Volume 365, Number 1, January 2001
First Results from XMM-Newton
|Page(s)||L110 - L115|
|Published online||15 January 2001|
XMM-Newton first-light observations of the Hickson galaxy group 16
X-ray Astronomy Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Leicester University, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
2 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
3 CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
4 Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Palermo 90134, Italy
5 CESR Toulouse, BP 4346, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
6 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Postfach 1603, 85748 Garching, Germany
7 ESA-SOC, Vilspa, PO Box 50727, 28080, Madrid, Spain
8 LURE, Bât. 209 D, Université Paris Sud, 91405 Orsay, France
9 Office of Research, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
10 IFC Milan, 20133 Milano, Italy
11 Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Bât. 121, Université Paris Sud, 91405 Orsay, France
12 PS Estec, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
13 IAAP Tuebingen, 72076, Germany
14 PX Estec, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
15 MSSL Holmbury St Mary, Dorking RH5 6NT, UK
16 LANL, SST9, MS D436, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
17 ITESRE, 41010 Bologna, Italy
J. N. Reeves
Accepted: 27 October 2000
This paper presents the XMM-Newton first-light observations of the Hickson-16 compact group of galaxies. Groups are possibly the oldest large-scale structures in the Universe, pre-dating clusters of galaxies, and are highly evolved. This group of small galaxies, at a redshift of 0.0132 (or 80 Mpc) is exceptional in the having the highest concentration of starburst or AGN activity in the nearby Universe. So it is a veritable laboratory for the study of the relationship between galaxy interactions and nuclear activity. Previous optical emission line studies indicated a strong ionising continuum in the galaxies, but its origin, whether from starbursts, or AGN, was unclear. Combined imaging and spectroscopy with the EPIC X-ray CCDs unequivocally reveals a heavily obscured AGN and a separately identified thermal (starburst) plasma, in NGC 835, NGC 833, & NGC 839. NGC 838 shows only starburst thermal emission. Starbursts and AGN can evidently coexist in members of this highly evolved system of merged and merging galaxies, implying a high probability for the formation of AGN as well as starbursts in post-merger galaxies.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: starburst / X-rays: galaxies
© ESO, 2001
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