The effect of ram pressure on the molecular gas of galaxies: Three case studies in the Virgo cluster

Bumhyun Lee, Aeree Chung, Stephanie Tonnesen, Jeffrey D.P. Kenney, O. Ivy Wong, B. Vollmer, Glen R. Petitpas, Hugh H. Crowl, Jacqueline van Gorkom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present 12CO (2-1) data of three Virgo spirals - NGC 4330, NGC 4402 and NGC 4522 obtained using the Submillimeter Array. These three galaxies show clear evidence of ram pressure stripping due to the cluster medium as found in previous H I imaging studies. Using the high-resolution CO data, we investigate how the properties of the inner molecular gas disc change while a galaxy is undergoing H I stripping in the cluster. At given sensitivity limits, we do not find any clear signs of molecular gas stripping. However, both its morphology and kinematics appear to be quite disturbed as those of H I. Morphological peculiarities present in the molecular and atomic gas are closely related with each other, suggesting that the molecular gas can be also affected by strong intracluster medium (ICM) pressure even if it is not stripped. CO is found to be modestly enhanced along the upstream sides in these galaxies, which may change the local star formation activity in the disc. Indeed, the distribution of Hα emission, a tracer of recent star formation, well coincides with that of the molecular gas, revealing enhancements near the local CO peak or along the CO compression. FUV and Hα share some properties in common, but FUV is always more extended than CO/Hα in the three galaxies, implying that the star-forming disc is rapidly shrinking as the molecular gas properties have changed. We discuss how ICM pressure affects dense molecular gas and hence star formation properties while diffuse atomic gas is being removed from a galaxy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1382-1398
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume466
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
3Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

Funding Information:
Support for this work was provided by the National Research Foundation of Korea to the Center for Galaxy Evolution Research (No. 2010-0027910) and Science Fellowship of POSCO TJ Park Foundation. This work has been also supported by NRF grant no. 2015R1D1A1A01060516. The SMA is a joint project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is funded by the Smith-sonian Institution and the Academia Sinica. This work made the use of HERACLES, ‘The HERA CO-Line Extragalactic Survey’ (Leroy et al. 2009). We acknowledge the usage of the Hyper-Leda database (http://leda.univ-lyon1.fr). This research has made use of the GOLDMine Database (Gavazzi et al. 2003), and it made use of APLPY, an open-source plotting package for PYTHON hosted at http://aplpy.github.com. ST was supported by the Alvin E. Nashman Fellowship in Theoretical Astrophysics. BL is grateful to E.-J. Chung for the technical help with GIPSY.

Funding Information:
Support for this work was provided by the National Research Foundation of Korea to the Center for Galaxy Evolution Research (No. 2010-0027910) and Science Fellowship of POSCO TJ Park Foundation. This work has been also supported by NRF grant no. 2015R1D1A1A01060516. The SMA is a joint project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is funded by the Smithsonian Institution and the Academia Sinica. This work made the use of HERACLES, 'The HERA CO-Line Extragalactic Survey' (Leroy et al. 2009). We acknowledge the usage of the HyperLeda database (http://leda.univ-lyon1.fr). This research has made use of the GOLDMine Database (Gavazzi et al. 2003), and it made use of APLPY, an open-source plotting package for PYTHON hosted at http://aplpy.github.com. ST was supported by the Alvin E. Nashman Fellowship in Theoretical Astrophysics. BL is grateful to E.-J. Chung for the technical help with GIPSY.

Funding Information:
1 The SMA is a joint project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is funded by the Smithsonian Institution and the Academia Sinica. 2The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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