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2003AJ....125.2393M - Astron. J., 125, 2393-2410 (2003/May-0)

A comprehensive radio and optical study of Abell 2256: activity from an infalling group.

MILLER N.A., OWEN F.N. and HILL J.M.

Abstract (from CDS):

Abell 2256 is a nearby (z~0.06), rich cluster of galaxies with fascinating observed properties across a range of wavelengths. Long believed to represent a cluster merger, recent X-ray and optical results have suggested that in addition to the primary cluster and subcluster there is evidence for a third, poorer system. We present wide-field high-sensitivity 1.4 GHz VLA radio observations of Abell 2256 in conjunction with optical imaging and additional spectroscopy. Over 40 cluster radio galaxies are identified, with optical spectroscopy indicating the emission source (star formation or active galactic nucleus) for most of them. While the overall fraction of galaxies exhibiting radio emission is consistent with a large sample of other nearby clusters, we find an increase in the activity level of galaxies belonging to the third system (hereafter the Group''). Specifically, the Group has relatively more star formation than both the primary cluster and main subcluster. The position of the Group is also coincident with the observed cluster radio relic. We suggest that the Group recently (∼0.3 Gyr) merged with the primary cluster and that this merger, not the ongoing merger of the primary and the main subcluster, might be responsible for many of the unusual radio properties of Abell 2256. Furthermore, the greater star formation activity of the Group suggests that the infall of groups is an important driver of galaxy evolution in clusters.

Journal keyword(s): Galaxies: Clusters: Individual: Name: Abell 2256 - Galaxies: Evolution - Radio Continuum

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/AJ/125/2393): table1.dat table2.dat table3.dat>

Nomenclature: Table 1: [MOH2003] JHHMMSS.s+DDMMSS N=73.