8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 1 Galaxy Clusters and the Intergalactic Medium
Oral, Wednesday, September 8, 2004, 9:00-10:30am

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[1.03] Bubbles and Supercavities in Clusters of Galaxies

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

It is becoming increasingly evident that the hot gas in galaxy clusters is heated and redistributed on large scales by powerful radio sources. Discoveries by the Chandra X-ray Observatory of nearly two dozen cavity systems show that radio sources deposit between 1057-1060 erg into the keV gas during a typical radio outburst. We show that feedback at this level is sufficient to balance cooling in many systems, and that it plays a significant role in magnetizing and preheating clusters.

We report a spectacular new Chandra observation of a redshift z=0.2 cluster harboring twin, radio-filled cavities, each of which is nearly 250 kpc in diameter. These enormous cavities are surrounded by prominent shocks. By far the largest and most powerful cavity system known, it has deposited more than 4x1061 erg into the intracluster medium over the past 100 Myr, equivalent to a powerful quasar. Unlike a quasar, however, its modest radio power yet remarkably large kinetic power shows that even modest radio sources in clusters can be dynamically significant.

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

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