8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 2 Galaxy Clusters and the Intergalactic Medium
Poster, Wednesday, September 8, 2004, 9:00am-10:00pm

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[2.19] Feedback and Star Formation in Cluster Cores

D. A. Rafferty, L. Birzan, B. R. McNamara (Ohio University), M. W. Wise (MIT/CSR), P. E. J. Nulsen (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

Using an analysis of sixteen galaxy clusters, one group, and one galaxy drawn from the Chandra X-ray Observatory's data archive, we evaluate the hypothesis that cooling of the intracluster medium can be quenched by energy dissipated by rising bubbles created by radio sources. We find that the instantaneous mechanical luminosities in the bubbles required to offset cooling range between 1-20 pV per bubble. Nearly half of the systems in our sample may have mechanical luminosities large enough to balance cooling. For the remaining systems in our sample, the energy dissipated by the bubbles alone cannot balance cooling unless additional shock heating is occurring. The residual cooling of gas in these systems should lead to star formation in the central galaxy whose rate scales in proportion to the cooling rate. To investigate this scenario, we use archival Hubble Space Telescope data and stellar population synthesis models to infer star formation rates in the central galaxies. We present the preliminary results of this analysis for a subsample of systems.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.