Posts Tagged cluster galaxy

Recent Postings from cluster galaxy

The Brightest Cluster Galaxy in Abell 85: The Largest Core Known so far

We have found that the brightest cluster galaxy in Abell~85, Holm 15A, is the largest core so far known. Its cusp radius r = 4.57 +/- 0.06 kpc (4.26 +\- 0.06 arcsec) is more than 18 times larger than the mean for BCGs, and >1 kpc larger than A2261-BCG, the former largest core BCG (Postman et al. 2012). Holm~15A hosts the luminous amorphous radio source 0039-095B and has the optical signature of a LINER. Scaling laws suggest that this core hosts a supermassive black hole (SMBH) of mass MBH~(10^9-10^11) solar masses. We suggest that a common mechanism is responsible for the formation of cores over a wide range of scales.

The structure of Abell 1351: a bimodal galaxy cluster with peculiar diffuse radio emission

We aim to review the internal structure and dynamics of the Abell 1351 cluster, shown to host a radio halo with a quite irregular shape. Our analysis is based on radial velocity data for 135 galaxies obtained at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo. We combine galaxy velocities and positions to select 95 cluster galaxy members and analyse the internal dynamics of the whole cluster. We also examine X-ray data retrieved from Chandra and XMM archives. We measure the cluster redshift, <z>=0.325, the line-of-sight (LOS) velocity dispersion, \sigma_v~1500 km/s, and the X-ray temperature, kT~9 keV. From both X-ray and optical data independently, we estimate a large cluster mass, in the 1–4 $10^{15}$ M$_\odot$ range. We attribute the extremely high value of \sigma_v to the bimodality in the velocity distribution. We find evidence of a significant velocity gradient and optical 3D substructure. The X-ray analysis also shows many features in favour of a complex cluster structure, probably supporting an ongoing merger of substructures in Abell 1351. The observational scenario agrees with the presence of two main subclusters in the northern region, each with its brightest galaxy (BCG1 and BCG2), detected as the two most important X-ray substructures with a rest-frame LOS velocity difference of \Delta v~2500 km/s (in the rest frame) and probably being in large part aligned with the LOS. We conclude that Abell 1351 is a massive merging cluster. The details of the cluster structure allow us to interpret the quite asymmetric radio halo as a `normal’ halo plus a southern relic, strongly supporting a previous suggestion based only on inspection of radio and preliminary X-ray data.

A Non-thermal Study of the Brightest Cluster Galaxy NGC 1275 - The Gamma-Radio Connection Over Four Decades

Emission from the active nucleus in the core of the brightest cluster galaxy of the Perseus cluster, NGC 1275, has varied dramatically over the past four decades. Prompted by the Fermi detection of flaring in the gamma-ray band, we present the recent increased activity of this source in the context of its past radio and gamma-ray output. The broad correspondence between the high-frequency radio data and the high-energy (HE) emission is striking. However, on short timescales this correlation breaks down and the 1.3 mm Submillimeter Array flux is apparently unaffected during Fermi-detected flaring activity. The fact that NGC 1275 is also detected at TeV energies during the periods of HE gamma-ray flaring suggests that the short-timescale variation might be primarily related to changes in the inverse Compton scattering of photons by the electron population in the jet. The longer-timescale changes suggest a 30–40 year variation in the fuelling of the black hole, that affects the power of the inner jet. NCG 1275 is a laboratory for the class of brightest cluster galaxies, and its variability on these timescales has implications for our understanding of massive galaxies in cooling-core clusters. The case of NGC 1275 highlights the need for wide coverage across the radio band to correctly account for the contribution to emission from a synchrotron self-absorbed core (for example when considering contamination of Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect observations), and the danger of variability biases in radio surveys of galaxies.

On the Interaction of the PKS B1358-113 Radio Galaxy with the Abell 1836 Cluster

[abridged] Here we present the analysis of multifrequency data gathered for the FRII radio galaxy PKS B1358-113, hosted in the brightest cluster galaxy of Abell 1836. The galaxy harbors one of the most massive black holes known to date and our analysis of the optical data reveals that this black hole is only weakly active. Based on new Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observations and archival radio data we derive the preferred range for the jet kinetic luminosity $\sim (0.5-3) \times 10^{45}$ erg s$^{-1}$. This is above the values implied by various scaling relations proposed for radio sources in galaxy clusters, being instead very close to the maximum jet power allowed for the given accretion rate. We constrain the radio source lifetime as $\sim 40-70$ Myrs, and the total amount of deposited jet energy $\sim (2-8) \times 10^{60}$\,ergs. The detailed analysis of the X-ray data provides evidence for the presence of a bow-shock driven by the expanding radio lobes into the Abell 1836 cluster environment, with the corresponding Mach number $\sim 2-4$. This, together with the recently growing evidence that powerful FRII radio galaxies may not be uncommon in the centers of clusters at higher redshifts, supports the idea that jet-induced shock heating may indeed play an important role in shaping the properties of clusters, galaxy groups, and galaxies in formation. We speculate on a possible bias against detecting jet-driven shocks in poorer environments, resulting from an inefficient electron heating at the shock front, combined with a relatively long electron-ion equilibration timescale.

CLASH-VLT: Constraints on the Dark Matter Equation of State from Accurate Measurements of Galaxy Cluster Mass Profiles

A pressureless scenario for the Dark Matter (DM) fluid is a widely adopted hypothesis, despite the absence of a direct observational evidence. According to general relativity, the total mass-energy content of a system shapes the gravitational potential well, but different test particles perceive this potential in different ways depending on their properties. Cluster galaxy velocities, being $\ll$c, depend solely on the gravitational potential, whereas photon trajectories reflect the contributions from the gravitational potential plus a relativistic-pressure term that depends on the cluster mass. We exploit this phenomenon to constrain the Equation of State (EoS) parameter of the fluid, primarily DM, contained in galaxy clusters. We use the complementary information provided by the kinematic and lensing mass profiles of the galaxy cluster MACS 1206.2-0847 at $z=0.44$, as obtained in an extensive imaging and spectroscopic campaign within the CLASH survey. The unprecedented high quality of our data-set and the properties of this cluster are well suited to determine the EoS parameter of the cluster fluid. Since baryons contribute at most $15\%$ to the total mass in clusters and their pressure is negligible, the EoS parameter we derive describes the behavior of the DM fluid. We obtain the most stringent constraint on the DM EoS parameter to date, $w=(p_r+2\,p_t)/(3\,c^2\rho)=0.00\pm0.15\mathrm{(stat)}\pm0.08\mathrm{(syst)}$, averaged over the radial range $0.5\,\mathrm{Mpc}\leq$$r$$\leq$$r_{200}$, where $p_r$ and $p_t$ are the radial and tangential pressure, and $\rho$ is the density. We plan to further improve our constraint by applying the same procedure to all clusters from the ongoing CLASH-VLT program.

Weighing "El Gordo" with a Precision Scale: Hubble Space Telescope Weak-lensing Analysis of the Merging Galaxy Cluster ACT-CL J0102-4915 at z=0.87 [Replacement]

(Abridged) We present a HST weak-lensing study of the merging galaxy cluster "El Gordo" (ACT-CL J0102-4915) at z=0.87 discovered by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope collaboration as the strongest SZ decrement in its ~1000 sq. deg survey. Our weak-lensing analysis confirms that ACT-CL J0102-4915 is indeed an extreme system consisting of two massive (~10^15 Msun each) subclusters with a projected separation of ~0.7 Mpc. This binary mass structure revealed by our lensing study is consistent with the cluster galaxy distribution and the dynamical study carried out with 89 spectroscopic members. We estimate the mass of ACT-CL J0102-4915 by simultaneously fitting two axisymmetric NFW profiles allowing their centers to vary. Our MCMC analysis shows that the masses of the northwestern (NW) and the southeastern (SE) components are M200c=(1.38+-0.22) x 10^15 Msun and (0.78+-0.20) x 10^15 Msun, respectively. The lensing-based velocity dispersions are consistent with their spectroscopic measurements. The centroids of both components are tightly constrained (~4") and close to the optical luminosity centers. The X-ray and mass peaks are spatially offset by ~8" (~62 kpc), which is significant at the ~2 sigma confidence level and confirms that the baryonic and dark matter in this cluster are disassociated. The dark matter peak, however, does not lead the gas peak in the direction expected if we are viewing the cluster soon after first core passage during a high speed merger. Under the assumption that the merger is happening in the plane of the sky, extrapolation of the two NFW halos to a radius r200a=2.4 Mpc yields a combined mass of M200a=(3.13+-0.56) x 10^15 Msun. This extrapolated total mass is consistent with our two-component-based dynamical analysis and previous X-ray measurements, projecting ACT-CL J0102-4915 to be the most massive cluster at z>0.6 known to date.

