We present new ALMA CO(2-1) observations of two well-studied group-centered elliptical galaxies: NGC 4636 and NGC 5846. In addition, we include a revised analysis of Cycle 0 ALMA observations of the central galaxy in the NGC 5044 group. We find evidence that molecular gas is a common presence in bright group-centered galaxies (BGG). CO line widths are broader than Galactic molecular clouds, and using the reference Milky Way XCO, the total molecular mass ranges from 2.6 ×105Moin NGC 4636 to 6.1 ×107Moin NGC 5044. Complementary observations using the ALMA Compact Array do not exhibit any detection of a CO diffuse component at the sensitivity level achieved by current exposures. The origin of the detected molecular features is still uncertain, but these ALMA observations suggest that they are the end product of the hot gas cooling process and not the result of merger events. Some of the molecular clouds are associated with dust features as revealed by HST dust extinction maps, suggesting that these clouds formed from dust-enhanced cooling. The global nonlinear condensation may be triggered via the chaotic turbulent field or buoyant uplift. The large virial parameter of the molecular structures and correlation with the warm (103-105)/hot (≥106) phase velocity dispersion provide evidence that they are unbound giant molecular associations drifting in the turbulent field, consistent with numerical predictions of the chaotic cold accretion process. Alternatively, the observed large CO line widths may be generated by molecular gas flowing out from cloud surfaces due to heating by the local hot gas atmosphere.

ALMA Observations of Molecular Clouds in Three Group-centered Elliptical Galaxies: NGC 5846, NGC 4636, and NGC 5044

Gitti, Myriam
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Brighenti, Fabrizio
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2018

Abstract

We present new ALMA CO(2-1) observations of two well-studied group-centered elliptical galaxies: NGC 4636 and NGC 5846. In addition, we include a revised analysis of Cycle 0 ALMA observations of the central galaxy in the NGC 5044 group. We find evidence that molecular gas is a common presence in bright group-centered galaxies (BGG). CO line widths are broader than Galactic molecular clouds, and using the reference Milky Way XCO, the total molecular mass ranges from 2.6 ×105Moin NGC 4636 to 6.1 ×107Moin NGC 5044. Complementary observations using the ALMA Compact Array do not exhibit any detection of a CO diffuse component at the sensitivity level achieved by current exposures. The origin of the detected molecular features is still uncertain, but these ALMA observations suggest that they are the end product of the hot gas cooling process and not the result of merger events. Some of the molecular clouds are associated with dust features as revealed by HST dust extinction maps, suggesting that these clouds formed from dust-enhanced cooling. The global nonlinear condensation may be triggered via the chaotic turbulent field or buoyant uplift. The large virial parameter of the molecular structures and correlation with the warm (103-105)/hot (≥106) phase velocity dispersion provide evidence that they are unbound giant molecular associations drifting in the turbulent field, consistent with numerical predictions of the chaotic cold accretion process. Alternatively, the observed large CO line widths may be generated by molecular gas flowing out from cloud surfaces due to heating by the local hot gas atmosphere.
Temi, Pasquale; Amblard, Alexandre; Gitti, Myriam; Brighenti, Fabrizio; Gaspari, Massimo; Mathews, William G.; David, Laurence
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/656266
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