3 years ago

Spectacular HST observations of the Coma galaxy D100 and star formation in its ram pressure stripped tail.

William J. Cramer, Jeffrey D. P. Kenney, Ming Sun, Hugh Crowl, Masafumi Yagi, Pavel Jáchym, Elke Roediger, Will Waldron

We present new HST F275W, F475W, and F814W imaging of the region of the Coma cluster around D100, a spiral galaxy with a remarkably long and narrow ($60 \times 1.5$ kpc) ram pressure stripped gas tail. We find blue sources coincident with the H$\alpha$ tail, which we identify as young stars formed in the tail. We also determine they are likely to be unbound stellar complexes with sizes of $\sim$ $50-100$ pc, likely to disperse as they age. From a comparison of the colors and magnitudes of the young stellar complexes with simple stellar population models, we find ages ranging from $\sim$ $1-50$ Myr, and masses ranging from $10^3$ to $\sim$ $10^5$ M$_{\odot}$. We find the overall rate and efficiency of star formation are low, $\sim$ $6.0 \times \, 10^{-3}$ $M_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$ and $\sim$ $6 \, \times$ 10$^{-12}$ yr$^{-1}$ respectively. The total H$\alpha$ flux of the tail would correspond to a star formation rate $7$ times higher, indicating some other mechanism for H$\alpha$ excitation is dominant. From analysis of colors, we track the progression of outside-in star formation quenching in the main body of D100, as well as its apparent companion the S0 D99. Finally, we observe the dust extinction in the base of the tail has an outer envelope with remarkably smooth and straight edges, and linear filamentary substructure strongly suggestive of magnetic fields. These features and the small amount of tail broadening strongly suggest gas cooling restricting broadening, and the influence of magnetic fields inhibiting turbulence.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1811.04916

DOI: arXiv:1811.04916v1

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