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  1. It is now well established that galaxies have different morphologies, gas contents, and star formation rates (SFR) in dense environments like galaxy clusters. The impact of environmental density extends to several virial radii, and galaxies appear to be pre-processed in filaments and groups before falling into the cluster. Our goal is to quantify this pre-processing in terms of gas content and SFR, as a function of density in cosmic filaments. We have observed the two first CO transitions in 163 galaxies with the IRAM-30 m telescope, and added 82 more measurements from the literature, thus forming a sample of 245 galaxies in the filaments around the Virgo cluster. We gathered HI-21cm measurements from the literature and observed 69 galaxies with the Nançay telescope to complete our sample. We compare our filament galaxies with comparable samples from the Virgo cluster and with the isolated galaxies of the AMIGA sample. We find a clear progression from field galaxies to filament and cluster galaxies for decreasing SFR, increasing fraction of galaxies in the quenching phase, an increasing proportion of early-type galaxies, and decreasing gas content. Galaxies in the quenching phase, defined as having a SFR below one-third of that of the main sequencemore »(MS), are only between 0% and 20% in the isolated sample, according to local galaxy density, while they are 20%–60% in the filaments and 30%–80% in the Virgo cluster. Processes that lead to star formation quenching are already at play in filaments; they depend mostly on the local galaxy density, while the distance to the filament spine is a secondary parameter. While the HI-to-stellar-mass ratio decreases with local density by an order of magnitude in the filaments, and two orders of magnitude in the Virgo cluster with respect to the field, the decrease is much less for the H 2 -to-stellar-mass ratio. As the environmental density increases, the gas depletion time decreases, because the gas content decreases faster than the SFR. This suggests that gas depletion precedes star formation quenching.« less
  2. ABSTRACT

    We present a CO(3−2) study of four systems composed of six (ultra) luminous infrared galaxies (U/LIRGs), located at 0.28 <z < 0.44, that straddle the transition region between regular star-forming galaxies and starbursts. These galaxies benefit from previous multiwavelength analysis allowing in depth exploration of an understudied population of U/LIRGs at a time when the universe is experiencing a rapid decline in star formation rate density. We detect CO(3−2) emission in four targets and these galaxies fall between the loci of regular star-forming galaxies and starbursts on the Kennicutt–Schmidtt relation. Compared to low luminosity LIRGs and high luminosity ULIRGs at similar redshifts, we find they all have similar molecular gas budgets with the difference in their star formation rates (SFR) driven by the star formation efficiency (SFE). This suggests that at these redshifts large molecular gas reservoirs must coincide with an increased SFE to transition a galaxy into the starburst regime. We studied the structure and kinematics and found our four detections are either interacting or have disturbed morphology which may be driving the SFE. One of the CO(3−2) non-detections has a strong continuum detection, and has been previously observed in H α, suggesting an unusual interstellar medium for amore »ULIRG. We conclude that our sample of transitioning U/LIRGs fill the gap between regular star-forming galaxies and starbursts, suggest a continuous change in SFE between these two populations and the increased SFE may be driven by morphology and differing stages of interaction.

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  3. Abstract

    Molecular emission was imaged with ALMA from numerous components near and within bright H2-emitting knots and absorbing dust globules in the Crab Nebula. These observations provide a critical test of how energetic photons and particles produced in a young supernova remnant interact with gas, cleanly differentiating between competing models. The four fields targeted show contrasting properties but within them, seventeen distinct molecular clouds are identified with CO emission; a few also show emission from HCO+, SiO, and/or SO. These observations are compared with Cloudy models of these knots. It has been suggested that the Crab filaments present an exotic environment in which H2emission comes from a mostly neutral zone probably heated by cosmic rays produced in the supernova surrounding a cool core of molecular gas. Our model is consistent with the observed COJ= 3 − 2 line strength. These molecular line emitting knots in the Crab Nebula present a novel phase of the ISM representative of many important astrophysical environments.