Weighing "El Gordo" with a Pecision Scale: Hubble Space Telescope Weak-lensing Analysis of the Merging Galaxy Cluster ACT-CL J0102-4915 at z=0.87

(Abridged) We present a HST weak-lensing study of the merging galaxy cluster "El Gordo" (ACT-CL J0102-4915) at z=0.87 discovered by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope collaboration as the strongest SZ decrement in its ~1000 sq. deg survey. Our weak-lensing analysis confirms that ACT-CL J0102-4915 is indeed an extreme system consisting of two massive (~10^15 Msun each) subclusters with a projected separation of ~0.7 Mpc. This binary mass structure revealed by our lensing study is consistent with the cluster galaxy distribution and the dynamical study carried out with 89 spectroscopic members. We estimate the mass of ACT-CL J0102-4915 by simultaneously fitting two axisymmetric NFW profiles allowing their centers to vary. Our MCMC analysis shows that the masses of the northwestern (NW) and the southeastern (SE) components are M200c=(1.40+-0.31) x 10^15 Msun and (0.75+-0.17) x 10^15 Msun, respectively. The lensing-based velocity dispersions are consistent with their spectroscopic measurements. The centroids of both components are tightly constrained (~4") and close to the optical luminosity centers. The X-ray and mass peaks are spatially offset by ~13" (~100 kpc), which is significant at the ~3 sigma confidence level and confirms that the baryonic and dark matter in this cluster are disassociated. The dark matter peak, however, does not lead the gas peak in the direction expected if we are viewing the cluster soon after first core passage during a high speed merger. Under the assumption that the merger is happening in the plane of the sky, extrapolation of the two NFW halos to a radius r200a=2.4 Mpc yields a combined mass of M200a=(3.10+-0.70) x 10^15 Msun. This extrapolated total mass is consistent with our two-component-based dynamical analysis and previous X-ray measurements, projecting ACT-CL J0102-4915 to be the most massive cluster at z>0.6 known to date.

Weighing "El Gordo" with a Precision Scale: Hubble Space Telescope Weak-lensing Analysis of the Merging Galaxy Cluster ACT-CL J0102-4915 at z=0.87 [Replacement]

(Abridged) We present a HST weak-lensing study of the merging galaxy cluster "El Gordo" (ACT-CL J0102-4915) at z=0.87 discovered by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope collaboration as the strongest SZ decrement in its ~1000 sq. deg survey. Our weak-lensing analysis confirms that ACT-CL J0102-4915 is indeed an extreme system consisting of two massive (~10^15 Msun each) subclusters with a projected separation of ~0.7 Mpc. This binary mass structure revealed by our lensing study is consistent with the cluster galaxy distribution and the dynamical study carried out with 89 spectroscopic members. We estimate the mass of ACT-CL J0102-4915 by simultaneously fitting two axisymmetric NFW profiles allowing their centers to vary. Our MCMC analysis shows that the masses of the northwestern (NW) and the southeastern (SE) components are M200c=(1.40+-0.31) x 10^15 Msun and (0.75+-0.17) x 10^15 Msun, respectively. The lensing-based velocity dispersions are consistent with their spectroscopic measurements. The centroids of both components are tightly constrained (~4") and close to the optical luminosity centers. The X-ray and mass peaks are spatially offset by ~13" (~100 kpc), which is significant at the ~3 sigma confidence level and confirms that the baryonic and dark matter in this cluster are disassociated. The dark matter peak, however, does not lead the gas peak in the direction expected if we are viewing the cluster soon after first core passage during a high speed merger. Under the assumption that the merger is happening in the plane of the sky, extrapolation of the two NFW halos to a radius r200a=2.4 Mpc yields a combined mass of M200a=(3.10+-0.70) x 10^15 Msun. This extrapolated total mass is consistent with our two-component-based dynamical analysis and previous X-ray measurements, projecting ACT-CL J0102-4915 to be the most massive cluster at z>0.6 known to date.

Massive molecular gas flows in the Abell 1664 brightest cluster galaxy

We report ALMA Early Science CO(1-0) and CO(3-2) observations of the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in Abell 1664. The BCG contains 1.1×10^{10} solar masses of molecular gas divided roughly equally between two distinct velocity systems: one from -250 to +250 km/s centred on the BCG’s systemic velocity and a high velocity system blueshifted by 570 km/s with respect to the systemic velocity. The BCG’s systemic component shows a smooth velocity gradient across the BCG center with velocity proportional to radius suggestive of solid body rotation about the nucleus. However, the mass and velocity structure are highly asymmetric and there is little star formation coincident with a putative disk. It may be an inflow of gas that will settle into a disk over several 10^8 yr. The high velocity system consists of two gas clumps, each ~2 kpc across, located to the north and southeast of the nucleus. Each has a line of sight velocity spread of 250-300 km/s. The velocity of the gas in the high velocity system tends to increase towards the BCG center and could signify a massive high velocity flow onto the nucleus. However, the velocity gradient is not smooth and these structures are also coincident with low optical-UV surface brightness regions, which could indicate dust extinction associated with each clump. If so, the high velocity gas would be projected in front of the BCG and moving toward us along the line of sight in a massive outflow most likely driven by the AGN. A merger origin is unlikely but cannot be ruled out.

A Ten Billion Solar Mass Outflow of Molecular Gas Launched by Radio Bubbles in the Abell 1835 Brightest Cluster Galaxy

We report ALMA Early Science observations of the Abell 1835 brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in the CO (3-2) and CO (1-0) emission lines. We detect 5E10 solar masses of molecular gas within 10 kpc of the BCG. Its velocity width of ~130 km/s FWHM is too narrow to be supported by dynamical pressure. The gas may instead be supported in a rotating, turbulent disk oriented nearly face-on. The disk is forming stars at a rate of 100-180 solar masses per year. Roughly 1E10 solar masses of molecular gas is projected 3-10 kpc to the north-west and to the east of the nucleus with line of sight velocities lying between -250 km/s to +480 km/s with respect to the systemic velocity. Although inflow cannot be ruled out, the rising velocity gradient with radius is consistent with a broad, bipolar outflow driven by radio jets or buoyantly rising X-ray cavities. The molecular outflow may be associated with an outflow of hot gas in Abell 1835 seen on larger scales. Molecular gas is flowing out of the BCG at a rate of approximately 200 solar masses per year, which is comparable to its star formation rate. How radio bubbles lift dense molecular gas in their updrafts, how much gas will be lost to the BCG, and how much will return to fuel future star formation and AGN activity are poorly understood. Our results imply that radio-mechanical (radio mode) feedback not only heats hot atmospheres surrounding elliptical galaxies and BCGs, it is able to sweep higher density molecular gas away from their centers.

Discovery of a strongly lensed Herschel drop-out,a 'normal' dusty galaxy at z=6.1?

In the course of our 870micron APEX/LABOCA follow up of the Herschel Lensing Survey we have detected a source that has no counterparts in any of the Herschel PACS/SPIRE bands, it is a Herschel drop-out with S_870/S_500>0.5. The 870micron emission is extended and centered on the brightest cluster galaxy suggesting a multiply imaged source. By means of a multiwavelength simultaneous fit to the Herschel and LABOCA data and assuming a modified black body SED for all the sources we can deblend the southern part of the 870micron-source from nearby low redshift galaxies. Based on the observed properties and on our lens model we find that this source is likely the first SMG with a moderate far infrared luminosity (L_FIR<10^{12}Lsol) detected so far at z>4. In deep HST observations we identified a multiply imaged z~6 source and we measured its spectroscopic redshift z=6.107 with VLT/FORS. This source could be associated with the SMG but it is most likely offset spatially by 10-30 kpc and they could be two interacting galaxies. With a FIR luminosity in the range [5-15]10^{11} Lsol corresponding to a star formation rate in the range [80-260]Msol/yr, this SMG would be more representative than the extreme starbursts usually detected at z>4. With a total magnification of ~25 it would therefore open a unique window to the ‘normal’ dusty star forming galaxies at the end of the epoch of reionization.

An extended Herschel drop-out source in the center of AS1063, a 'normal' dusty galaxy at z=6.1 or SZ substructures? [Replacement]

In the course of our 870micron APEX/LABOCA follow up of the Herschel Lensing Survey we have detected a source in AS1063 that has no counterparts in any of the Herschel PACS/SPIRE bands, it is a Herschel drop-out with S_870/S_500>0.5. The 870micron emission is extended and centered on the brightest cluster galaxy suggesting a multiply imaged source. Based on the observed properties and on our lens model we find that this source is likely the first SMG with a moderate far infrared luminosity (L_FIR<10^{12}Lsol) detected so far at z>4. In deep HST observations we identified a multiply imaged z~6 source and we measured its spectroscopic redshift z=6.107 with VLT/FORS. This source could be associated with the SMG but it is most likely offset spatially by 10-30 kpc and they could be two interacting galaxies. With a FIR luminosity in the range [5-15]10^{11} Lsol corresponding to a star formation rate in the range [80-260]Msol/yr, this SMG would be more representative than the extreme starbursts usually detected at z>4. With a total magnification of ~25 it would therefore open a unique window to the ‘normal’ dusty star forming galaxies at the end of the epoch of reionization. Alternatively the 870micron emission could be substructures in the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect due to shocked gas in the merging cluster.

