Radio emission in the directions of cD and related galaxies in poor clusters. III - VLA observations at 20 cm.
VLA radio maps and optical identifications of a sample of sources in the directions of 21 Yerkes poor cluster fields are presented. The majority of the cluster radio sources are associated with the dominant D or cD galaxies (approximately 70 percent). Our analysis of dominant galaxies in rich and poor clusters indicates that these giant galaxies are much more often radio emitters (approximately 25 percent of cD's are radio active in the poor clusters), have steeper radio spectra, and have simpler radio morphologies (i.e., double or other linear structure) than other less bright ellipticals. A strong continuum of radio properties in cD galaxies is seen from rich to poor clusters. It is speculated that the location of these dominant galaxies at the cluster centers (i.e., at the bottom of a deep, isolated gravitational potential well) is the crucial factor in explaining their multifrequency activity. Galaxy cannibalism and gas infall models as fueling mechanisms for the observed radio and X-ray emission are discussed