Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

An Enormous Molecular Gas Flow in the RX J0821+0752 Galaxy Cluster

Vantyghem, A.N.; McNamara, B.R.; Russell, H.R.; Edge, A.C.; Nulsen, P.E.J.; Combes, F.; Fabian, A.C.; McDonald, M.; Salomé, P.

An Enormous Molecular Gas Flow in the RX J0821+0752 Galaxy Cluster Thumbnail


A.N. Vantyghem

B.R. McNamara

H.R. Russell

P.E.J. Nulsen

F. Combes

A.C. Fabian

M. McDonald

P. Salomé


We present recent Chandra X-ray observations of the RX J0821.0+0752 galaxy cluster, in addition to ALMA observations of the CO(1–0) and CO(3–2) line emission tracing the molecular gas in its central galaxy. All of the CO line emission, originating from a ${10}^{10}\,{M}_{\odot }$ molecular gas reservoir, is located several kiloparsecs away from the nucleus of the central galaxy. The cold gas is concentrated into two main clumps surrounded by a diffuse envelope. They form a wide filament coincident with a plume of bright X-ray emission emanating from the cluster core. This plume encompasses a putative X-ray cavity that is only large enough to have uplifted a small percent of the molecular gas. Unlike other brightest cluster galaxies, stimulated cooling, where X-ray cavities lift low-entropy cluster gas until it becomes thermally unstable, cannot have produced the observed gas reservoir. Instead, the molecular gas has likely formed as a result of sloshing motions in the intracluster medium induced by a nearby galaxy. Sloshing can emulate uplift by dislodging gas from the galactic center. This gas has the shortest cooling time, so it will condense if disrupted for long enough.


Vantyghem, A., McNamara, B., Russell, H., Edge, A., Nulsen, P., Combes, F., …Salomé, P. (2019). An Enormous Molecular Gas Flow in the RX J0821+0752 Galaxy Cluster. Astrophysical Journal, 870(2), Article 57.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 16, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 8, 2019
Publication Date Jan 10, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 1, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 1, 2019
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 870
Issue 2
Article Number 57


Published Journal Article (2.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations