Non-star-forming molecular gas in the Abell 1367 intra-cluster multiphase orphan cloud

Pavel Jáchym, Ming Sun, Masafumi Yagi, Chong Ge, Rongxin Luo, Françoise Combes, Anežka Kabátová, Jeffrey D. P. Kenney, Tom C. Scott, Elias Brinks

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We report the detection of CO emission in the recently discovered multiphase isolated gas cloud in the nearby galaxy cluster Abell 1367. The cloud is located about 800 kpc in projection from the center of the cluster and at a projected distance of > 80 kpc from any galaxy. It is the first and the only known isolated "intra-cluster"cloud detected in X-ray, Hα, and CO emission. We found a total of about 2.2×108M of H2 with the IRAM 30-m telescope in two regions, one associated with the peak of Hα emission and another with the peak of X-ray emission surrounded by weak Hα filaments. The velocity of the molecular gas is offset from the underlying Hα emission by > 100 km s-1 in the region where the X-ray peaks. The molecular gas may account for about 10% of the total cloud's mass, which is dominated by the hot X-ray component. The previously measured upper limit on the star formation rate in the cloud indicates that the molecular component is in a non-star-forming state, possibly due to a combination of low density of the gas and the observed level of velocity dispersion. The presence of the three gas phases associated with the cloud suggests that gas phase mixing with the surrounding intra-cluster medium is taking place. The possible origin of the orphan cloud is a late evolutionary stage of a ram pressure stripping event. In contrast, the nearby ram pressure stripped galaxy 2MASX J11443212+2006238 is in an early phase of stripping and we detected about 2.4×109M of H2 in its main body.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL5
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2022


  • astro-ph.GA
  • ISM
  • star formation
  • Galaxies
  • individual
  • intracluster medium
  • Submillimeter
  • Abell 1367
  • 2MASX J11443212+2006238
  • clusters


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