ROSAT Discovery of Asymmetrical Cluster Gas around the Radio Galaxy NGC~326

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Session 59 -- Low Luminosity AGNs and Active Galaxies
Display presentation, Thursday, 2, 1994, 9:20-6:30

[59.03] ROSAT Discovery of Asymmetrical Cluster Gas around the Radio Galaxy NGC~326

D.M.~Worrall, M.~Birkinshaw, R.A.~Cameron (SAO)

The Position Sensitive Proportional Counter on board ROSAT is the first X-ray detector to have made a long pointed observation of the nearby radio galaxy NGC~326. The region containing the source was imaged for 5.8 hours in soft ($0.1 - 2.4$ keV) X-rays as part of a program to measure the X-ray emission in low-power radio galaxies not known to be in rich clusters.

Unlike other radio galaxies measured as part of this program, NGC~326 is discovered to be embedded in bright asymmetrical X-ray emitting cluster gas. There is a peak in the X-ray emission consistent with the location of the radio-galaxy core, and the gas extends a few hundred kpc from this peak ($H_o = 50$ km s$^{-1}$ Mpc$^{-1}$) even averaged over directions of least extent. The presence of large-scale X-ray emitting gas is consistent with NGC~326's membership of the Zwicky cluster 0056.9+2636.

NGC~326 is known to have a `dumbbell nucleus' where two galaxies are passing at about 16 kpc projected separation (Wirth, Smarr \& Gallagher~1982, AJ, 87, 602); the kinematics of the dumbbell system provides a possible explanation for the apparent change in direction over time of the twin jets of the kpc-scale radio emission. We compare radio and X-ray images to assess the influence of the gas distribution on the radio structures.

Support from NASA grant NAG5-1882 \& contract NAS8-39073 is gratefully acknowledged.

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