A Comprehensive Study of the Radio Properties of Brightest Cluster Galaxies

M. T. Hogan, A. C. Edge, J. Hlavacek-Larrondo, K. J. B. Grainge, S. L. Hamer, E. K. Mahony, H. R. Russell, A. C. Fabian, B. R. McNamara, R. J. Wilman

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We examine the radio properties of the Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs) in a large sample of X-ray selected galaxy clusters comprising the Brightest Cluster Sample (BCS), the extended BCS (eBCS) and ROSAT-ESO Flux Limited X-ray (REFLEX) cluster catalogues. We have multi-frequency radio observations of the BCG using a variety of data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) telescopes. The radio spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of these objects are decomposed into a component attributed to on-going accretion by the active galactic nuclei (AGN) that we refer to as the 'core', and a more diffuse, ageing component we refer to as the 'non-core'. These BCGs are matched to previous studies to determine whether they exhibit emission lines (principally H-alpha), indicative of the presence of a strong cooling cluster core. We consider how the radio properties of the BCGs vary with cluster environmental factors. Line emitting BCGs are shown to generally host more powerful radio sources, exhibiting the presence of a strong, distinguishable core component in about 60% of cases. This core component more strongly correlates with the BCG's [OIII]5007A line emission. For BCGs in line-emitting clusters, the X-ray cavity power correlates with both the extended and core radio emission, suggestive of steady fuelling of the AGN over bubble-rise time-scales in these clusters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1222
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date24 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2015


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