  4. Context. Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are thought to be intimately connected with their host galaxies through feeding and feedback processes. A strong coupling is predicted and supported by cosmological simulations of galaxy formation, but the details of the physical mechanisms are still observationally unconstrained. Aims. Galaxies are complex systems of stars and a multiphase interstellar medium (ISM). A spatially resolved multiwavelength survey is required to map the interaction of AGN with their host galaxies on different spatial scales and different phases of the ISM. The goal of the Close AGN Reference Survey (CARS) is to obtain the necessary spatially resolved multiwavelength observations for an unbiased sample of local unobscured luminous AGN. Methods. We present the overall CARS survey design and the associated wide-field optical integral-field unit (IFU) spectroscopy for all 41 CARS targets at z  < 0.06 randomly selected from the Hamburg/ESO survey of luminous unobscured AGN. This data set provides the backbone of the CARS survey and allows us to characterize host galaxy morphologies, AGN parameters, precise systemic redshifts, and ionized gas distributions including excitation conditions, kinematics, and metallicities in unprecedented detail. Results. We focus our study on the size of the extended narrow-line region (ENLR) which has been traditionallymore »connected to AGN luminosity. Given the large scatter in the ENLR size–luminosity relation, we performed a large parameter search to identify potentially more fundamental relations. Remarkably, we identified the strongest correlation between the maximum projected ENLR size and the black hole mass, consistent with an R ENLR,max ∼ M BH 0.5 relationship. We interpret the maximum ENLR size as a timescale indicator of a single black hole (BH) radiative-efficient accretion episode for which we inferred 〈log( t AGN /[yr])〉 = (0.45 ± 0.08)log( M BH /[ M ⊙ ]) + 1.78 −0.67 +0.54 using forward modeling. The extrapolation of our inferred relation toward higher BH masses is consistent with an independent lifetime estimate from the He  II proximity zones around luminous AGN at z  ∼ 3. Conclusions. While our proposed link between the BH mass and AGN lifetime might be a secondary correlation itself or impacted by unknown biases, it has a few relevant implications if confirmed. For example, the famous AGN Eigenvector 1 parameter space may be partially explained by the range in AGN lifetimes. Also, the lack of observational evidence for negative AGN feedback on star formation can be explained by such timescale effects. Further observational tests are required to confirm or rule out our BH mass dependent AGN lifetime hypothesis.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  5. ABSTRACT

    We report on the discovery and localization of fast radio bursts (FRBs) from the MeerTRAP project, a commensal fast radio transient-detection programme at MeerKAT in South Africa. Our hybrid approach combines a coherent search with an average field-of-view (FoV) of 0.4 $\rm deg^{2}$ with an incoherent search utilizing a FoV of ∼1.27 $\rm deg^{2}$ (both at 1284 MHz). Here, we present results on the first three FRBs: FRB 20200413A (DM = 1990.05 pc cm−3), FRB 20200915A (DM = 740.65 pc cm−3), and FRB 20201123A (DM = 433.55 pc cm−3). FRB 20200413A was discovered only in the incoherent beam. FRB 20200915A (also discovered only in the incoherent beam) shows speckled emission in the dynamic spectrum, which cannot be explained by interstellar scintillation in our Galaxy or plasma lensing, and might be intrinsic to the source. FRB 20201123A shows a faint post-cursor burst of about 200 ms after the main burst and warrants further follow-up to confirm whether it is a repeating FRB. FRB 20201123A also exhibits significant temporal broadening, consistent with scattering, by a turbulent medium. The broadening exceeds from what is predicted for the medium along the sightline through our Galaxy. We associate this scattering with the turbulent medium in the environment of the FRB in the host galaxy. Within the approximately 1 arcmin localization region ofmore »FRB 20201123A, we identify one luminous galaxy (r ≈ 15.67; J173438.35-504550.4) that dominates the posterior probability for a host association. The galaxy’s measured properties are consistent with other FRB hosts with secure associations.

