SDSS-IV MaNGA: The Nature of an Off-galaxy Hα Blob - A Multiwavelength View of Offset Cooling in a Merging Galaxy Group

Hsi An Pan, Lihwai Lin, Bau Ching Hsieh, Michał J. Michałowski, Matthew S. Bothwell, Song Huang, Alexei V. Moiseev, Dmitry Oparin, Ewan O'Sullivan, Diana M. Worrall, Sebastián F. Sánchez, Stephen Gwyn, David R. Law, David V. Stark, Dmitry Bizyaev, Cheng Li, Chien Hsiu Lee, Hai Fu, Francesco Belfiore, Kevin BundyJosé G. Fernández-Trincado, Joseph Gelfand, Sébastien Peirani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Galaxies in dense environments, such as groups and clusters, experience various processes by which galaxies gain and lose gas. Using data from the SDSS-IV MaNGA survey, we previously reported the discovery of a giant (6 - 8 kpc in diameter) Hα blob, Totoro, about 8 kpc away from a pair of galaxies (Satsuki and Mei) residing in a galaxy group that is experiencing a group-group merger. Here, we combine interferometric 12CO(1-0) molecular gas data, new wide-field Hα, u-band data, and published X-ray data to determine the origin of the blob. Several scenarios are discussed to account for its multiwavelength properties, including (1) Hα gas being stripped from the galaxy Satsuki by ram pressure, (2) a separated low-surface-brightness galaxy, (3) gas being ejected or ionized by an active galactic nucleus (AGN), and (4) a cooling intragroup medium (IGM). Scenarios (1) and (2) are less favored by the present data. Scenario (3) is also less likely as there is no evidence for an active ongoing AGN in the host galaxy. We find that the CO (cold) and Hα (warm) gas coexist with X-ray (hot) structures; moreover, the derived cooling time is within the regime where molecular and Hα gas are expected. The coexistence of gas with different temperatures also agrees with that of cooling gas in other systems. Our multiwavelength results strongly suggest that the CO and Hα gas are the product of cooling from the IGM at its current location, i.e., cooling has occurred, and may be ongoing, well outside the host-galaxy core.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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