An extended Herschel drop-out source in the center of AS1063, a 'normal' dusty galaxy at z=6.1 or SZ substructures? [Replacement]

In the course of our 870um APEX/LABOCA follow up of the Herschel Lensing Survey we have detected a source in AS1063 (RXC J2248.7-4431), that has no counterparts in any of the Herschel PACS/SPIRE bands, it is a Herschel ‘drop-out’ with S_870/S_500>0.5. The 870um emission is extended and centered on the brightest cluster galaxy suggesting either a multiply imaged background source or substructure in the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) increment due to inhomogeneities in the hot cluster gas of this merging cluster. We discuss both interpretations with emphasis on the putative lensed source. Based on the observed properties and on our lens model we find that this source could be the first SMG with a moderate far infrared luminosity (L_FIR<10^12 L_sol) detected so far at z>4. In deep HST observations we identified a multiply imaged z~6 source and we measured its spectroscopic redshift z=6.107 with VLT/FORS. This source could be associated with the putative SMG but it is most likely offset spatially by 10-30kpc and they could be interacting galaxies. With a FIR luminosity in the range [5-15]x10^{11} L_sol corresponding to a star formation rate in the range [80-260]M_sol/yr, this SMG would be more representative than the extreme starbursts usually detected at z>4. With a total magnification of ~25 it would open a unique window to the ‘normal’ dusty galaxies at the end of the epoch of reionization.

A candidate supermassive binary black hole system in the brightest cluster galaxy of RBS 797

The radio source at the center of the cool core galaxy cluster RBS 797 (z=0.35) is known to exhibit a misalignment of its radio jets and lobes observed at different VLA-scale, with the innermost kpc-scale jets being almost orthogonal to the radio emission which extends for tens of kpc filling the X-ray cavities. Gitti et al. suggested that this peculiar radio morphology may indicate a recurrent activity of the central radio source, where the jet orientation is changing between the different outbursts due to the effects of supermassive binary black holes (SMBBHs). We aim at unveiling the nuclear radio properties of the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in RBS 797 and at investigating the presence of a SMBBH system in its center. We have performed new high-resolution observations at 5 GHz with the European VLBI Network (EVN), reaching an angular resolution of 9×5 mas^2 and a sensitivity of 36 microJy/beam. We report the EVN detection of two compact components in the BCG of RBS 797, with a projected separation of ~77 pc. We can envisage two possible scenarios: the two components are two different nuclei in a close binary system, or they are the core and a knot of its jet. Both interpretations are consistent with the presence of SMBBHs. Our re-analysis of VLA archival data seems to favor the first scenario, as we detect two pairs of radio jets misaligned by ~90 degrees on the same kpc scale emanating from the central radio core. If the two outbursts are almost contemporaneous, this is clear evidence of the presence of two active SMBHs, whose radio nuclei are unresolved at VLA resolution. The nature of the double source detected by our EVN observations in the BCG of RBS 797 can be established only by future sensitive, multi-frequency VLBI observations. If confirmed, RBS 797 would be the first SMBBH system observed at medium-high redshift at VLBI resolution. (abridged)

Substructure and dynamical state of 2092 rich clusters of galaxies derived from photometric data [Replacement]

Dynamical state of galaxy clusters is closely related to their observational properties in X-ray, optical and radio wavelengths. We develop a method to diagnose the substructure and dynamical state of galaxy clusters by using photometric data of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). To trace mass distribution, the brightness distribution of member galaxies is smoothed by using a Gaussian kernel with a weight of their optical luminosities. After deriving the asymmetry, the ridge flatness and the normalized deviation of the smoothed optical map, we define a relaxation parameter, Gamma, to quantify dynamical state of clusters. This method is applied to a test sample of 98 clusters of 0.05<z\lesssim0.42 collected from literature with known dynamical states and can recognize dynamical state for relaxed (Gamma\ge0) and unrelaxed (Gamma<0) clusters with a success rate of 94%. We then calculate relaxation parameters of 2092 rich clusters previously identified from the SDSS, of which 28% clusters are dynamically relaxed with Gamma\ge0. We find that the dominance and absolute magnitude of the brightest cluster galaxy closely correlate with dynamical state of clusters. The emission power of radio halos is quantitatively related to cluster dynamical state, beside the known dependence on the X-ray luminosity.

Substructure and dynamical state of 2092 rich clusters of galaxies derived from photometric data

Dynamical state of galaxy clusters is closely related to observational properties in X-ray, optical and radio wavelengths. A few hundred clusters have their dynamical states previously quantified based on substructures in X-ray and optical data. We develop a method to diagnose the substructure of projected distribution and dynamical state of galaxy clusters by using photometric data of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). To trace the light and mass distribution, the brightness distribution of member galaxies is smoothed by using a Gaussian kernel with a weight of their optical luminosities. After deriving the asymmetry, the ridge flatness and the normalized deviation of the smoothed optical map, we define a relaxation parameter, $\Gamma$, to quantify dynamical state of clusters. This method is applied to a test sample of 98 clusters of $0.05<z\lesssim0.42$ collected from literature with known dynamical states and can recognize dynamical state for relaxed ($\Gamma\ge0$) and unrelaxed ($\Gamma<0$) clusters with a success rate of 94%. We then quantify dynamical states of 2092 rich clusters previously identified from the SDSS, and obtain their relaxation parameters. We find that relaxation parameters of 2092 rich clusters are continuously distributed. Among them, 28% clusters are dynamically relaxed with $\Gamma\ge0$, significant lower than that for the matched X-ray subsample detected by the ROSAT. This suggests that X-ray flux-selected clusters usually have a bias for detection of relaxed clusters with a bright X-ray peak. We find that the absolute magnitude of the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) and the magnitude difference between the first and second BCGs are closely related to dynamical states of clusters. The emission power of radio halos is quantitatively related to cluster dynamical state, beside the known dependence on the X-ray luminosity.

NoSOCS in SDSS III - The interplay between galaxy evolution and the dynamical state of galaxy clusters

We investigate relations between the color and luminosity distributions of cluster galaxies and the evolutionary state of their host clusters. Our aim is to explore some aspects of cluster galaxy evolution and the dynamical state of clusters as two sides of the same process. We used 10,721 member galaxies of 183 clusters extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey using a list of NoSOCS and CIRS targets. First, we classified the clusters into two categories, Gaussian and non-Gaussian, according to their velocity distribution measurements, which we used as an indicator of their dynamical state. We then used objective criteria to split up galaxies according to their luminosities, colors, and photometric mean stellar age. This information was then used to evaluate how galaxies evolve in their host clusters. Meaningful color gradients, i.e., the fraction of red galaxies as a function of radius from the center, are observed for both the Gaussian velocity distribution and the non-Gaussian velocity distribution cluster subsamples, which suggests that member galaxy colors change on a shorter timescale than the time needed for the cluster to reach dynamical equilibrium. We also found that larger portions of fainter red galaxies are found, on average, in smaller radii. The luminosity function in Gaussian clusters has a brighter characteristic absolute magnitude and a steeper faint-end slope than it does in the non-Gaussian velocity distribution clusters. Our findings suggest that cluster galaxies experience intense color evolution before virialization, while the formation of faint galaxies through dynamical interactions probably takes place on a longer timescale, possibly longer than the virialization time.

Galaxy halo truncation and Giant Arc Surface Brightness Reconstruction in the Cluster MACSJ1206.2-0847

In this work we analyze the mass distribution of MACSJ1206.2-0847, especially focusing on the halo properties of its cluster members. The cluster appears relaxed in its X-ray emission, but has significant amounts of intracluster light which is not centrally concentrated, suggesting that galaxy-scale interactions are still ongoing despite the overall relaxed state. The cluster lenses 12 background galaxies into multiple images and one galaxy at $z=1.033$ into a giant arc and its counterimage. The multiple image positions and the surface brightness distribution (SFB) of the arc which is bent around several cluster members are sensitive to the cluster galaxy halo properties. We model the cluster mass distribution with a NFW profile and the galaxy halos with two parameters for the mass normalization and extent of a reference halo assuming scalings with their observed NIR–light. We match the multiple image positions at an r.m.s. level of $0.85\arcsec$ and can reconstruct the SFB distribution of the arc in several filters to a remarkable accuracy based on this cluster model. The length scale where the enclosed galaxy halo mass is best constrained is about 5 effective radii — a scale in between those accessible to dynamical and field strong lensing mass estimates on one hand and galaxy–galaxy weak lensing results on the other hand. The velocity dispersion and halo size of a galaxy with $m_{\rm 160W,AB}=19.2$ or $M_{\rm B,Vega}=-20.7$ are $\sigma=150 \rm kms^{-1}$ and $r\approx 26\pm 6 \rm kpc$, indicating that the halos of the cluster galaxies are tidally stripped. We also reconstruct the unlensed source (which is smaller by a factor of $\sim5.8$ in area), demonstrating the increase of morphological information due to lensing and conclude that this galaxy has likely star–forming spiral arms with a red (older) central component.

