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Session 106 - Clusters of Galaxies.
Display session, Saturday, January 10
Exhibit Hall,

[106.08] Head-Tail Radio Source Formation through Cluster Mergers

M. Bliton, E. Rizza (NMSU), J. O. Burns (U. Missouri), F. N. Owen (NRAO), M. Ledlow (U. New Mexico)

We present results of a sample of 15 nearby Abell clusters from the ROSAT PSPC archive containing 23 Narrow-Angle Tailed (NAT), or head-tail radio galaxies. In the standard model for NAT formation, the jets are bent into a U-shape by ram pressure from the high velocity galaxy encountering the intracluster medium (ICM). We find that clusters with NATs show a significantly higher level of X-ray substructure than a similar sample of radio-quiet clusters, indicating that NAT radio sources are preferentially located in unrelaxed systems. Also, the velocity distribution of NAT galaxies is peaked toward low peculiar motions, and similar to that of other radio galaxies. These low galaxy velocities are inadequate to produce the ram pressure necessary to bend the radio jets. We therefore propose a new mechanism for NAT formation, in which NATs are associated with unrelaxed clusters undergoing merger events. The NAT morphology is produced in part by the merger-induced bulk motion of the ICM bending the jets. This research was supported by NASA grant NAGW-3152 to J.O.B. and F.N.O.

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