AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 19. Chandra Observations of Nearby Galaxies
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[19.06] Nuclear Outbursts in the Elliptical Galaxy NGC 4472

B. Biller, C. Jones, W. Forman (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

We present the analysis of the Chandra ACIS observations of the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 4472. The Chandra Observatory's arcsec resolution reveals a number of new features, specifically:

1) an ~8 arcmin streamer or arm (this corresponds to a linear size of 36 kpc) extending southwest of the galaxy and an assymetrical, somewhat truncated streamer to the northeast. Smaller, morphologically similar structures are observed in NGC 4636 (Jones et al. 2001) and are explained as shocks from a nuclear outburst in the recent past. The larger size of the NGC 4472 streamers requires a correspondingly higher energy input compared to the NGC 4636 case. The asymmetry of the streamers may be due to the interaction of NGC 4472 with the ambient Virgo cluster gas.

2) A string of small, extended sources south of the nucleus. These sources may stem from an interaction of NGC 4472 with the galaxy UGC 7637.

3) X-ray cavities corresponding to radio lobes, where expanding radio plasma has evacuated the X-ray emitting gas.

We also present a luminosity function for the X-ray point sources detected within NGC 4472 which we compare to that for other early type galaxies.

This work was supported by CXC contract number NAS8-39073 and the Smithsonian Institution.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bbiller@cfa.harvard.edu

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