An Empirical Model for the Star Formation History in Dark Matter Halos

We infer the star formation rates in dark matter halos at different redshifts from the observed stellar mass functions of galaxies at different redshifts and the luminosity function of local cluster galaxies. By parametrising the star formation as a function that is explicitly dependent on halo mass and redshift, a series of nested model families with increasing complexity are explored to understand how the structure of this function is constrained by the different data sets. To match the observed stellar mass functions at different redshifts, the star formation in the central galaxies of halos with masses above $10^{12}\Msunh$ has to be boosted at high redshift beyond what is expected from a simple scaling of the dynamical time. To reproduce the faint end of the cluster galaxy luminosity function ($M_{z}-5\log_{10}(h) > -18$) and the low mass end of the local stellar mass function simultaneously, there is a characteristic redshift $z_c \approx 2$ that defines a transition in star formation efficiency (star formation rate divided by the mean baryon mass accretion rate) in low mass halos ($<10^{11}\Msunh$). The star formation efficiency is about 1/10 at $z>z_c$ and is strongly quenched at lower $z$. This gives rises to a significant amount of old stellar population in present-day dwarf galaxies below $10^{8}\Msunhh$ and steepened slopes of the high redshift stellar mass functions and star formation rate functions, both consistent with latest observations. We use our constrained models to make predictions for the star formation and assembly histories of galaxies in halos of different masses, and for a number of properties of the galaxy population.

An Empirical Model for the Star Formation History in Dark Matter Halos [Replacement]

We infer the star formation rates in dark matter halos at different redshifts from the observed stellar mass functions of galaxies at different redshifts and the luminosity function of local cluster galaxies. By parametrising the star formation as a function that is explicitly dependent on halo mass and redshift, a series of nested model families with increasing complexity are explored to understand how the structure of this function is constrained by the different data sets. To match the observed stellar mass functions at different redshifts, the star formation in the central galaxies of halos with masses above $10^{12}\Msunh$ has to be boosted at high redshift beyond what is expected from a simple scaling of the dynamical time. To reproduce the faint end of the cluster galaxy luminosity function ($M_{z}-5\log_{10}(h) > -18$) and the low mass end of the local stellar mass function simultaneously, there is a characteristic redshift $z_c \approx 2$ that defines a transition in star formation efficiency (star formation rate divided by the mean baryon mass accretion rate) in low mass halos ($<10^{11}\Msunh$). The star formation efficiency is about 1/10 at $z>z_c$ and is strongly quenched at lower $z$. This gives rises to a significant amount of old stellar population in present-day dwarf galaxies below $10^{8}\Msunhh$ and steepened slopes of the high redshift stellar mass functions and star formation rate functions, both consistent with latest observations. We use our constrained models to make predictions for the star formation and assembly histories of galaxies in halos of different masses, and for a number of properties of the galaxy population.

An Empirical Model for the Star Formation History in Dark Matter Halos [Replacement]

We infer the star formation rates in dark matter halos at different redshifts from the observed stellar mass functions of galaxies at different redshifts and the luminosity function of local cluster galaxies. By parametrising the star formation as a function that is explicitly dependent on halo mass and redshift, a series of nested model families with increasing complexity are explored to understand how the structure of this function is constrained by the different data sets. To match the observed stellar mass functions at different redshifts, the star formation in the central galaxies of halos with masses above $10^{12}\Msunh$ has to be boosted at high redshift beyond what is expected from a simple scaling of the dynamical time. To reproduce the faint end of the cluster galaxy luminosity function ($M_{z}-5\log_{10}(h) > -18$) and the low mass end of the local stellar mass function simultaneously, there is a characteristic redshift $z_c \approx 2$ that defines a transition in star formation efficiency (star formation rate divided by the mean baryon mass accretion rate) in low mass halos ($<10^{11}\Msunh$). The star formation efficiency is about 1/10 at $z>z_c$ and is strongly quenched at lower $z$. This gives rises to a significant amount of old stellar population in present-day dwarf galaxies below $10^{8}\Msunhh$ and steepened slopes of the high redshift stellar mass functions and star formation rate functions, both consistent with latest observations. We use our constrained models to make predictions for the star formation and assembly histories of galaxies in halos of different masses, and for a number of properties of the galaxy population.

A Novel Approach to Constrain the Mass Ratio of Minor Mergers in Elliptical Galaxies: Application to NGC 4889, the Brightest Cluster Galaxy in Coma

Minor mergers are thought to be important for the build-up and structural evolution of massive elliptical galaxies. In this work, we report the discovery of a system of four shell features in NGC 4889, one of the brightest members of the Coma cluster, using optical images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The shells are well aligned with the major axis of the host and are likely to have been formed by the accretion of a small satellite galaxy. We have performed a detailed two-dimensional photometric decomposition of NGC 4889 and of the many overlapping nearby galaxies in its vicinity. This comprehensive model allows us not only to firmly detect the low-surface brightness shells, but, crucially, also to accurately measure their luminosities and colors. The shells are bluer than the underlying stars at the same radius in the main galaxy. We make use of the colors of the shells and the color-magnitude relation of the Coma cluster to infer the luminosity (or mass) of the progenitor galaxy. The shells in NGC 4889 appear to have been produced by the minor merger of a moderate-luminosity (M_I ~ -18.7 mag) disk (S0 or spiral) galaxy with a luminosity (mass) ratio of ~ 90:1 with respect to the primary galaxy. The novel methodology presented in this work can be exploited to decode the fossil record imprinted in the photometric substructure of other nearby early-type galaxies.

The galaxy population of the complex cluster system Abell 3921 [Replacement]

We present a spectrophotometric analysis of the galaxy pop. in the area of the merging cluster Abell 3921 at redshift 0.093. We investigate the impact of the complex cluster environment on galaxy properties such as morphology or star formation rate. We combine multi-object spectroscopy from the 2dF spectrograph with optical imaging taken with the ESO WFI. We carry out a redshift analysis and determine cluster velocity dispersions using biweight statistics. Applying a Dressler-Shectman (DS-)test we seek evidence for cluster substructure. Cluster and field galaxies are investigated with respect to [OII] and H{\alpha} equivalent width, SFR and morphological descriptors such as concentration index and Gini coefficient. We study these cluster galaxy properties as a function of clustercentric distance and investigate the spatial distribution of various galaxy types. Applying the DS-test we find a 3rd component (A3921-C) in addition to the two main subclusters (A3921-A and A3921-B) already known. The re-determined mass ratio between the main components A and B is approx. 2:1. Similar to prev. studies of galaxy clusters, we find that a large fraction of the disk galaxies close to the cluster core show no detectable star formation. These are likely systems that are quenched due to ram pressure stripping. We also find quenched spirals at rather large distances of 3 to 4 Mpc from the cluster core. A3921-C might be a group of galaxies falling onto the main cluster components. We speculate that the unexpected population of quenched spirals at large clustercentric radii in A3921-A and A3921-B might be an effect of the ongoing cluster merger: shocks in the ICM might give raise to enhanced ram pressure stripping and at least in part be the cause for the quenching of star formation. These quenched spirals might be an interm. stage in the morphological transformation of field spirals into cluster S0s.

The galaxy population of the complex cluster system Abell 3921 [Replacement]

We present a spectrophotometric analysis of the galaxy pop. in the area of the merging cluster Abell 3921 at redshift 0.093. We investigate the impact of the complex cluster environment on galaxy properties such as morphology or star formation rate. We combine multi-object spectroscopy from the 2dF spectrograph with optical imaging taken with the ESO WFI. We carry out a redshift analysis and determine cluster velocity dispersions using biweight statistics. Applying a Dressler-Shectman (DS-)test we seek evidence for cluster substructure. Cluster and field galaxies are investigated with respect to [OII] and H{\alpha} equivalent width, SFR and morphological descriptors such as concentration index and Gini coefficient. We study these cluster galaxy properties as a function of clustercentric distance and investigate the spatial distribution of various galaxy types. Applying the DS-test we find a 3rd component (A3921-C) in addition to the two main subclusters (A3921-A and A3921-B) already known. The re-determined mass ratio between the main components A and B is approx. 2:1. Similar to prev. studies of galaxy clusters, we find that a large fraction of the disk galaxies close to the cluster core show no detectable star formation. These are likely systems that are quenched due to ram pressure stripping. We also find quenched spirals at rather large distances of 3 to 4 Mpc from the cluster core. A3921-C might be a group of galaxies falling onto the main cluster components. We speculate that the unexpected population of quenched spirals at large clustercentric radii in A3921-A and A3921-B might be an effect of the ongoing cluster merger: shocks in the ICM might give raise to enhanced ram pressure stripping and at least in part be the cause for the quenching of star formation. These quenched spirals might be an interm. stage in the morphological transformation of field spirals into cluster S0s.

