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Merger and Feedback Signatures in the Intracluster Medium

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 12:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • CASA Conference Room C324

Speaker Name(s): 

Rachel Paterno-Mahler

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Boston University
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysics Lunch Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

Galaxy clusters are built up via mergers, which leave evidence of their occurrence in the intracluster medium (ICM). Recent X-ray observations have shown substructure in the ICM in the form of shocks, cold fronts, and sloshing spirals. This substructure is the result of cluster-cluster (or group) interactions, and the substructure is seen even in clusters that are otherwise seemingly relaxed. Here I present results from Chandra observations of two clusters: one very relaxed on large scales, but with an extended sloshing spiral (Abell 2029), and one currently undergoing a merger (Abell 98). I will discuss the signatures that these mergers have left in the ICM. I will also discuss the interaction between the active galactic nuclei (AGN) in these clusters and the ICM, which injects energy into the ICM and may be important in resolving the “cooling flow” problem. I will also present evidence as to how the ICM can affect the morphology of the radio emission from the AGN, and describe how observations of bent radio lobes can be used to place constraints on the dynamics of the surrounding gas. Both A2029 and A98 host wide-angle tail (WAT) AGN, which can be used to find clusters at high redshift. I will briefly describe how a sample of distant clusters selected via WATs can be used to study galaxy formation and evolution, as well as the effect that feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) has on galaxies and their environments.