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The diverse nature of optical emission lines in brightest cluster galaxies: IFU observations of the central kiloparsec
Edwards, Louise O. V.; Robert, Carmelle; Mollá, Mercedes; McGee, Sean L.
AA(Département de physique, génie physique, et optique, Université Laval, and Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec, Québec, QC G1K 7P4, Canada; Department of Physics and Astronomy, Trent University, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada), AB(Département de physique, génie physique, et optique, Université Laval, and Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec, Québec, QC G1K 7P4, Canada), AC(CIEMAT, Avda. Complutense 22, 28040 Madrid, Spain), AD(Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 396, Issue 4, pp. 1953-1971. (MNRAS Homepage)
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Astronomy Keywords:
stars: formation , galaxies: clusters: general , galaxies: clusters: individual: A1060 , cooling flows , galaxies: evolution , galaxies: stellar content
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We present integral field spectroscopy of the nebular line emission in a sample of nine brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). The sample was chosen to probe both cooling flow and non-cooling flow clusters, as well as a range of cluster X-ray luminosities. The line emission morphology and velocity gradients suggest a great diversity in the properties of the line emitting gas. While some BCGs show evidence for filamentary or patchy emission (Abell1060, Abell1668 and MKW3s), others have extended emission (Abell1204, Abell2199), while still others have centrally concentrated emission (Abell2052). We examine diagnostic line ratios to determine the dominant ionization mechanisms in each galaxy. Most of the galaxies show regions with active galactic nucleus like spectra, however, for two BCGs, Abell1060 and Abell1204, the emission line diagnostics suggest regions which can be described by the emission from young stellar populations. The diversity of emission-line properties in our sample of BCGs suggests that the emission mechanism is not universal, with different ionization processes dominating different systems. Given this diversity, there is no evidence for a clear distinction of the emission-line properties between cooling flow and non-cooling flow BCGs. It is not always cooling flow BCGs which show emission (or young stellar populations), and non-cooling flow BCGs which do not.
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