The galaxy population of the complex cluster system Abell 3921

We present a spectrophotometric analysis of the galaxy pop. in the area of the merging cluster Abell 3921 at redshift 0.093. We investigate the impact of the complex cluster environment on galaxy properties such as morphology or star formation rate. We combine multi-object spectroscopy from the 2dF spectrograph with optical imaging taken with the ESO WFI. We carry out a redshift analysis and determine cluster velocity dispersions using biweight statistics. Applying a Dressler-Shectman (DS-)test we seek evidence for cluster substructure. Cluster and field galaxies are investigated with respect to [OII] and H{\alpha} equivalent width, SFR and morphological descriptors such as concentration index and Gini coefficient. We study these cluster galaxy properties as a function of clustercentric distance and investigate the spatial distribution of various galaxy types. Applying the DS-test we find a 3rd component (A3921-C) in addition to the two main subclusters (A3921-A and A3921-B) already known. The re-determined mass ratio between the main components A and B is approx. 2:1. Similar to prev. studies of galaxy clusters, we find that a large fraction of the disk galaxies close to the cluster core show no detectable star formation. These are likely systems that are quenched due to ram pressure stripping. We also find quenched spirals at rather large distances of 3 to 4 Mpc from the cluster core. A3921-C might be a group of galaxies falling onto the main cluster components. We speculate that the unexpected population of quenched spirals at large clustercentric radii in A3921-A and A3921-B might be an effect of the ongoing cluster merger: shocks in the ICM might give raise to enhanced ram pressure stripping and at least in part be the cause for the quenching of star formation. These quenched spirals might be an interm. stage in the morphological transformation of field spirals into cluster S0s.

Searching for Cooling Signatures in Strong Lensing Galaxy Clusters: Evidence Against Baryons Shaping the Matter Distribution in Cluster Cores

The process by which the mass density profile of certain galaxy clusters becomes centrally concentrated enough to produce high strong lensing (SL) cross-sections is not well understood. It has been suggested that the baryonic condensation of the intra-cluster medium (ICM) due to cooling may drag dark matter to the cores and thus steepen the profile. In this work, we search for evidence of ongoing ICM cooling in the first large, well-defined sample of strong lensing selected galaxy clusters in the range 0.1 < z < 0.6. Based on known correlations between the ICM cooling rate and both optical emission line luminosity and star formation, we measure, for a sample of 89 strong lensing clusters, the fraction of clusters that have [OII]3727 emission in their brightest cluster galaxy (BCG). We find that the fraction of line-emitting BCGs is constant as a function of redshift for z > 0.2 and shows no statistically significant deviation from the total cluster population. Specific star formation rates, as traced by the strength of the 4000 angstrom break, D_4000, are also consistent with the general cluster population. Finally, we use optical imaging of the SL clusters to measure the angular separation, R_arc, between the arc and the center of mass of each lensing cluster in our sample and test for evidence of changing [OII] emission and D_4000 as a function of R_arc, a proxy observable for SL cross-sections. D_4000 is constant with all values of R_arc, and the [OII] emission fractions show no dependence on R_arc for R_arc > 10" and only very marginal evidence of increased weak [OII] emission for systems with R_arc < 10". These results argue against the ability of baryonic cooling associated with cool core activity in the cores of galaxy clusters to strongly modify the underlying dark matter potential, leading to an increase in strong lensing cross-sections.

Morphology with Light Profile Fitting of Confirmed Cluster Galaxies at z=0.84

We perform a morphological study of 124 spectroscopically confirmed cluster galaxies in the z=0.84 galaxy cluster RX J0152.7-1357. Our classification scheme includes color information, visual morphology, and 1-component and 2-component light profile fitting derived from Hubble Space Telescope riz imaging. We adopt a modified version of a detailed classification scheme previously used in studies of field galaxies and found to be correlated with kinematic features of those galaxies. We compare our cluster galaxy morphologies to those of field galaxies at similar redshift. We also compare galaxy morphologies in regions of the cluster with different dark-matter density as determined by weak-lensing maps. We find an early-type fraction for the cluster population as a whole of 47%, about 2.8 times higher than the field, and similar to the dynamically young cluster MS 1054 at similar redshift. We find the most drastic change in morphology distribution between the low and intermediate dark matter density regions within the cluster, with the early type fraction doubling and the peculiar fraction dropping by nearly half. The peculiar fraction drops more drastically than the spiral fraction going from the outskirts to the intermediate-density regions. This suggests that many galaxies falling into clusters at z~0.8 may evolve directly from peculiar, merging, and compact systems into early-type galaxies, without having the chance to first evolve into a regular spiral galaxy.

Studying Inter-Cluster Galaxy Filaments Through Stacking GMBCG Galaxy Cluster Pairs [Replacement]

We present a method to study the photometric properties of galaxies in filaments by stacking the galaxy populations between pairs of galaxy clusters. Using Sloan Digital Sky Survey data, this method can detect the inter-cluster filament galaxy overdensity with a significance of $\sim 5 \sigma$ out to $z=0.40$. Using this approach, we study the $g-r$ color and luminosity distribution of filament galaxies as a function of redshift. Consistent with expectation, filament galaxies are bimodal in their color distribution and contain a larger blue galaxy population than clusters. Filament galaxies are also generally fainter than cluster galaxies. More interestingly, the observed filament population seems to show redshift evolution at $0.12<z<0.40$: the blue galaxy fraction has a trend to increase at higher redshift: a filament "Butcher Oemler Effect". We test the dependence of the observed filament density on the richness of the cluster pair: richer clusters are connected by higher density filaments. We also test the spatial dependence of filament galaxy overdensity: this quantity decreases when moving away from the inter-cluster axis between a cluster pair. This method provides an economical way to probe the photometric properties of filament galaxies and should prove useful for upcoming projects like the Dark Energy Survey.

Studying Inter-Cluster Galaxy Filaments Through Stacking GMBCG Galaxy Cluster Pairs

We present a method to study the photometric properties of galaxies in filaments by stacking the galaxy populations between pairs of galaxy clusters. Using Sloan Digital Sky Survey data, this method can detect the inter-cluster filament galaxy overdensity with a significance of $\sim 5 \sigma$ out to $z=0.40$. Using this approach, we study the $g-r$ color and luminosity distribution of filament galaxies as a function of redshift. Consistent with expectation, filament galaxies are bimodal in their color distribution and contain a larger blue galaxy population than clusters. Filament galaxies are also generally fainter than cluster galaxies. More interestingly, the observed filament population shows redshift evolution at $0.12<z<0.40$: the blue galaxy fraction increases at higher redshift: a filament "Butcher Oemler Effect". We test the dependence of the observed filament density on the richness of the cluster pair: richer clusters are connected by higher density filaments. We also test the spatial dependence of filament galaxy overdensity: this quantity decreases when moving away from the inter-cluster axis between a cluster pair. This method provides an economical way to probe the photometric properties of filament galaxies and should prove useful for upcoming projects like the Dark Energy Survey.

Serendipitous discovery of a massive cD galaxy at z=1.096: Implications for the early formation and late evolution of cD galaxies

We have made a serendipitous discovery of a massive cD galaxy at z=1.096 in a candidate rich cluster in the HUDF area of GOODS-South. This brightest cluster galaxy is the most distant cD galaxy confirmed to date. Ultra-deep HST/WFC3 images reveal an extended envelope starting from ~10 kpc and reaching ~70 kpc in radius along the semi-major axis. The spectral energy distributions indicate that both its inner component and outer envelope are composed of an old, passively-evolving stellar population. The cD galaxy lies on the same mass-size relation as the bulk of quiescent galaxies at similar redshifts. The cD galaxy has a higher stellar mass surface density but a similar velocity dispersion to those of more-massive, nearby cDs. If the cD galaxy is one of the progenitors of today’s more massive cDs, its size and stellar mass have had to increase on average by factors of $3.4\pm1.1$ and $3.3\pm1.3$ over the past ~8 Gyrs, respectively. Such increases in size and stellar mass without being accompanied by significant increases in velocity dispersion are consistent with evolutionary scenarios driven by both major and minor dry mergers. If such cD envelopes originate from dry mergers, our discovery of even one example proves that some BCGs entered the dry merger phase at epochs earlier than z=1. Our data match theoretical models which predict that the continuance of dry mergers at z<1 can result in structures similar to those of massive cD galaxies seen today. Moreover, our discovery is a surprise given that the extreme depth of the HUDF is essential to reveal such an extended cD envelope at z>1 and, yet, the HUDF covers only a minuscule region of sky. Adding that cDs are rare, Our serendipitous discovery hints that such cDs may be more common than expected. [Abridged]

PS1-12sk is a Peculiar Supernova From a He-rich Progenitor System in a Brightest Cluster Galaxy Environment

