Kinematics and excitation of the ram pressure stripped ionized gas filaments in the Coma cluster of galaxies

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We present the results of deep imaging and spectroscopic observations of very extended ionized gas (EIG) around four member galaxies of the Coma Cluster of galaxies: RB 199, IC 4040, GMP 2923, and GMP 3071. The EIGs were serendipitously found in an H alpha narrowband imaging survey of the central region of the Coma Cluster. The relative radial velocities of the EIGs with respect to the systemic velocities of the parent galaxies from which they emanate increase almost monotonically with the distance from the nucleus of the respective galaxies, reaching similar to-400 to - 800 km s(-1) at around 40-80 kpc from the galaxies. The one-sided morphologies and the velocity fields of the EIGs are consistent with the predictions of numerical simulations of ram pressure stripping. We found a very low velocity filament (nu(rel) similar to -1300 km s(-1)) at the southeastern edge of the disk of IC 4040. Some bright compact knots in the EIGs of RB 199 and IC 4040 exhibit blue continuum and strong H alpha emission. The equivalent widths of the H alpha emission exceed 200 angstrom and are greater than 1000 angstrom for some knots. The emission-line intensity ratios of the knots are basically consistent with those of sub-solar abundance H II regions. These facts indicate that intensive star formation occurs in the knots. Some filaments, including the low-velocity filament of the IC 4040 EIG, exhibit shock-like emission-line spectra, suggesting that shock heating plays an important role in ionization and excitation of the EIGs.


  • Astrophysical Journal

    Astrophysical Journal 749(1), 43, 2012

    IOP Publishing Ltd


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