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ALMA Unveils Widespread Molecular Gas Clumps in the Ram Pressure Stripped Tail of the Norma Jellyfish Galaxy

Jáchym, Pavel; Kenney, Jeffrey D.P.; Sun, Ming; Combes, Françoise; Cortese, Luca; Scott, Tom C.; Sivanandam, Suresh; Brinks, Elias; Roediger, Elke; Palouš, Jan; Fumagalli, Michele


Pavel Jáchym

Jeffrey D.P. Kenney

Ming Sun

Françoise Combes

Luca Cortese

Tom C. Scott

Suresh Sivanandam

Elias Brinks

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Dr Elke Roediger
Senior Lecturer/ Director of Studies for Physics

Jan Palouš

Michele Fumagalli


© 2019 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. We present the first high-resolution map of the cold molecular gas distribution as traced by CO(2-1) emission with ALMA in a long ram pressure stripped tail. The Norma cluster galaxy ESO 137-001 is undergoing a strong interaction with the surrounding intracluster medium and is one of the nearest jellyfish galaxies with a long multiphase and multicomponent tail. We have mapped the full extent of the tail at 1″ (350 pc) angular resolution and found a rich distribution of mostly compact CO regions extending to nearly 60 kpc in length and 25 kpc in width. In total, about 109 M o˙ of molecular gas was detected with ALMA. From comparison with previous APEX observations, we also infer the presence of a substantial extended molecular component in the tail. The ALMA CO features are found predominantly at the heads of numerous small-scale (∼1.5 kpc) fireballs (i.e., star-forming clouds with linear streams of young stars extending toward the galaxy) but also large-scale (∼8 kpc) superfireballs and double-sided fireballs that have additional diffuse ionized gas tails extending in the direction opposite the stellar tails. The new data help to shed light on the origin of the molecular tail; CO filaments oriented in the direction of the tail are likely young molecular features formed in situ, whereas large CO features tilted with respect to the tail may have originated from dense gas complexes that were gradually pushed away from the disk.


Jáchym, P., Kenney, J. D., Sun, M., Combes, F., Cortese, L., Scott, T. C., …Fumagalli, M. (2019). ALMA Unveils Widespread Molecular Gas Clumps in the Ram Pressure Stripped Tail of the Norma Jellyfish Galaxy. The Astrophysical journal, 883(2), .

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 25, 2019
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 3, 2020
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 883
Issue 2
Article Number 145
Keywords Galaxies: clusters: individual (A3627) ; Galaxies: evolution; Galaxies: individual (ESO 137-001) ; Galaxies: ISM; ISM: molecules; Submillimeter: galaxies
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