HST viewing of spectacular star-forming trails behind ESO 137-001

William Waldron, Ming Sun, Rongxin Luo, Sunil Laudari, Marios Chatzikos, Suresh Sivanandam, Jeffrey D.P. Kenney, Pavel Jáchym, G. Mark Voit, Megan Donahue, Matteo Fossati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We present the results from the HST WFC3 and ACS data on an archetypal galaxy undergoing ram pressure stripping (RPS), ESO 137-001, in the nearby cluster Abell 3627. ESO 137-001 is known to host a prominent stripped tail detected in many bands from X-rays, H α to CO. The HST data reveal significant features indicative of RPS such as asymmetric dust distribution and surface brightness as well as many blue young star complexes in the tail. We study the correlation between the blue young star complexes from HST, H II regions from H α (MUSE), and dense molecular clouds from CO (ALMA). The correlation between the HST blue star clusters and the H II regions is very good, while their correlation with the dense CO clumps are typically not good, presumably due in part to evolutionary effects. In comparison to the STARBURST99 + CLOUDY model, many blue regions are found to be young (<10 Myr) and the total star formation (SF) rate in the tail is 0.3–0.6 M yr-1 for sources measured with ages less than 100 Myr, about 40 per cent of the SF rate in the galaxy. We trace SF over at least 100 Myr and give a full picture of the recent SF history in the tail. We also demonstrate the importance of including nebular emissions and a nebular to stellar extinction correction factor when comparing the model to the broad-band data. Our work on ESO 137-001 demonstrates the importance of HST data for constraining the SF history in stripped tails.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-194
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank useful discussion with Hugh Crowl, Claus Leitherer and Renbin Yan. We thank Nivedita Sekhar for some early work of the HST data. We thank the anonymous referee for useful comments. Support for this work was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through Chandra Award Number GO2-13102A and GO6-17111X issued by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of the National Aeronautics Space Administration under contract NAS8-03060. Support for this work was also provided by the NASA grants HST-GO-11683, HST-GO-12372.09, HST-GO-12756.08-A, GO4-15115X, NNX15AK29A and the NSF grant 1714764. PJ acknowledges support from the project RVO:67985815, and the project LM2023059 of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s).


  • galaxies: clusters: individual: Abell 3627
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: individual: (ESO 137-001)
  • galaxies: star formation
  • galaxies: starburst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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