NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2005B-0387

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Proposal Information for 2005B-0387


PI: David Rafferty, Ohio University, rafferty@helios.phy.ohiou.edu
Address: Astrophysical Institute / Physics and Astronomy, Clippinger Labs, Athens, OH 45701, USA

CoI: Brian McNamara, Ohio University
CoI: Paul Nulsen, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Mike Wise, MIT Center for Space Research

Title: Star Formation in cD Galaxies in Cluster Cooling Cores

Abstract: The hot X-ray-emitting gas in classical cooling-flow clusters is expected to cool and form stars at rates of hundreds of solar masses per year. However, the \it Chandra and XMM-\it Newton X-ray telescopes have found smaller cooling rates than expected, most likely because they are being reheated by feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN). The cooling rates are now within factors of a few of the star formation rates in clusters with reliable X-ray and optical data, implying that star formation could plausibly be fueled by the residual cooling driving the feedback loop. However, a connection between cooling X-ray gas and star formation has not been formerly established. We propose to investigate the viability of simple feedback models by searching for star formation in cD galaxies centered in clusters with a large range of central X-ray cooling time and central entropy level using deep \textitU-, \textitR-, and \textitI-band images. These images will allow us to look for spatial correlations between the X-ray properties and the optical colors. The images will also allow us to measure surface brightness profiles of the cD galaxies to large radius, necessary for understanding their structure. This proposal is a resubmission of a failed 2.1-m proposal submitted for 2005A.


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