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Stripped elliptical galaxies as probes of ICM physics: II. Stirred, but mixed? Viscous and inviscid gas stripping of the Virgo elliptical M89

Roediger, E.; Kraft, R. P.; Nulsen, P. E. J.; Forman, W. R.; Machacek, M.; Randall, S.; Jones, C.; Churazov, E.; Kokotanekova, R.


R. P. Kraft

P. E. J. Nulsen

W. R. Forman

M. Machacek

S. Randall

C. Jones

E. Churazov

R. Kokotanekova


Elliptical galaxies moving through the intra-cluster medium (ICM) are progressively stripped of their gaseous atmospheres. X-ray observations reveal the structure of galactic tails, wakes, and the interface between the galactic gas and the ICM. This fine-structure depends on dynamic conditions (galaxy potential, initial gas contents, orbit in the host cluster), orbital stage (early infall, pre-/post-pericenter passage), as well as on the still ill-constrained ICM plasma properties (thermal conductivity, viscosity, magnetic field structure). Paper I describes flow patterns and stages of inviscid gas stripping. Here we study the effect of a Spitzer-like temperature dependent viscosity corresponding to Reynolds numbers, Re, of 50 to 5000 with respect to the ICM flow around the remnant atmosphere. Global flow patterns are independent of viscosity in this Reynolds number range. Viscosity influences two aspects: In inviscid stripping, Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities (KHIs) at the sides of the remnant atmosphere lead to observable horns or wings. Increasing viscosity suppresses KHIs of increasing length scale, and thus observable horns and wings. Furthermore, in inviscid stripping, stripped galactic gas can mix with the ambient ICM in the galaxy's wake. This mixing is suppressed increasingly with increasing viscosity, such that viscously stripped galaxies have long X-ray bright, cool wakes. We provide mock X-ray images for different stripping stages and conditions. While these qualitative results are generic, we tailor our simulations to the Virgo galaxy M89 (NGC 4552), where Re~ 50 corresponds to a viscosity of 10% of the Spitzer level. Paper III compares new deep Chandra and archival XMM-Newton data to our simulations.


Roediger, E., Kraft, R. P., Nulsen, P. E. J., Forman, W. R., Machacek, M., Randall, S., …Kokotanekova, R. (2015). Stripped elliptical galaxies as probes of ICM physics: II. Stirred, but mixed? Viscous and inviscid gas stripping of the Virgo elliptical M89. The Astrophysical journal, 806(1), 104.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 29, 2015
Online Publication Date Jun 10, 2015
Publication Date Jun 10, 2015
Deposit Date Nov 16, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Astrophysical journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 806
Issue 1
Article Number ARTN 104
Pages 104
Keywords Galaxies: clusters: individual (Virgo), Galaxies: individual (M89), Hydrodynamics, Instabilities, X-rays: galaxies: clusters
Public URL
Publisher URL;
Additional Information Copy of article published in: Astrophysical journal, 2015, v.806, issue 1


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Copyright Statement
© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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