We present new, deep observations of the Phoenix cluster from Chandra, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Karl Jansky Very Large Array. These data provide an order-of-magnitude improvement in depth and/or angular resolution over previous observations at X-ray, optical, and radio wavelengths. We find that the one-dimensional temperature and entropy profiles are consistent with expectations for pure-cooling models. In particular, the entropy profile is well fit by a single power law at all radii, with no evidence for excess entropy in the core. In the inner ∼10 kpc, the cooling time is shorter than any other known cluster by an order of magnitude, while the ratio of the cooling time to freefall time (t cool/t ff) approaches unity, signaling that the intracluster medium is unable to resist multiphase condensation on kpc scales. The bulk of the cooling in the inner ∼20 kpc is confined to a low-entropy filament extending northward from the central galaxy, with t cool/t ff ∼ 1 over the length of the filament. In this filament, we find evidence for ∼1010 M ☉ in cool (∼104 K) gas (as traced by the [O II]λλ3726,3729 doublet), which is coincident with the low-entropy filament and absorbing soft X-rays. The bulk of this cool gas is draped around and behind a pair of X-ray cavities, presumably bubbles that have been inflated by radio jets. These data support a picture in which active galactic nucleus feedback is promoting the formation of a multiphase medium via uplift of low-entropy gas, either via ordered or chaotic (turbulent) motions.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- November 2019
- galaxies: clusters: individual: SPT-CLJ2344-4243;
- galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium;
- X-rays: galaxies: clusters;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 19 pages, 17 figures. Submitted to ApJ. Comments welcome!