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Self-regulated cooling flows in elliptical galaxies and in cluster cores - Is exclusively low mass star formation really necessary?
Silk, J.; Djorgovski, S.; Wyse, R. F. G.; Bruzual A., G.
AA(California, University, Berkeley), AB(California, University, Berkeley; Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA), AC(California, University, Berkeley; Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD), AD(Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomia, Merida, Venezuela)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 307, Aug. 15, 1986, p. 415-425. Research supported by the University of California. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Cooling, Cooling Flows (Astrophysics), Elliptical Galaxies, Star Clusters, Star Formation, Stellar Mass Accretion, Intergalactic Media, Mass Flow Rate, Star Formation Rate, Stellar Color, Stellar Mass, Supernovae
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A self-consistent treatment of the heating by supernovae associated with star formation in a spherically symmetric cooling flow in a cluster core or elliptical galaxy is presented. An initial stellar mass function similar to that in the solar neighborhood is adopted. Inferred star-formation rates, within the cooling region - typically the inner 100 kpc around dominant galaxies at the centers of cooling flows in XD clusters - are reduced by about a factor of 2, relative to rates inferred when the heat input from star formation is ignored. Truncated initial mass functions (IMFs) are also considered, in which massive star formation is suppressed in accordance with previous treatments, and colors are predicted for star formation in cooling flows associated with central dominant elliptical galaxies and with isolated elliptical galaxies surrounded by gaseous coronae. The low inferred cooling-flow rates around isolated elliptical galaxies are found to be insensitive to the upper mass cutoff in the IMF, provided that the upper mass cutoff exceeds 2 M solar mass. Comparison with observed colors favors a cutoff in the IMF above 1 M solar mass in at least two well-studied cluster cooling flows, but a normal IMF cannot be excluded definitively. Models for NGC 1275 support a young (less than about 3 Gyr) cooling flow. As for the isolated elliptical galaxies, the spread in colors is consistent with a normal IMF. A definitive test of the IMF arising via star formation in cooling flows requires either UV spectral data or supernova searches in the cooling-flow-centered galaxies.

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