Journal Article

The distribution and condition of the warm molecular gas in Abell 2597 and Sersic 159-03

J. B. R. Oonk, W. Jaffe, M. N. Bremer and R. J. van Weeren

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 405, issue 2, pages 898-932
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The distribution and condition of the warm molecular gas in Abell 2597 and Sersic 159-03

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We have used the Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the Near-Infrared (SINFONI) integral field spectrograph to map the near-infrared K-band emission lines of molecular and ionized hydrogen in the central regions of two cool core galaxy clusters, Abell 2597 and Sersic 159-03. Gas is detected out to 20 kpc from the nuclei of the brightest cluster galaxies and found to be distributed in clumps and filaments around it. The ionized and molecular gas phases trace each other closely in extent and dynamical state. Both gas phases show signs of interaction with the active nucleus. Within the nuclear regions, the kinetic luminosity of this gas is found to be somewhat smaller than the current radio luminosity. Outside the nuclear region, the gas has a low velocity dispersion and shows smooth velocity gradients. There is no strong correlation between the intensity of the molecular and ionized gas emission and either the radio or the X-ray emission. The molecular gas in Abell 2597 and Sersic 159-03 is well described by a gas in local thermal equilibrium with a single excitation temperature Texc∼ 2300 K. The emission-line ratios do not vary strongly as a function of position, with the exception of the nuclear regions where the ionized to molecular gas ratio is found to decrease. These constant line ratios imply a single source of heating and excitation for both gas phases.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: individual: Abell 2597; galaxies: clusters: individual: Sersic 159-03; cooling flows; infrared: ISM

Journal Article.  22518 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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