Joint XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of the NGC 1407/1400 Complex: A tail of an early-type galaxy and a tale of a nearby merging group

Yuanyuan Su, Liyi Gu, Raymond E. White, Jimmy Irwin

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21 Scopus citations


The nearby group centered on its bright central galaxy NGC 1407 has been suggested by previous kinematic studies to be an unusually dark system. It is also known for hosting a bright galaxy, NGC 1400, with a large radial velocity (1200 km s-1) with respect to the group center. Previous ROSAT X-ray observations revealed an extended region of enhanced surface brightness just eastward of NGC 1400. We investigate the NGC 1407/1400 complex with XMM-Newton and Chandra observations. We find that the temperature and metallicity of the enhanced region are different (cooler and more metal rich) than those of the surrounding group gas but are consistent with those of the interstellar medium (ISM) in NGC 1400. The relative velocity of NGC 1400 is large enough that much of its ISM could have been ram pressure stripped while plunging through the group atmosphere. We conclude that the enhanced region is likely to be hot gas stripped from the ISM of NGC 1400. We constrain the motion of NGC 1400 using the pressure jump at its associated stagnation front and the total mass profile of the NGC 1407 group. We conclude that NGC 1400 is moving within ∼30° of the line of sight with Mach number M ∈ 3. We do not detect any obvious shock features in this complex, perhaps because of the high line-of-sight motion of NGC 1400. With an XMM-Newton pointing on the relatively relaxed eastern side of NGC 1407, we derive a hydrostatic mass for this group of ∼1 × 1013 M within 100 kpc. The total mass extrapolated to the virial radius (681 kpc) is 3.8 × 1013 M, which puts an upper limit of ∼300 M/LB⊗ on the mass-to-light ratio of this group. This suggests that the NGC 1407 group is not an unusually dark group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 10 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


  • Galaxies: Clusters: Individual (NGC 1407)
  • Galaxies: Clusters: Intracluster medium
  • Galaxies: Individual (NGC 1400)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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