailed X-ray observation of the intracluster medium (ICM) at large radii in any cluster to date. The azimuthally averaged density profile for r>0.4r_200 is relatively flat, with a best-fit power-law index of 1.69+/-0.13 significantly smaller than expected from numerical simulations. The entropy profile in the outskirts lies systematically below the power-law behavior expected from large-scale structure formation models which include only the heating associated with gravitational collapse. The pressure profile beyond ~0.6r_200 shows an excess with respect to the best-fit model describing the SZ measurements for a sample of clusters observed with Planck. The inconsistency between the expected and measured density, entropy, and pressure profiles can be explained primarily by an overestimation of the density due to inhomogeneous gas distribution in the outskirts; there is no evidence for a bias in the temperature measurements within the virial radius. We find significant differences in thermodynamic properties of the ICM at large radii along the different arms. Along the cluster minor axis, we find a flattening of the entropy profiles outside ~0.6r_200, while along the major axis, the entropy rises all the way to the outskirts. Correspondingly, the inferred gas clumping factor is typically larger along the minor than along the major axis.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanical feedback via Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) jets in the centres of galaxy groups and clusters is a crucial ingredient in current models of galaxy formation and cluster evolution. Jet feedback is believed to regulate gas cooling and thus star formation in the most massive galaxies, but a robust physical understanding of this feedback mode is currently lacking. The large collecting area, excellent spectral resolution and high spatial resolution of Athena+ will provide the breakthrough diagnostic ability necessary to develop this understanding, via: (1) the first kinematic measurements on relevant spatial scales of the hot gas in galaxy, group and cluster haloes as it absorbs the impact of AGN jets, and (2) vastly improved ability to map thermodynamic conditions on scales well-matched to the jets, lobes and gas disturbances produced by them. Athena+ will therefore determine for the first time how jet energy is dissipated and distributed in group and cluster gas, and how a feedback loop operates in group/cluster cores to regulate gas cooling and AGN fuelling. Athena+ will also establish firmly the cumulative impact of powerful radio galaxies on the evolution of baryons from the epoch of group/cluster formation to the present day.
    06/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: This White Paper, submitted to the recent ESA call for science themes to define its future large missions, advocates the need for a transformational leap in our understanding of two key questions in astrophysics: 1) How does ordinary matter assemble into the large scale structures that we see today? 2) How do black holes grow and shape the Universe? Hot gas in clusters, groups and the intergalactic medium dominates the baryonic content of the local Universe. To understand the astrophysical processes responsible for the formation and assembly of these large structures, it is necessary to measure their physical properties and evolution. This requires spatially resolved X-ray spectroscopy with a factor 10 increase in both telescope throughput and spatial resolving power compared to currently planned facilities. Feedback from supermassive black holes is an essential ingredient in this process and in most galaxy evolution models, but it is not well understood. X-ray observations can uniquely reveal the mechanisms launching winds close to black holes and determine the coupling of the energy and matter flows on larger scales. Due to the effects of feedback, a complete understanding of galaxy evolution requires knowledge of the obscured growth of supermassive black holes through cosmic time, out to the redshifts where the first galaxies form. X-ray emission is the most reliable way to reveal accreting black holes, but deep survey speed must improve by a factor ~100 over current facilities to perform a full census into the early Universe. The Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics (Athena+) mission provides the necessary performance (e.g. angular resolution, spectral resolution, survey grasp) to address these questions and revolutionize our understanding of the Hot and Energetic Universe. These capabilities will also provide a powerful observatory to be used in all areas of astrophysics.
    06/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results of a multi-wavelength study of the nearby galaxy group, Abell 3581 (z=0.0218). This system hosts the most luminous cool core of any nearby group and exhibits active radio mode feedback from the super-massive black hole in its brightest group galaxy, IC 4374. The brightest galaxy has suffered multiple active galactic nucleus outbursts, blowing bubbles into the surrounding hot gas, which have resulted in the uplift of cool ionised gas into the surrounding hot intragroup medium. High velocities, indicative of an outflow, are observed close to the nucleus and coincident with the radio jet. Thin dusty filaments accompany the uplifted, ionised gas. No extended star formation is observed, however, a young cluster is detected just north of the nucleus. The direction of rise of the bubbles has changed between outbursts. This directional change is likely due to sloshing motions of the intragroup medium. These sloshing motions also appear to be actively stripping the X-ray cool core, as indicated by a spiraling cold front of high metallicity, low temperature, low entropy gas.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2013; 435(2). · 5.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

7k Citations
1,003.61 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • University of Birmingham
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
  • 1970–2014
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2013
    • University of São Paulo
      • Department of Astronomy (São Paulo)
      San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2012
    • Social Science Research Council
      New York City, New York, United States
    • Australian Astronomical Observatory
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2008–2012
    • Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
      Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    • Pennsylvania State University
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      University Park, Maryland, United States
  • 2007–2012
    • University of Waterloo
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • 2009
    • 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
  • 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