skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on May 1, 2024

Title: Redshift Evolution of the Feedback–Cooling Equilibrium in the Core of 48 SPT Galaxy Clusters: A Joint Chandra–SPT–ATCA Analysis
Abstract We analyze the cooling and feedback properties of 48 galaxy clusters at redshifts 0.4 < z < 1.3 selected from the South Pole Telescope (SPT) catalogs to evolve like the progenitors of massive and well-studied systems at z ∼ 0. We estimate the radio power at the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) location of each cluster from an analysis of Australia Telescope Compact Array data. Assuming that the scaling relation between the radio power and active galactic nucleus (AGN) cavity power P cav observed at low redshift does not evolve with redshift, we use these measurements in order to estimate the expected AGN cavity power in the core of each system. We estimate the X-ray luminosity within the cooling radius L cool of each cluster from a joint analysis of the available Chandra X-ray and SPT Sunyaev–Zel’dovich (SZ) data. This allows us to characterize the redshift evolution of the P cav / L cool ratio. When combined with low-redshift results, these constraints enable investigations of the properties of the feedback–cooling cycle across 9 Gyr of cluster growth. We model the redshift evolution of this ratio measured for cool-core clusters by a log-normal distribution Log -  ( α + β z , σ 2 ) and constrain the slope of the mean evolution to β = −0.05 ± 0.47. This analysis improves the constraints on the slope of this relation by a factor of two. We find no evidence of redshift evolution of the feedback–cooling equilibrium in these clusters, which suggests that the onset of radio-mode feedback took place at an early stage of cluster formation. High values of P cav / L cool are found at the BCG location of noncool-core clusters, which might suggest that the timescales of the AGN feedback cycle and the cool core–noncool core transition are different. This work demonstrates that the joint analysis of radio, SZ, and X-ray data solidifies the investigation of AGN feedback at high redshifts.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2109035 1751096
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    We present a multiwavelength analysis of the galaxy cluster SPT-CL J0607-4448 (SPT0607), which is one of the most distant clusters discovered by the South Pole Telescope atz= 1.4010 ± 0.0028. The high-redshift cluster shows clear signs of being relaxed with well-regulated feedback from the active galactic nucleus (AGN) in the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG). Using Chandra X-ray data, we construct thermodynamic profiles and determine the properties of the intracluster medium. The cool-core nature of the cluster is supported by a centrally peaked density profile and low central entropy (K0=189+11keV cm2), which we estimate assuming an isothermal temperature profile due to the limited spectral information given the distance to the cluster. Using the density profile and gas cooling time inferred from the X-ray data, we find a mass-cooling rateṀcool=10060+90Myr−1. From optical spectroscopy and photometry around the [Oii] emission line, we estimate that the BCG star formation rate isSFR[OII]=1.70.6+1.0Myr−1, roughly two orders of magnitude lower than the predicted mass-cooling rate. In addition, using ATCA radio data at 2.1 GHz, we measure a radio jet powerPcav=3.21.3+2.1×1044erg s−1, which is consistent with the X-ray cooling luminosity (Lcool=1.90.5+0.2×1044erg s−1withinrcool= 43 kpc). These findings suggest that SPT0607 is a relaxed, cool-core cluster with AGN-regulated cooling at an epoch shortly after cluster formation, implying that the balance between cooling and feedback can be reached quickly. We discuss the implications for these findings on the evolution of AGN feedback in galaxy clusters.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    We present the discovery of the most distant, dynamically relaxed cool core cluster, SPT-CL J2215−3537 (SPT2215), and its central brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) atz= 1.16. Using new X-ray observations, we demonstrate that SPT2215 harbors a strong cool core with a central cooling time of 200 Myr (at 10 kpc) and a maximal intracluster medium cooling rate of 1900 ± 400Myr−1. This prodigious cooling may be responsible for fueling the extended, star-forming filaments observed in Hubble Space Telescope imaging. Based on new spectrophotometric data, we detect bright [Oii] emission in the BCG, implying an unobscured star formation rate (SFR) of320140+230Myr−1. The detection of a weak radio source (2.0 ± 0.8 mJy at 0.8 GHz) suggests ongoing feedback from an active galactic nucleus (AGN), though the implied jet power is less than half the cooling luminosity of the hot gas, consistent with cooling overpowering heating. The extreme cooling and SFR of SPT2215 are rare among known cool core clusters, and it is even more remarkable that we observe these at such high redshift, when most clusters are still dynamically disturbed. The high mass of this cluster, coupled with the fact that it is dynamically relaxed with a highly isolated BCG, suggests that it is an exceptionally rare system that must have formed very rapidly in the early universe. Combined with the high SFR, SPT2215 may be a high-zanalog of the Phoenix cluster, potentially providing insight into the limits of AGN feedback and star formation in the most massive galaxies.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract We present the results of an analysis of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) observations of the full 2500 deg 2 South Pole Telescope (SPT)-Sunyaev–Zel’dovich cluster sample. We describe a process for identifying active galactic nuclei (AGN) in brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) based on WISE mid-IR color and redshift. Applying this technique to the BCGs of the SPT-SZ sample, we calculate the AGN-hosting BCG fraction, which is defined as the fraction of BCGs hosting bright central AGNs over all possible BCGs. Assuming an evolving single-burst stellar population model, we find statistically significant evidence (>99.9%) for a mid-IR excess at high redshift compared to low redshift, suggesting that the fraction of AGN-hosting BCGs increases with redshift over the range of 0 < z < 1.3. The best-fit redshift trend of the AGN-hosting BCG fraction has the form (1 + z ) 4.1±1.0 . These results are consistent with previous studies in galaxy clusters as well as as in field galaxies. One way to explain this result is that member galaxies at high redshift tend to have more cold gas. While BCGs in nearby galaxy clusters grow mostly by dry mergers with cluster members, leading to no increase in AGN activity, BCGs at high redshift could primarily merge with gas-rich satellites, providing fuel for feeding AGNs. If this observed increase in AGN activity is linked to gas-rich mergers rather than ICM cooling, we would expect to see an increase in scatter in the P cav versus L cool relation at z > 1. Last, this work confirms that the runaway cooling phase, as predicted by the classical cooling-flow model, in the Phoenix cluster is extremely rare and most BCGs have low (relative to Eddington) black hole accretion rates. 
    more » « less

