Feedback in the cores of clusters A3581, 2A 0335+096, and sersic 159-03

Catherine L. Farage*, Peter J. McGregor, Michael A. Dopita

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    The cores of massive galaxy clusters, where hot gas is cooling rapidly, appear to undergo cycles of self-regulating energy feedback, in which active galactic nucleus (AGN) outbursts in the central galaxies episodically provide sufficient heating to offset much of the gas cooling. We use deep integral-field spectroscopy to study the optical line emission from the extended nebulae of three nearby brightest cluster galaxies and investigate how they are related to the processes of heating and cooling in the cluster cores. Two of these systems, A3581 and Sersic159-03, appear to be experiencing phases of feedback that are dominated by the activity and output of a central AGN. A3581 shows evidence for significant interaction between the radio outflows and the optical nebula, in addition to accretion flows into the nucleus of the galaxy. X-ray and radio data show that Sersic159-03 is dominated by the feedback of energy from the central AGN, but the kinematics of the optical nebula are consistent with infall or outflow of material along its bright filaments. The third system, 2A0335+096, is dominated by mass accretion and cooling, and so we suggest that it is in an accumulation phase of the feedback cycle. The outer nebula forms a disk-like structure, 14kpc in radius, that rotates about the central galaxy with a velocity amplitude of 200kms-1. Overall, our data are consistent with ongoing AGN-driven feedback cycles occurring in these systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number28
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


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