(Abridged) We report on our discovery and multi-wavelength follow-up observations of the Pan-STARRS1 supernova (SN) PS1-12sk, a transient with uncommon circumstellar properties that indicate atypical star formation in its host galaxy cluster or pose a challenge to popular progenitor system models for this class of explosion. The optical spectra of PS1-12sk are dominated by intermediate-width He I emission at z = 0.054, reminiscent of the spectra of the archetypal Type Ibn SN 2006jc. Dense Pan-STARRS1 multi-band photometry provides the best constraints to date for the rise time of a SN Ibn and a peak magnitude of M_z = -18.9 mag. SN Ibn spectroscopic properties are commonly interpreted as the signature of a massive star (17 – 100 M_solar) explosion within a He-enriched circumstellar medium. However, unlike previous Type Ibn supernovae, PS1-12sk is associated with a galaxy cluster. The elliptical brightest cluster galaxy is the most likely host galaxy. We find no evidence for star formation at the explosion site to sensitive limits (< 0.002 M_solar/yr/kpc^2). We consider two progenitor system scenarios for PS1-12sk: a massive star explosion or a white dwarf binary system. If PS1-12sk represents the explosions of a massive star then it serves as direct evidence of vigorous star formation within the galaxy cluster, associated with a cooling flow or a tidally-stripped dwarf galaxy. The probability of this is low given the infrequency of core-collapse SNe in red sequence galaxies compounded by the low volumetric rate of SN Ibn. Progenitor models involving a white dwarf explosion and He-rich environment are challenged by the high mass loss rate of material ejected 2-5 years prior to the event. PS1-12sk represents either a statistically unlikely discovery, evidence for a top-heavy IMF in galaxy cluster cooling flows, or the first clue suggesting an alternate progenitor channel for Type Ibn SNe.

PS1-12sk is a Peculiar Supernova From a He-rich Progenitor System in a Brightest Cluster Galaxy Environment [Replacement]

We report on our discovery and observations of the Pan-STARRS1 supernova (SN) PS1-12sk, a transient with properties that indicate atypical star formation in its host galaxy cluster or pose a challenge to popular progenitor system models for this class of explosion. The optical spectra of PS1-12sk classify it as a Type Ibn SN (c.f. SN 2006jc), dominated by intermediate-width (3×10^3 km/s) and time variable He I emission. Our multi-wavelength monitoring establishes the rise time dt = 9-23 days and shows an NUV-NIR SED with temperature > 17×10^3 K and a peak rise magnitude of Mz = -18.9 mag. SN Ibn spectroscopic properties are commonly interpreted as the signature of a massive star (17 – 100 M_sun) explosion within a He-enriched circumstellar medium. However, unlike previous Type Ibn supernovae, PS1-12sk is associated with an elliptical brightest cluster galaxy, CGCG 208-042 (z = 0.054) in cluster RXC J0844.9+4258. The expected probability of an event like PS1-12sk in such environments is low given the measured infrequency of core-collapse SNe in red sequence galaxies compounded by the low volumetric rate of SN Ibn. Furthermore, we find no evidence of star formation at the explosion site to sensitive limits (Sigma Halpha < 2×10^-3 M_sun/yr/kpc^2). We therefore discuss white dwarf binary systems as a possible progenitor channel for SNe Ibn. We conclude that PS1-12sk represents either a fortuitous and statistically unlikely discovery, evidence for a top-heavy IMF in galaxy cluster cooling flow filaments, or the first clue suggesting an alternate progenitor channel for Type Ibn SNe.

The structure of the merging RCS 231953+00 Supercluster at z ~ 0.9

The RCS 2319+00 supercluster is a massive supercluster at z=0.9 comprising three optically selected, spectroscopically confirmed clusters separated by <3 Mpc on the plane of the sky. This supercluster is one of a few known examples of the progenitors of present-day massive clusters (10^{15} Msun by z~0.5). We present an extensive spectroscopic campaign carried out on the supercluster field resulting, in conjunction with previously published data, in 1961 high confidence galaxy redshifts. We find 302 structure members spanning three distinct redshift walls separated from one another by ~65 Mpc. The component clusters have spectroscopic redshifts of 0.901, 0.905 and 0.905. The velocity dispersions are consistent with those predicted from X-ray data, giving estimated cluster masses of ~10^{14.5} – 10^{14.9} Msun. The Dressler-Shectman test finds evidence of substructure in the supercluster field and a friends-of-friends analysis identified 5 groups in the supercluster, including a filamentary structure stretching between two cluster cores previously identified in the infrared by Coppin et al. (2012). The galaxy colors further show this filamentary structure to be a unique region of activity within the supercluster, comprised mainly of blue galaxies compared to the ~43-77% red-sequence galaxies present in the other groups and cluster cores. Richness estimates from stacked luminosity function fits results in average group mass estimates consistent with ~10^{13} Msun halos. Currently, 22% of our confirmed members reside in >~10^{13} Msun groups/clusters destined to merge onto the most massive cluster, in agreement with the massive halo galaxy fractions important in cluster galaxy pre-processing in N-body simulation merger tree studies.

CO(1-0) detection of molecular gas in the massive Spiderweb Galaxy (z=2)

The high-redshift radio galaxy MRC 1138-262 (`Spiderweb Galaxy’; z = 2.16), is one of the most massive systems in the early Universe and surrounded by a dense `web’ of proto-cluster galaxies. Using the Australia Telescope Compact Array, we detected CO(1-0) emission from cold molecular gas — the raw ingredient for star formation — across the Spiderweb Galaxy. We infer a molecular gas mass of M(H2) = 6×10^10 M(sun) (for M(H2)/L’(CO)=0.8). While the bulk of the molecular gas coincides with the central radio galaxy, there are indications that a substantial fraction of this gas is associated with satellite galaxies or spread across the inter-galactic medium on scales of tens of kpc. In addition, we tentatively detect CO(1-0) in the star-forming proto-cluster galaxy HAE 229, 250 kpc to the west. Our observations are consistent with the fact that the Spiderweb Galaxy is building up its stellar mass through a massive burst of widespread star formation. At maximum star formation efficiency, the molecular gas will be able to sustain the current star formation rate (SFR ~ 1400 M(sun)/yr, as traced by Seymour et al.) for about 40 Myr. This is similar to the estimated typical lifetime of a major starburst event in infra-red luminous merger systems.

Simulations of the merging galaxy cluster Abell 3376

Observed galaxy clusters often exhibit X-ray morphologies suggestive of recent interaction with an infalling subcluster. Abell 3376 is a nearby (z=0.046) massive galaxy cluster whose bullet-shaped X-ray emission indicates that it may have undergone a recent collision. It displays a pair of Mpc-scale radio relics and its brightest cluster galaxy is located 970 h_70^-1 kpc away from the peak of X-ray emission, where the second brightest galaxy lies. We attempt to recover the dynamical history of Abell 3376. We perform a set of N-body adiabatic hydrodynamical simulations using the SPH code Gadget-2. These simulations of binary cluster collisions are aimed at exploring the parameter space of possible initial configurations. By attempting to match X-ray morphology, temperature, virial mass and X-ray luminosity, we set approximate constraints on some merger parameters. Our best models suggest a collision of clusters with mass ratio in the range 1/6-1/8, and having a subcluster with central gas density four times higher than that of the major cluster. Models with small impact parameter (b<150 kpc), if any, are preferred. We estimate that Abell 3376 is observed approximately 0.5 Gyr after core passage, and that the collision axis is inclined by i~40 degrees with respect to the plane of the sky. The infalling subcluster drives a supersonic shock wave that propagates at almost 2600 km/s, implying a Mach number as high as M~4; but we show how it would have been underestimated as M~3 due to projection effects.

The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: the stellar content of galaxy clusters selected using the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect [Replacement]

We present a first measurement of the stellar mass component of galaxy clusters selected via the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect, using 3.6 um and 4.5 um photometry from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our sample consists of 14 clusters detected by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), which span the redshift range 0.27 < z < 1.07 (median z = 0.50), and have dynamical mass measurements, accurate to about 30 per cent, with median M500 = 6.9 x 10^{14} MSun. We measure the 3.6 um and 4.5 um galaxy luminosity functions, finding the characteristic magnitude (m*) and faint-end slope (alpha) to be similar to those for IR-selected cluster samples. We perform the first measurements of the scaling of SZ-observables (Y500 and y0) with both brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) stellar mass and total cluster stellar mass (M500star). We find a significant correlation between BCG stellar mass and Y500 (E(z)^{-2/3} DA^2 Y500 ~ M*^{1.2 +/- 0.6}), although we are not able to obtain a strong constraint on the slope of the relation due to the small sample size. Additionally, we obtain E(z)^{-2/3} DA^2 Y500 ~ M500star^{1.0 +/- 0.6} for the scaling with total stellar mass. The mass fraction in stars spans the range 0.006-0.034, with the second ranked cluster in terms of dynamical mass (ACT-CL J0237-4939) having an unusually low total stellar mass and the lowest stellar mass fraction. For the five clusters with gas mass measurements available in the literature, we see no evidence for a shortfall of baryons relative to the cosmic mean value.

