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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Dr Richard Wilman

Hamer, S. L., Edge, A. C., Swinbank, A. M., Wilman, R. J., Combes, F., Salomé, P., Fabian, A. C., Crawford, C. S., Russell, H. R., Hlavacek-Larrondo, J., McNamara, B. R. & Bremer, M. N. (2016). Optical emission line nebulae in galaxy cluster cores 1: the morphological, kinematic and spectral properties of the sample. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 460(2): 1758-1789.

Author(s) from Durham


We present an Integral Field Unit survey of 73 galaxy clusters and groups with the VIsible Multi Object Spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope. We exploit the data to determine the H α gas dynamics on kpc scales to study the feedback processes occurring within the dense cluster cores. We determine the kinematic state of the ionized gas and show that the majority of systems (∼2/3) have relatively ordered velocity fields on kpc scales that are similar to the kinematics of rotating discs and are decoupled from the stellar kinematics of the brightest cluster galaxy. The majority of the H α flux (>50 per cent) is typically associated with these ordered kinematics and most systems show relatively simple morphologies suggesting they have not been disturbed by a recent merger or interaction. Approximately 20 per cent of the sample (13/73) have disturbed morphologies which can typically be attributed to active galactic nuclei activity disrupting the gas. Only one system shows any evidence of an interaction with another cluster member. A spectral analysis of the gas suggests that the ionization of the gas within cluster cores is dominated by non-stellar processes, possibly originating from the intracluster medium itself.