Volume 572, December 2014
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||03 December 2014|
Discovery of O vii line emitting gas in elliptical galaxies
Institute of Astronomy,
Madingley Road, CB3 0,
2 Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, 452 Lomita Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-4085, USA
3 Department of Physics, Stanford University, 382 via Pueblo Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-4060, USA
4 Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
5 SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
6 Max-Planck-Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
7 Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Received: 4 November 2014
Accepted: 11 November 2014
In the cores of ellipticals, clusters, and groups of galaxies, the gas has a cooling time shorter than 1 Gyr. It is possible to probe cooling flows through the detection of Fe xvii and O vii emission lines, but so far O vii has not been detected in any individual object. The Reflection Grating Spectrometers (RGS) aboard XMM-Newton are currently the only instruments able to detect O vii in extended objects such as elliptical galaxies and galaxy clusters. We searched for evidence of O vii through all the archival RGS observations of galaxy clusters, groups of galaxies, and elliptical galaxies focusing on those with core temperatures below 1 keV. We have discovered O vii resonance (21.6 Å) and forbidden (22.1 Å) lines for the first time in the spectra of individual objects. O vii was detected at a level higher than three sigma in six elliptical galaxies: M 84, M 86, M 89, NGC 1316, NGC 4636, and NGC 5846. M 84, M 86, and M 89 are members of the Virgo Cluster, the others are central dominant galaxies of groups, and most them show evidence of O vi in UV spectra. We detect no significant trend between the Fe xvii and O vii resonance-to-forbidden line ratios, possibly because of the limited statistics. The observed line ratios ⟨ Fer/f,Or/f ⟩ = (0.52 ± 0.02,0.9 ± 0.2) indicate that the spectra of all these ellipticals are affected by resonance scattering, suggesting low turbulence. Deeper exposures will help to understand whether the Fe xvii and O vii lines are both produced by the same cooling gas or by multiphase gas. Our O vii luminosities correspond to 0.2−2 M⊙ yr-1, which agree with the predictions for ellipticals. Such weak cooling rates would not be detected in clusters because their spectra are dominated by the emission of hotter gas, and owing to their greater distance, the expected O vii line flux would be undetectable.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium / X-rays: galaxies / X-rays: galaxies: clusters / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: abundances / galaxies: evolution
© ESO, 2014
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