Radio lobes inflated by active galactic nuclei at the centers of clusters are a promising candidate for halting condensation in clusters with short central cooling times because they are common in such clusters. In order to test the AGNheating hypothesis, we obtained Chandra observations of two clusters with short central cooling times yet no evidence for AGN activity: Abell 1650 and Abell 2244. The cores of these clusters indeed appear systematically different from cores with more prominent radio emission. They do not have significant central temperature gradients, and their central entropy levels are markedly higher than in clusters with stronger radio emission, corresponding to central cooling times ~ 1 Gyr. Also, there is no evidence for fossil X-ray cavities produced by an earlier episode of AGN heating. We suggest that either (1) the central gas has not yet cooled to the point at which feedback is necessary to prevent it from condensing, possibly because it is conductively stabilized, or (2) the gas experienced a major heating event & >~ Gyr in the past and has not required feedback since then. The fact that these clusters with no evident feedback have higher central entropy and therefore longer central cooling times than clusters with obvious AGN feedback strongly suggests that AGNs supply the feedback necessary to suppress condensation in clusters with short central cooling times (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas).
Department, Program, or Center
School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)
Astrophysical Journal Letters 630 (2005) L13
RIT – Main Campus