Bennington College

A Spectacular Hα Complex in Virgo: Evidence for a Collision between M86 and NGC 4438 and Implications for the Collisional ISM Heating of Ellipticals

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dc.contributor.author Kenney, Jeffrey D. P.
dc.contributor.author Tal, Tomer
dc.contributor.author Crowl, Hugh H.
dc.contributor.author Feldmeier, John
dc.contributor.author Jacoby, George H.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-10-25T19:23:30Z
dc.date.available 2016-10-25T19:23:30Z
dc.date.issued 2008-10
dc.identifier.citation The Astrophysical Journal, 687: L69–L74, 2008 November 10 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11209/10506
dc.description.abstract Deep wide-field Hα+[N II] imaging around the Virgo Cluster giant elliptical galaxy M86 reveals a highly complex and disturbed ISM/ICM. The most striking feature is a set of Hα filaments which clearly connect M86 with the nearby disturbed spiral NGC 4438 (23' = 120 kpc projected away), providing strong evidence for a previously unrecognized collision between them. Spectroscopy of selected regions shows a fairly smooth velocity gradient between M86 and NGC 4438, consistent with the collision scenario. Such a collision would impart significant energy into the ISM of M86, probably heating the gas and acting to prevent the gas from cooling to form stars. We propose that cool gas stripped from NGC 4438 during the collision and deposited in its wake is heated by shocks, ram pressure drag, or thermal conduction, producing most of the Hα filaments. Some Hα filaments are associated with the well-known ridge of bright X-ray emission to the NW of the nucleus, suggesting that the collision is responsible for peculiarities of M86 previously ascribed to other effects. M86 is radio-quiet; thus AGN heating is unlikely to play a significant role. The M86 system has implications for understanding the role of gravitational interactions in the heating of the ISM in ellipticals, and how collisions in clusters transform galaxies. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher The American Astronomical Society en_US
dc.subject Cooling flows en_US
dc.subject Galaxies -- elliptical and lenticular en_US
dc.subject Galaxies -- clusters -- individual (Virgo) en_US
dc.subject cD en_US
dc.subject Galaxies -- evolution en_US
dc.subject Galaxies -- interactions en_US
dc.subject Galaxies -- ISM en_US
dc.title A Spectacular Hα Complex in Virgo: Evidence for a Collision between M86 and NGC 4438 and Implications for the Collisional ISM Heating of Ellipticals en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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