Buoyant AGN Bubbles in the Quasi-isothermal Potential of NGC 1399

Yuanyuan Su, Paul E.J. Nulsen, Ralph P. Kraft, William R. Forman, Christine Jones, Jimmy A. Irwin, Scott W. Randall, Eugene Churazov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The Fornax Cluster is a low-mass cool-core galaxy cluster. We present a deep Chandra study of NGC 1399, the central dominant elliptical galaxy of Fornax. The cluster center harbors two symmetric X-ray cavities coincident with a pair of radio lobes fed by two collimated jets along a north-south axis. A temperature map reveals that the active galactic nucleus (AGN) outburst has created a channel filled with cooler gas out to a radius of 10 kpc. The cavities are surrounded by cool bright rims and filaments that may have been lifted from smaller radii by the buoyant bubbles. X-ray imaging suggests a potential ghost bubble of 5 kpc diameter to the northwest. We find that the amount of gas lifted by AGN bubbles is comparable to that which would otherwise cool, demonstrating that AGN-driven outflow is effective in offsetting cooling in low-mass clusters. The cluster cooling timescale is times longer than the dynamical timescale, which is consistent with the lack of cold molecular gas at the cluster center. The X-ray hydrostatic mass is consistent within 10%, with the total mass derived from the optical data. The observed entropy profile rises linearly, following a steeper slope than that observed at the centers of massive clusters; gas shed by stars in NGC 1399 may be incorporated in the hot phase. However, it is far-fetched for supernova-driven outflow to produce and maintain the thermal distribution in NGC 1399, and it is in tension with the metal content in the hot gas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


  • ISM: bubbles
  • X-rays: galaxies: clusters
  • galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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