High-redshift X-ray cooling-core cluster associated with the luminous radio-loud quasar 3C 186

Aneta Siemiginowska, D. J. Burke, Thomas L. Aldcroft, D. M. Worrall, S. Allen, Jill Bechtold, Tracy Clarke, C. C. Cheung

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55 Scopus citations


We present the first results from a new, deep (200 ks) Chandra observation of the X-ray luminous galaxy cluster surrounding the powerful (L ∼ 10 47 erg s-1), high-redshift (z = 1.067), compact-steep-spectrum radio-loud quasar 3C 186. The diffuse X-ray emission from the cluster has a roughly ellipsoidal shape and extends out to radii of at least ∼60 arcsec (∼500 kpc). The centroid of the diffuse X-ray emission is offset by 0.68±0″ .11 (∼5.5±0.9 kpc) from the position of the quasar. We measure a cluster mass within the radius at which the mean enclosed density is 2500 times the critical density, r2500 = 283+18-13 kpc, of 1.02+0.21 -0.14 ×1014M. The gas-mass fraction within this radius is fgas = 0.129+0.015-0.016. This value is consistent with measurements at lower redshifts and implies minimal evolution in the fgas(z) relation for hot, massive clusters at 0 < z < 1.1. The measured metal abundance of 0.42+0.08 -0.07 Solar is consistent with the abundance observed in other massive, high-redshift clusters. The spatially resolved temperature profile for the cluster shows a drop in temperature, from kT ∼ 8 keV to kT ∼ 3 keV, in its central regions that is characteristic of cooling-core clusters. This is the first spectroscopic identification of a cooling-core cluster atz > 1. We measure cooling times for the X-ray emitting gas at radii of 50 kpc and 25 kpc of 1.7 ± 0.2 × 109 years and 7.5±2.6×10 8 years, as well as a nominal cooling rate (in the absence of heating) of 400±190M year-1 within the central 100 kpc. In principle, the cooling gas can supply enough fuel to support the growth of the supermassive black hole and to power the luminous quasar. The radiative power of the quasar exceeds by a factor of 10 the kinematic power of the central radio source, suggesting that radiative heating may be important at intermittent intervals in cluster cores. 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 2010


  • Clusters
  • Galaxies
  • Individual (3C 186) - X-rays
  • Quasars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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