Dark Hearts in the Perseus Cluster Galaxies: A Study of Dust Absorption Features
American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #221, #243.12
Published in Jan 2013
Indicators of a cool interstellar medium, such as dust features and HI emission, are more prevalent in early type galaxies than once thought. Yet it is still difficult to understand their presence in the cores of massive clusters. The hot intracluster medium can strip low-density gas from infalling galaxies via ram pressure or can heat the gas past its escape velocity. Nevertheless, galaxies with cool ISM in the form of dust do exist in the Coma Cluster. Here we report on several such systems observed near the core of the Perseus Cluster, the nearest massive cluster of galaxies (D = 70 Mpc). Perseus is an optically unrelaxed cluster with an extensive hot ICM. It also contains several high-velocity galaxies, including a system infalling towards NGC 1275 at a relative speed of ~3000 km/sec, which suggests a continued accretion of systems from the cluster's surroundings. We detect dust features in early-type galaxies through the presence of optical absorption, visible in the form of very circular rings, dark spiral arms and disk systems, or both. These features range in size from 50 to 1700 parsecs. We suggest that these components may be remnants of evolutionary pre-processing in groups that occurs as objects fall into the Perseus cluster. We also discuss their existence in terms of survival time scales for cold ISM in the early-type members of a rich galaxy cluster.
(c) 2013: American Astronomical Society