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The role of heat conduction in the cooling flows of galaxy clusters
Bertschinger, E.; Meiksin, A.
AA(California, University, Berkeley), AB(California, University, Berkeley)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters to the Editor (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 306, July 1, 1986, p. L1-L5. Research supported by the University of California. (ApJL Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Conductive Heat Transfer, Cooling Flows (Astrophysics), Galactic Clusters, Plasma Cooling, X Ray Sources, Galactic Evolution, Mass Flow Rate, Temperature Distribution, Virgo Galactic Cluster
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The effects of heat conduction on X-ray emitting gas accreting onto dominant galaxies in clusters are reconsidered. Using the density and temperature profiles obtained by Stewart et al. for M87 and by Fabian et al. for NGC 1275, it is shown that the inclusion of heat conduction at or near the classical Spitzer value significantly reduces the inferred mass accretion rates. The X-ray data are consistent with accretion rates 1-3 solar masses/yr for M87 and 20-75 solar masses/yr for NGC 1275, independent of radius beyond a few kpc. Because these rates are up to a factor of 10 smaller than previous estimates, it may be unnecessary to appeal to a nonstandard initial mass function to hide the stars that must be forming from these cooling flows. The flow rates are unlikely to produce the central galaxies in a Hubble time.

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