    We present a systematic study of X-ray cavities using archival Chandra observations of nearby galaxy clusters selected by their Sunyaev–Zel’dovich (SZ) signature in the Planck survey, which provides a nearly unbiased mass-selected sample to explore the entire AGN feedback duty cycle. Based on X-ray image analysis, we report that 30 of the 164 clusters show X-ray cavities, which corresponds to a detection fraction of 18 per cent. After correcting for spatial resolution to match the high-$\mathit{ z}$ SPT-SZ sample, the detection fraction decreases to 9 per cent, consistent with the high-z sample, hinting that the AGN feedback has not evolved across almost 8 Gyrs. Our finding agrees with the lack of evolution of cool-core clusters fraction. We calculate the cavity power, Pcav, and find that most systems of our sample have enough AGN heating to offset the radiative losses of the intracluster medium.

    more » « less
  5. We present a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) weak gravitational lensing study of nine distant and massive galaxy clusters with redshifts 1.0 ≲  z  ≲ 1.7 ( z median  = 1.4) and Sunyaev Zel’dovich (SZ) detection significance ξ  > 6.0 from the South Pole Telescope Sunyaev Zel’dovich (SPT-SZ) survey. We measured weak lensing galaxy shapes in HST/ACS F 606 W and F 814 W images and used additional observations from HST/WFC3 in F 110 W and VLT/FORS2 in U HIGH to preferentially select background galaxies at z  ≳ 1.8, achieving a high purity. We combined recent redshift estimates from the CANDELS/3D-HST and HUDF fields to infer an improved estimate of the source redshift distribution. We measured weak lensing masses by fitting the tangential reduced shear profiles with spherical Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) models. We obtained the largest lensing mass in our sample for the cluster SPT-CL J2040−4451, thereby confirming earlier results that suggest a high lensing mass of this cluster compared to X-ray and SZ mass measurements. Combining our weak lensing mass constraints with results obtained by previous studies for lower redshift clusters, we extended the calibration of the scaling relation between the unbiased SZ detection significance ζ and the cluster mass for the SPT-SZ survey out to higher redshifts. We found that the mass scale inferred from our highest redshift bin (1.2 <  z  < 1.7) is consistent with an extrapolation of constraints derived from lower redshifts, albeit with large statistical uncertainties. Thus, our results show a similar tendency as found in previous studies, where the cluster mass scale derived from the weak lensing data is lower than the mass scale expected in a Planckν ΛCDM (i.e. ν Λ cold dark matter) cosmology given the SPT-SZ cluster number counts. 
    more » « less