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Title: Ionised and molecular gas in brightest cluster galaxies
Author: Hatch, N. A.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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Chapter 2 presents an in depth study of the central galaxy of the Centaurus cluster. Comparison of images from line-emission, X-ray, and radio wavebands, shows an energetic and dynamical interaction between the intracluster medium, radio source, and the ionised nebula. As well as the Centaurus cluster, a clear link between the nebula morphology and dust features is found in two other nearby nebulae. The kinematics of several nebulae are presented in Chapter 3. All nebulae show ordered bulk flows with velocities up to a few hundred km s-1, and clear evidence of outflow is seen in the nebula that lies at the centre of the Perseus cluster. The data do not imply a single formation mechanism for all nebulae: AGN and starburst-driven outflows, tidal interactions with nearby galaxies, and entrainment by buoyantly rising bubbles may all play a role in forming the filamentary structure we observe. In Chapter 4 I present maps of emission-line-ratios and discuss the ionisation state of the gas. I find that the ionisation state is not uniform, implying that multiple sources ionise the gas, or the temperature and/or the metallicity of the nebulae are inhomogeneous. I investigate the composition of the nebular gas in Chapter 5. I present near-infrared observations which show that multi-temperature molecular hydrogen accompanies the ionised gas, out to distances of at least 25 kpc from the central galaxy. The aim of this thesis is to study the nebulae with a suite of instruments and telescopes that can probe deeper than has been done before. The highlights include nebular kinematics across a large field-of-view, and the first detection of molecular hydrogen from the outer nebulae, well beyond the gas reservoir at the centre of these systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available