The effect of the quasar H1821+643 on the surrounding intracluster medium: revealing the underlying cooling flow [HEAP]

We present a detailed study of the thermodynamic properties of the intracluster medium of the only low redshift galaxy cluster to contain a highly luminous quasar, H1821+643. The cluster is a highly massive, strong cool core cluster. We find that the ICM entropy around the quasar is significantly lower than that of other similarly massive strong cool core clusters within the central 80 kpc, and that the entropy lies significantly below the extrapolated baseline entropy profile from hierarchical structure formation. By comparing the scaled temperature profile with those of other strong cool core clusters of similar total mass, we see that the entropy deficiency is due to the central temperature being significantly lower. This suggests that the presence of the quasar in the core of H1821+643 has had a dramatic cooling effect on the intracluster medium around it. We find that, if the quasar was brighter in the past, Compton cooling by radiation from the quasar may have caused the low entropy and temperature levels in the ICM around the quasar. Curiously, the gradients of the steep central temperature and entropy decline are in reasonable agreement with the profiles expected for a constant pressure cooling flow. It is possible that the system has been locked into a Compton cooled feedback cycle which prevents energy release from the black hole heating the gas sufficiently to switch it off, leading to the formation of a huge (~3×10^10 solar mass) supermassive black hole.

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S. Walker, A. Fabian, H. Russell, et. al.
Fri, 30 May 14

Comments: 8 pages, 10 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS