Galaxy cluster mergers as triggers for the formation of jellyfish galaxies: case study of the A901/2 system

Ruggiero, R., Machado, R. E. G., Roman Oliveira, F. V., Chies Santos, A. L., Neto, G. B. L., Doubrawa, L., Del Pino, B. R. 2019. Galaxy cluster mergers as triggers for the formation of jellyfish galaxies: case study of the A901/2 system. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 484, 1, 906-914 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty3422

The A901/2 system is a rare case of galaxy cluster interaction, in which two galaxy clusters and two smaller groups are seen in route of collision with each other simultaneously. Within each of the four substructures, several galaxies with features indicative of jellyfish morphologies have been observed. In this paper, we propose a hydrodynamic model for the merger as a whole, compatible with its diffuse X-ray emission, and correlate the gas properties in this model with the locations of the jellyfish galaxy candidates in the real system. We find that jellyfish galaxies seem to be preferentially located near a boundary inside each subcluster where diffuse gas moving along with the subcluster and diffuse gas from the remainder of the system meet. The velocity change in those boundaries is such that a factor of up to similar to 1000 increase in the ram pressure takes place within a few hundred kpc, which could trigger the high rate of gas loss necessary for a jellyfish morphology to emerge. A theoretical treatment of ram pressure stripping in the environment of galaxy cluster mergers has not been presented in the literature so far; we propose that this could be a common scenario for the formation of jellyfish morphologies in such systems.

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