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AGN feeding and feedback in M84: from kiloparsec scales to the Bondi radius

Bambic, C. J.; Russell, H. R.; Reynolds, C. S.; Fabian, A. C.; McNamara, B. R.; Nulsen, P E J

AGN feeding and feedback in M84: from kiloparsec scales to the Bondi radius Thumbnail


C. J. Bambic

C. S. Reynolds

A. C. Fabian

B. R. McNamara

P E J Nulsen


We present the deepest Chandra observation to date of the galaxy M84 in the Virgo Cluster, with over 840 ks of data provided by legacy observations and a recent 730 ks campaign. The increased signal-to-noise ratio allows us to study the origins of the accretion flow feeding the supermassive black hole in the centre of M84 from the kiloparsec scales of the X-ray halo to the Bondi radius, RB. Temperature, metallicity, and deprojected density profiles are obtained in four sectors about M84's active galactic nucleus (AGN), extending into the Bondi radius. Rather than being dictated by the potential of the black hole, the accretion flow is strongly influenced by the AGN's bipolar radio jets. Along the jet axis, the density profile is consistent with ne ∝ r−1; however, the profiles flatten perpendicular to the jet. Radio jets produce a significant asymmetry in the flow, violating a key assumption of Bondi accretion. Temperature in the inner kiloparsec is approximately constant, with only a slight increase from 0.6 to 0.7 keV approaching RB, and there is no evidence for a temperature rise imposed by the black hole. The Bondi accretion rate M B exceeds the rate inferred from AGN luminosity and jet power by over four orders of magnitude. In sectors perpendicular to the jet, M B measurements agree; however, the accretion rate is >4σ lower in the North sector along the jet, likely due to cavities in the X-ray gas. Our measurements provide unique insight into the fuelling of AGN responsible for radio mode feedback in galaxy clusters.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 7, 2023
Online Publication Date May 9, 2023
Publication Date 2023-07
Deposit Date Feb 7, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 9, 2023
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 522
Issue 3
Pages 4374-4391
Keywords Intergalactic medium, galaxies: clusters: M84, X-rays: galaxies: clusters
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