What is the role of the WAT in galaxy clusters?
Clusters of galaxies are amazing laboratories for studying galaxy evolution and cosmology. Certain phenomena are unique to clusters, such as galaxy cannibalism, and ram pressure stripping of infalling spirals. The view of clusters in radio wavelengths is quite different, revealing that a select few galaxies produce jets and tails that extend many kiloparsecs beyond the limits of the visible host galaxy. These are radio galaxies.
The subject of this talk is the wide angle tailed or “WAT” type of radio galaxies, which have bent tails and are only found in clusters. The leading hypothesis for the cause of the bending is ram pressure by the intracluster medium. But is the relative motion caused by the motion of the WAT through a tranquil cluster, or the flow of gas past the stationary galaxy during a major merger (or something in-between)? The answer can have implications for identifying merging clusters, cD galaxy formation, and the physics of jet bending.