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  6. Context. The excitation of the filamentary gas structures surrounding giant elliptical galaxies at the center of cool-core clusters, also known as brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs), is key to our understanding of active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback, and of the impact of environmental and local effects on star formation. Aims. We investigate the contribution of thermal radiation from the cooling flow surrounding BCGs to the excitation of the filaments. We explore the effects of small levels of extra heating (turbulence), and of metallicity, on the optical and infrared lines. Methods. Using the C LOUDY code, we modeled the photoionization and photodissociation of a slab of gas of optical depth A V  ≤ 30 mag at constant pressure in order to calculate self-consistently all of the gas phases, from ionized gas to molecular gas. The ionizing source is the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft X-ray radiation emitted by the cooling gas. We tested these models comparing their predictions to the rich multi-wavelength observations from optical to submillimeter, now achieved in cool core clusters. Results. Such models of self-irradiated clouds, when reaching sufficiently large A V , lead to a cloud structure with ionized, atomic, and molecular gas phases. These models reproduce most ofmore »the multi-wavelength spectra observed in the nebulae surrounding the BCGs, not only the low-ionization nuclear emission region like optical diagnostics, [O  III ] λ 5007 Å/H β , [N  II ] λ 6583 Å/H α , and ([S  II ] λ 6716 Å+[S  II ] λ 6731 Å)/H α , but also the infrared emission lines from the atomic gas. [O  I ] λ 6300 Å/H α , instead, is overestimated across the full parameter space, except for very low A V . The modeled ro-vibrational H 2 lines also match observations, which indicates that near- and mid-infrared H 2 lines are mostly excited by collisions between H 2 molecules and secondary electrons produced naturally inside the cloud by the interaction between the X-rays and the cold gas in the filament. However, there is still some tension between ionized and molecular line tracers (i.e., CO), which requires optimization of the cloud structure and the density of the molecular zone. The limited range of parameters over which predictions match observations allows us to constrain, in spite of degeneracies in the parameter space, the intensity of X-ray radiation bathing filaments, as well as some of their physical properties like A V or the level of turbulent heating rate. Conclusions. The reprocessing of the EUV and X-ray radiation from the plasma cooling is an important powering source of line emission from filaments surrounding BCGs. C LOUDY self-irradiated X-ray excitation models coupled with a small level of turbulent heating manage to simultaneously reproduce a large number of optical-to-infrared line ratios when all the gas phases (from ionized to molecular) are modeled self-consistently. Releasing some of the simplifications of our model, like the constant pressure, or adding the radiation fields from the AGN and stars, as well as a combination of matter- and radiation-bounded cloud distribution, should improve the predictions of line emission from the different gas phases.« less
  7. ABSTRACT We present Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array observations of the brightest cluster galaxy Hydra-A, a nearby (z = 0.054) giant elliptical galaxy with powerful and extended radio jets. The observations reveal CO(1−0), CO(2–1), 13CO(2–1), CN(2–1), SiO(5–4), HCO+(1–0), HCO+(2–1), HCN(1–0), HCN(2–1), HNC(1–0), and H2CO(3–2) absorption lines against the galaxy’s bright and compact active galactic nucleus. These absorption features are due to at least 12 individual molecular clouds that lie close to the centre of the galaxy and have velocities of approximately −50 to +10 km s−1 relative to its recession velocity, where positive values correspond to inward motion. The absorption profiles are evidence of a clumpy interstellar medium within brightest cluster galaxies composed of clouds with similar column densities, velocity dispersions, and excitation temperatures to those found at radii of several kpc in the Milky Way. We also show potential variation in a ∼10 km s−1 wide section of the absorption profile over a 2 yr time-scale, most likely caused by relativistic motions in the hot spots of the continuum source that change the background illumination of the absorbing clouds.
  8. Multi-phase filamentary structures around brightest cluster galaxies (BCG) are likely a key step of AGN-feedback. We observed molecular gas in three cool cluster cores, namely Centaurus, Abell S1101, and RXJ1539.5, and gathered ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) and MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) data for 12 other clusters. Those observations show clumpy, massive, and long (3−25 kpc) molecular filaments, preferentially located around the radio bubbles inflated by the AGN. Two objects show nuclear molecular disks. The optical nebula is certainly tracing the warm envelopes of cold molecular filaments. Surprisingly, the radial profile of the H α /CO flux ratio is roughly constant for most of the objects, suggesting that (i) between 1.2 and 6 times more cold gas could be present and (ii) local processes must be responsible for the excitation. Projected velocities are between 100 and 400 km s −1 , with disturbed kinematics and sometimes coherent gradients. This is likely due to the mixing in projection of several thin (and as yet) unresolved filaments. The velocity fields may be stirred by turbulence induced by bubbles, jets, or merger-induced sloshing. Velocity and dispersions are low, below the escape velocity. Cold clouds should eventually fall back and fuel the AGN.more »We compare the radial extent of the filaments, r fil , with the region where the X-ray gas can become thermally unstable. The filaments are always inside the low-entropy and short-cooling-time region, where t cool / t ff  <  20 (9 of 13 sources). The range of t cool / t ff of 8−23 at r fil , is likely due to (i) a more complex gravitational potential affecting the free-fall time t ff (sloshing, mergers, etc.) and (ii) the presence of inhomogeneities or uplifted gas in the ICM, affecting the cooling time t cool . For some of the sources, r fil lies where the ratio of the cooling time to the eddy-turnover time, t cool / t eddy , is approximately unity.« less
  9. Aims. We present the results of three commissioning H  I observations obtained with the MeerKAT radio telescope. These observations make up part of the preparation for the forthcoming MHONGOOSE nearby galaxy survey, which is a MeerKAT large survey project that will study the accretion of gas in galaxies and the link between gas and star formation. Methods. We used the available H  I data sets, along with ancillary data at other wavelengths, to study the morphology of the MHONGOOSE sample galaxy, ESO 302-G014, which is a nearby gas-rich dwarf galaxy. Results. We find that ESO 302-G014 has a lopsided, asymmetric outer disc with a low column density. In addition, we find a tail or filament of H  I clouds extending away from the galaxy, as well as an isolated H  I cloud some 20 kpc to the south of the galaxy. We suggest that these features indicate a minor interaction with a low-mass galaxy. Optical imaging shows a possible dwarf galaxy near the tail, but based on the current data, we cannot confirm any association with ESO 302-G014. Nonetheless, an interaction scenario with some kind of low-mass companion is still supported by the presence of a significant amount of molecularmore »gas, which is almost equal to the stellar mass, and a number of prominent stellar clusters, which suggest recently triggered star formation. Conclusions. These data show that MeerKAT produces exquisite imaging data. The forthcoming full-depth survey observations of ESO 302-G014 and other sample galaxies will, therefore, offer insights into the fate of neutral gas as it moves from the intergalactic medium onto galaxies.« less