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Optical emission line nebulae in galaxy cluster cores 1 : the morphological, kinematic and spectral properties of the sample.

Hamer, S. L. and Edge, A. C. and Swinbank, A. M. and Wilman, R. J. and Combes, F. and Salomé, P. and Fabian, A. C. and Crawford, C. S. and Russell, H. R. and Hlavacek-Larrondo, J. and McNamara, B. R. and Bremer, M. N. (2016) 'Optical emission line nebulae in galaxy cluster cores 1 : the morphological, kinematic and spectral properties of the sample.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 460 (2). pp. 1758-1789.


We present an Integral Field Unit survey of 73 galaxy clusters and groups with the VIsible Multi Object Spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope. We exploit the data to determine the H α gas dynamics on kpc scales to study the feedback processes occurring within the dense cluster cores. We determine the kinematic state of the ionized gas and show that the majority of systems (∼2/3) have relatively ordered velocity fields on kpc scales that are similar to the kinematics of rotating discs and are decoupled from the stellar kinematics of the brightest cluster galaxy. The majority of the H α flux (>50 per cent) is typically associated with these ordered kinematics and most systems show relatively simple morphologies suggesting they have not been disturbed by a recent merger or interaction. Approximately 20 per cent of the sample (13/73) have disturbed morphologies which can typically be attributed to active galactic nuclei activity disrupting the gas. Only one system shows any evidence of an interaction with another cluster member. A spectral analysis of the gas suggests that the ionization of the gas within cluster cores is dominated by non-stellar processes, possibly originating from the intracluster medium itself.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:03 May 2016
Date deposited:12 October 2016
Date of first online publication:06 May 2016
Date first made open access:No date available

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