Volume 640, August 2020
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Published online||13 August 2020|
Molecular gas in CLASH brightest cluster galaxies at z ∼ 0.2 – 0.9⋆
Laboratoire d’astrophysique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Observatoire de Sauverny, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
2 USN, Station de Radioastronomie de Nançay, Observatoire de Paris, route de Souesmes, 18330 Nançay, France
3 Univ. Lyon, Ens de Lyon, CNRS, Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon, UMR5574, 69230 Saint-Genis-Laval, France
4 Department of Physics, University of Bath, Claverton Down BA2 7AY, UK
5 Observatoire de Paris, LERMA, CNRS, Sorbonne University, PSL Research Universty, 75014 Paris, France
6 Collège de France, 11 Place Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris, France
7 Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904, Israel
8 School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
9 Observatoire de Paris, GEPI, CNRS, Sorbonne University, PSL Research Universty, 75014 Paris, France
Accepted: 2 June 2020
Brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) are excellent laboratories for the study of galaxy evolution in dense Mpc-scale environments. We used the IRAM-30 m to observe, in CO(1→0), CO(2→1), CO(3→2), or CO(4→3), 18 BCGs at z ∼ 0.2 − 0.9 drawn from the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH) survey. Our sample includes RX1532, which is our primary target as it is among the BCGs with the highest star formation rate (SFR ≳100 M⊙ yr−1) in the CLASH sample. We unambiguously detected both CO(1→0) and CO(3→2) in RX1532, yielding a large reservoir of molecular gas, MH2 = (8.7 ± 1.1)×1010 M⊙, and a high level of excitation, r31 = 0.75 ± 0.12. A morphological analysis of the Hubble Space Telescope I-band image of RX1532 reveals the presence of clumpy substructures both within and outside the half-light radius re = (11.6 ± 0.3) kpc, similarly to those found independently both in ultraviolet and in Hα in previous works. We tentatively detected CO(1→0) or CO(2→1) in four other BCGs, with molecular gas reservoirs in the range of MH2 = 2 × 1010 − 11 M⊙. For the remaining 13 BCGs, we set robust upper limits of MH2/M⋆ ≲ 0.1, which are among the lowest molecular-gas-to-stellar-mass ratios found for distant ellipticals and BCGs. In comparison with distant cluster galaxies observed in CO, our study shows that RX1532 (MH2/M⋆ = 0.40 ± 0.05) belongs to the rare population of star-forming and gas-rich BCGs in the distant universe. By using the available X-ray based estimates of the central intra-cluster medium entropy, we show that the detection of large reservoirs of molecular gas MH2 ≳ 1010 M⊙ in distant BCGs is possible when the two conditions are met: (i) high SFR and (ii) low central entropy, which favors the condensation and the inflow of gas onto the BCGs themselves, similarly to what has been previously found for some local BCGs.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: active / molecular data
The reduced spectra are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/640/A65
© ESO 2020
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