Chandra observations of extended X-ray emission in ARP 220

J. C. McDowell, D. L. Clements, S. A. Lamb, S. Shaked, N. C. Hearn, L. Colina, C. Mundell, K. Borne, A. C. Baker, S. Arribas

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60 Citations (SciVal)


We resolve the extended X-ray emission from the prototypical ultraluminous infrared galaxy Arp 220. Extended, faint, edge-brightened, soft X-ray lobes outside the optical galaxy are observed to a distance of 10-15 kpc on each side of the nuclear region. Bright plumes inside the optical isophotes coincide with the optical line emission and extend 11 kpc from end to end across the nucleus. The data for the plumes cannot be fitted by a single-temperature plasma and display a range of temperatures from 0.2 to 1 keV. The plumes emerge from bright, diffuse circumnuclear emission in the inner 3 kpc centered on the Hα peak, which is displaced from the radio nuclei. There is a close morphological correspondence between the Hα and soft X-ray emission on all spatial scales. We interpret the plumes as a starburst-driven superwind and discuss two interpretations of the emission from the lobes in the context of simulations of the merger dynamics of Arp 220.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-166
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2003


  • Galaxies: individual (Arp 220)
  • Galaxies: interactions
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • X-rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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