The Atacama Cosmology Telescope: the stellar content of galaxy clusters selected using the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect

We present a first measurement of the stellar mass component of galaxy clusters selected via the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect, using 3.6 um and 4.5 um photometry from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our sample consists of 14 clusters detected by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), which span the redshift range 0.27 < z < 1.07 (median z = 0.50), and have dynamical mass measurements, accurate to about 30 per cent, with median M500 = 6.9 x 10^{14} MSun. We measure the 3.6 um and 4.5 um galaxy luminosity functions, finding the characteristic magnitude (m*) and faint-end slope (alpha) to be similar to those for IR-selected cluster samples. We perform the first measurements of the scaling of SZ-observables (Y500 and y0) with both brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) stellar mass and total cluster stellar mass (M500star). We find a significant correlation between BCG stellar mass and Y500 (E(z)^{-2/3} DA^2 Y500 ~ M*^{1.2 +/- 0.6}), although we are not able to obtain a strong constraint on the slope of the relation due to the small sample size. Additionally, we obtain E(z)^{-2/3} DA^2 Y500 ~ M500star^{1.0 +/- 0.6} for the scaling with total stellar mass. The mass fraction in stars spans the range 0.006-0.034, with the second ranked cluster in terms of dynamical mass (ACT-CL J0237-4939) having an unusually low total stellar mass and the lowest stellar mass fraction. For the five clusters with gas mass measurements available in the literature, we see no evidence for a shortfall of baryons relative to the cosmic mean value.

The Planetary Nebulae Luminosity Function and distances to Virgo, Hydra I and Coma clusters

The luminosity function of planetary nebulae populations in galaxies within 10-15 Mpc distance has a cut-off at bright magnitudes and a functional form that is observed to be invariant in different galaxy morphological types. Thus it is used as a secondary distance indicator in both early and late-type galaxies. Recent deep surveys of planetary nebulae populations in brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) seem to indicate that their luminosity functions deviate from those observed in the nearby galaxies. We discuss the evidence for such deviations in Virgo, and indicate which physical mechanisms may alter the evolution of a planetary nebula envelope and its central star in the halo of BCGs. We then discuss preliminary results for distances for the Virgo, Hydra I and Coma clusters based on the observed planetary nebulae luminosity functions.

A cluster pair : A3532 and A3530 [Replacement]

We present a detailed study of a close pair of clusters of galaxies, A3532 and A3530, and their environments. The \textit{Chandra} X-ray image of A3532 reveals presence of substructures on scales of $\sim$20$^{\prime\prime}$ in its core. XMM-Newton maps of the clusters show excess X-ray emission from an overlapping region between them. Spectrally determined projected temperature and entropy maps do not show any signs of cluster scale mergers either in the overlapping region or in any of the clusters. In A3532, however, some signs of the presence of galaxy scale mergers are visible e.g., anisotropic temperature variations in the projected thermodynamic maps, a wide angled tailed (WAT) radio source in the brighter nucleus of its dumbbell Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG), and a candidate X-ray cavity coincident with the northwestern extension of the WAT source in the low-frequency radio observations. The northwestern extension in A3532 seems either a part of the WAT or an unrelated diffuse source in A3532 or in the background. There is an indication that the cool core in A3532 has been disrupted by the central AGN activity. A reanalysis of the redshift data reinforces the close proximity of the clusters. The excess emission in the overlapping region appears to be a result of tidal interactions as the two clusters approach each other for the first time. However, we can not rule out the possibility of the excess being due to the chance superposition of their X-ray halos.

An HST/WFC3-UVIS View of the Starburst in the Cool Core of the Phoenix Cluster

We present the results of Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 observations of the core of the Phoenix Cluster (SPT-CLJ2344-4243) in five broadband filters spanning rest-frame 1000-5500A. These observations reveal complex, filamentary blue emission, extending for >40 kpc from the brightest cluster galaxy. We observe an underlying, diffuse population of old stars, following an r^1/4 distribution, confirming that this system is somewhat relaxed. The spectral energy distribution in the inner part of the galaxy, as well as along the extended filaments, is a smooth continuum and is consistent with that of a star-forming galaxy, suggesting that the extended, filamentary emission is not due to a large-scale highly-ionized outflow from the central AGN, but rather a massive population of young stars. We estimate an extinction-corrected star formation rate of 798 +/- 42 Msun/yr, consistent with our earlier work based on low spatial resolution ultraviolet, optical, and infrared imaging. We argue that such a high star formation rate is not the result of a merger, as it would require >10 mergers with gas-rich galaxies and there is no evidence for such multiple merger events. Instead, we propose that the high X-ray cooling rate of ~2850 Msun/yr is the origin of the cold gas reservoir. The combination of such a high cooling rate and the relatively weak radio source in the cluster core suggests that feedback has been unable to halt runaway cooling in this system, leading to this tremendous burst of star formation.

An HST/WFC3-UVIS View of the Starburst in the Cool Core of the Phoenix Cluster [Replacement]

We present Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 observations of the core of the Phoenix Cluster SPT-CLJ2344-4243 in five broadband filters spanning rest-frame 1000–5500A. These observations reveal complex, filamentary blue emission, extending for >40kpc from the brightest cluster galaxy. We observe an underlying, diffuse population of old stars, following an r^1/4 distribution, confirming that this system is somewhat relaxed. The spectral energy distribution in the inner part of the galaxy, as well as along the extended filaments, is a smooth continuum and is consistent with that of a star-forming galaxy, suggesting that the extended, filamentary emission is not due to the central AGN, either from a large-scale ionized outflow or scattered polarized UV emission, but rather a massive population of young stars. We estimate an extinction-corrected star formation rate of 798 +/- 42 Msun/yr, consistent with our earlier work based on low spatial resolution ultraviolet, optical, and infrared imaging. The lack of tidal features and multiple bulges, combine with the need for an exceptionally massive (>10^11 Msun) cold gas reservoir, suggest that this star formation is not the result of a merger of gas-rich galaxies. Instead, we propose that the high X-ray cooling rate of ~2700 Msun/yr is the origin of the cold gas reservoir. The combination of such a high cooling rate and the relatively weak radio source in the cluster core suggests that feedback has been unable to halt cooling in this system, leading to this tremendous burst of star formation.

Massive black holes in central cluster galaxies

We explore how the co-evolution of massive black holes (MBHs) and galaxies is affected by environmental effects, addressing in particular MBHs hosted in the central galaxies of clusters (we will refer to these galaxies in general as ‘CGs’). Recently the sample of MBHs in CGs with dynamically measured masses has increased, and it has been suggested that these MBH masses (M_BH) deviate from the expected correlations with velocity dispersion (sigma) and mass of the bulge (M_bulge) of the host galaxy: MBHs in CGs appear to be `over-massive’. This discrepancy is more pronounced when considering the M_BH-sigma relation than the M_BH-M_bulge one. We show that this behavior stems from a combination of two natural factors, (i) that CGs experience more mergers involving spheroidal galaxies and their MBHs, and (ii) that such mergers are preferentially gas-poor. We use a combination of analytical and semi-analytical models to investigate the MBH-galaxy co-evolution in different environments and find that the combination of these two factors explains the trends observed in current data-sets.

Massive black holes in central cluster galaxies [Replacement]

We explore how the co-evolution of massive black holes (MBHs) and galaxies is affected by environmental effects, addressing in particular MBHs hosted in the central galaxies of clusters (we will refer to these galaxies in general as ‘CGs’). Recently the sample of MBHs in CGs with dynamically measured masses has increased, and it has been suggested that these MBH masses (M_BH) deviate from the expected correlations with velocity dispersion (sigma) and mass of the bulge (M_bulge) of the host galaxy: MBHs in CGs appear to be `over-massive’. This discrepancy is more pronounced when considering the M_BH-sigma relation than the M_BH-M_bulge one. We show that this behavior stems from a combination of two natural factors, (i) that CGs experience more mergers involving spheroidal galaxies and their MBHs, and (ii) that such mergers are preferentially gas-poor. We use a combination of analytical and semi-analytical models to investigate the MBH-galaxy co-evolution in different environments and find that the combination of these two factors explains the trends observed in current data-sets.

A Stacked Analysis of Brightest Cluster Galaxies Observed with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

We present the results of a search for high-energy gamma-ray emission from a large sample of galaxy clusters sharing the properties of three existing Fermi-LAT detections (in Perseus, Virgo and Abell 3392), namely a powerful radio source within their brightest cluster galaxy (BCG). From a parent, X-ray flux-limited sample of clusters, we select 114 systems with a core-dominated BCG radio flux above 50 or 75 mJy, stacking data from the first 45 months of the Fermi mission, to determine statistical limits on the gamma-ray fluxes of the ensemble of candidate sources. For a >300 MeV selection, the distribution of detection significance across the sample is consistent with that across control samples for significances <3 sigma, but has a tail extending to higher values, including three >4 sigma signals which are not associated with previously identified gamma-ray emission. Modelling of the data in these fields results in the detection of four non-2FGL Fermi sources, though none appear to be unambiguously associated with the BCG candidate. A search at energies >3 GeV hints at emission from the BCG in A 2055, which hosts a BL Lac object. There is no evidence for a signal in the stacked data, and the upper limit derived on the gamma-ray flux of an average radio-bright BCG in the sample is an order-of-magnitude more constraining than that calculated for individual objects. F(1 GeV)/F(1.4 GHz) <15, compared with ~120 for NGC 1275 in Perseus, which might indicate a special case for those objects detected at high energies; that beamed emission from member galaxies comprise the dominant bright gamma-ray sources in clusters.

