Journal Article

Violent interaction between the active galactic nucleus and the hot gas in the core of the galaxy cluster Sérsic 159−03

N. Werner, M. Sun, J. Bagchi, S. W. Allen, G. B. Taylor, S. K. Sirothia, A. Simionescu, E. T. Million, J. Jacob and M. Donahue

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 415, issue 4, pages 3369-3379
Published in print August 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Violent interaction between the active galactic nucleus and the hot gas in the core of the galaxy cluster Sérsic 159−03

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We present a multiwavelength study of the energetic interaction between the central active galactic nucleus (AGN), the intracluster medium (ICM) and the optical emission-line nebula in the galaxy cluster Sérsic 159−03. We use X-ray data from Chandra, high-resolution X-ray spectra and ultraviolet (UV) images from XMM–Newton, Hα images from the Southern Astrophysics Research Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope optical imaging, and Very Large Array and Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope radio data. The cluster centre displays signs of powerful AGN feedback, which has cleared the central regions (r < 7.5 kpc) of a dense, X-ray-emitting ICM. X-ray spectral maps reveal a high-pressure ring surrounding the central AGN at a radius of r∼ 15 kpc, indicating an AGN-driven weak shock. The cluster harbours a bright, 44 kpc long Hα+[N ii] filament extending from the centre of the cD galaxy to the north. Along the filament, we see low-entropy, high-metallicity, cooling X-ray gas. The gas in the filament has most likely been uplifted by ‘radio mode’ AGN activity and subsequently stripped from the galaxy due to its relative southward motion. Because this X-ray gas has been removed from the direct influence of the AGN jets, part of it cools and forms stars as indicated by the observed dust lanes, molecular and ionized emission-line nebulae and the excess UV emission.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: individual: Sérsic 159−03; intergalactic medium; X-rays: galaxies: clusters

Journal Article.  8222 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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