The rapid evolution of AGN feedback in brightest cluster galaxies: switching from quasar-mode to radio-mode feedback

We present an analysis of the 2-10 keV X-ray emission associated with the active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). Our sample consists of 32 BCGs that lie in highly X-ray luminous cluster of galaxies [L_X-ray(0.1-2.4 keV)>3*10^44 erg/s] in which AGN-jetted outflows are creating and sustaining clear X-ray cavities. Our sample covers the redshift range 0<z<0.6 and reveals strong evolution in the nuclear X-ray luminosities, such that the black holes in these systems have become on average at least 10 times fainter over the last 5 Gyrs. Mindful of the potential selection effects that may affect our results, we propose two possible scenarios to explain our results: 1) either that the AGNs in BCGs with X-ray cavities are steadily becoming fainter, or more likely, 2) that the fraction of these BCGs with radiatively efficient nuclei is decreasing with time from roughly 60 per cent at z~0.6 to 30 per cent at z~0.1. Based on this strong evolution, we predict that a significant fraction of BCGs in z~1 clusters may host quasars at their centres, potentially complicating the search for such clusters at high redshift. In analogy with black-hole binaries and based on the observed Eddington ratios of our sources, we further propose that the evolving AGN population in BCGs with X-ray cavities may be transiting from a canonical low/hard state analogous to that of X-ray binaries to a quiescent state over the last 5 Gyrs.

Radiative efficiency, variability and Bondi accretion onto massive black holes: from mechanical to quasar feedback in brightest cluster galaxies

We examine unresolved nuclear X-ray sources in 57 brightest cluster galaxies to study the relationship between nuclear X-ray emission and accretion onto supermassive black holes (SMBHs). The majority of the clusters in our sample have prominent X-ray cavities embedded in the surrounding hot atmospheres, which we use to estimate mean jet power and average accretion rate onto the SMBHs over the past several hundred Myr. We find that ~50% of the sample have detectable nuclear X-ray emission. The nuclear X-ray luminosity is correlated with average accretion rate determined using X-ray cavities, which is consistent with the hypothesis that nuclear X-ray emission traces ongoing accretion. The results imply that jets in systems that have experienced recent AGN outbursts, in the last ~10^7yr, are `on’ at least half of the time. Nuclear X-ray sources become more luminous with respect to the mechanical jet power as the mean accretion rate rises. We show that nuclear radiation exceeds the jet power when the mean accretion rate rises above a few percent of the Eddington rate, where the AGN apparently transitions to a quasar. The nuclear X-ray emission from three objects (A2052, Hydra A, M84) varies by factors of 2-10 on timescales of 6 months to 10 years. If variability at this level is a common phenomenon, it can account for much of the scatter in the relationship between mean accretion rate and nuclear X-ray luminosity. We find no significant change in the spectral energy distribution as a function of luminosity in the variable objects. The relationship between accretion and nuclear X-ray luminosity is consistent with emission from either a jet, an ADAF, or a combination of the two, although other origins are possible. We also consider the longstanding problem of whether jets are powered by the accretion of cold circumnuclear gas or nearly spherical inflows of hot keV gas.[abridged]

Gravitational waves and stalled satellites from massive galaxy mergers at z < 1

We present a model for merger-driven evolution of the mass function for massive galaxies and their central supermassive black holes at late times. We discuss the current observational evidence in favor of merger-driven massive galaxy evolution during this epoch, and demonstrate that the observed evolution of the mass function can be reproduced by evolving an initial mass function under the assumption of negligible star formation. We calculate the stochastic gravitational wave signal from the resulting black-hole binary mergers in the low redshift universe (z < 1) implied by this model, and find that this population has a signal-to-noise ratio as much as ~5x larger than previous estimates for pulsar timing arrays, with an expectation value for the characteristic strain h_c(f =1 yr^{-1})=5.8 x 10^{-15} that is already in tension with observational constraints, and a 2-sigma lower limit within this model of h_c(f =1 yr^{-1})=2.0 x 10^{-15}. The strength of this signal may therefore be detectable with the data already collected using the current generation of pulsar timing arrays, and could be detected with high statistical significance under conservative assumptions within the next few years, if the principle assumption of merger-driven galaxy evolution since z=1 holds true. For cases where a galaxy merger fails to lead to a black hole merger, we estimate the probability for a given number of satellite unmerged black holes to remain within a massive host galaxy, and interpret the result in light of ULX observations. In particular, we find that the brightest cluster galaxies should have 1-2 such sources with luminosities above 10^{39} erg/s, which is consistent with the statistics of observed ULXs.

Systematic investigation of the expected gravitational wave signal from supermassive black hole binaries in the pulsar timing band

In this letter we carry out the first systematic investigation of the expected gravitational wave (GW) background generated by supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries in the nHz frequency band accessible to pulsar timing arrays (PTAs). We take from the literature several estimates of the redshift dependent galaxy mass function and of the fraction of close galaxy pairs to derive a wide range of galaxy merger rates. We then exploit empirical black hole-host relations to populate merging galaxies with SMBHs. The result of our procedure is a collection of a large number of phenomenological SMBH binary merger rates consistent with current observational constraints on the galaxy assembly at z<1.5. For each merger rate we compute the associated GW signal, eventually producing a large set of estimates of the nHz GW background that we use to infer confidence intervals of its expected amplitude. When considering the most recent SMBH-host relations, accounting for ultra-massive black holes in brightest cluster galaxies, we find that the nominal $1\sigma$ interval of the expected GW signal is only a factor of 3-to-10 below current PTA limits, implying a non negligible chance of detection in the next few years.

Ram pressure and dusty red galaxies - key factors in the evolution of the multiple cluster system Abell 901/902

We present spectroscopic observations of 182 disk galaxies (96 in the cluster and 86 in the field environment) in the region of the Abell 901/902 multiple cluster system, which is located at a redshift of $z\sim 0.165$. The presence of substructures and non-Gaussian redshift distributions indicate that the cluster system is dynamically young and not in a virialized state. We find evidence for two important galaxy populations. \textit{Morphologically distorted galaxies} are probably subject to increased tidal interactions. They show pronounced rotation curve asymmetries at intermediate cluster-centric radii and low rest-frame peculiar velocities. \textit{Morphologically undistorted galaxies} show the strongest rotation curve asymmetries at high rest-frame velocities and low cluster-centric radii. Supposedly, this group is strongly affected by ram-pressure stripping due to interaction with the intra-cluster medium. Among the morphologically undistorted galaxies, dusty red galaxies have particularly strong rotation curve asymmetries, suggesting ram pressure is an important factor in these galaxies. Furthermore, dusty red galaxies on average have a bulge-to-total ratio higher by a factor of two than cluster blue cloud and field galaxies. The fraction of kinematically distorted galaxies is 75% higher in the cluster than in the field environment. This difference mainly stems from morphological undistorted galaxies, indicating a cluster-specific interaction process that only affects the gas kinematics but not the stellar morphology. Also the ratio between gas and stellar scale length is reduced for cluster galaxies compared to the field sample. Both findings could be best explained by ram-pressure effects.

Identification of members in the central and outer regions of galaxy clusters

The caustic technique measures the mass of galaxy clusters in both their virial and infall regions and, as a byproduct, yields the list of cluster galaxy members. Here we use 100 galaxy clusters with mass M200>=1E14 Msun/h extracted from a cosmological N-body simulation of a LambdaCDM universe to test the ability of the caustic technique to identify the cluster galaxy members. We identify the true three-dimensional members as the gravitationally bound galaxies. The caustic technique uses the caustic location in the redshift diagram to separate the cluster members from the interlopers. We apply the technique to mock catalogues containing 1000 galaxies in the field of view of 12 Mpc/h on a side at the cluster location. On average, this sample size roughly corresponds to 180 real galaxy members within 3r200, similar to recent redshift surveys of cluster regions. The caustic technique yields a completeness, the fraction of identified true members, fc=0.95 (+- 0.03) within 3r200. The contamination increases from fi=0.020 (+0.046;-0.015) at r200 to fi=0.08 (+0.11;-0.05) at 3r200. No other technique for the identification of the members of a galaxy cluster provides such large completeness and small contamination at these large radii. The caustic technique assumes spherical symmetry and the asphericity of the cluster is responsible for most of the spread of the completeness and the contamination. By applying the technique to an approximately spherical system obtained by stacking the individual clusters, the spreads decrease by at least a factor of two. We finally estimate the cluster mass within 3r200 after removing the interlopers: for individual clusters, the mass estimated with the virial theorem is unbiased and within 30 per cent of the actual mass; this spread decreases to less than 10 per cent for the spherically symmetric stacked cluster.

 

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