Chemical enrichment of the complex hot ISM of the Antennae galaxies: II- Physical properties of the hot gas and supernova feedback

A Baldi, JC Raymond, G Fabbiano, A Zezas, AH Rots, F Schweizer, AR King, Trevor Ponman

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We investigate the physical properties of the interstellar medium ( ISM) in the merging pair of galaxies known as the Antennae ( NGC 4038/ 4039), using the deep co-added similar to 411 ks Chandra ACIS-S data set. The method of analysis and some of the main results from the spectral analysis, such as metal abundances and their variations from similar to 0.2 to similar to 20 - 30 times solar, are described in Paper I ( Baldi et al.). In the present paper we investigate in detail the physics of the hot emitting gas, deriving measures for the hot gas mass ( similar to 10(7) M-circle dot), cooling times ( 10(7) - 10(8) yr), and pressure ( 3.5 x 10(-11) -2.8 x 10(-10) dyne cm(-2)). In at least one of the two nuclei ( NGC 4038), the hot gas pressure is significantly higher than the CO pressure, implying that shock waves may be driven into the CO clouds. Comparison of the metal abundances with the average stellar yields predicted by theoretical models of SN explosions points to SNe of Type II as the main contributors of metals to the hot ISM. There is no evidence of any correlation between radio-optical star formation indicators and the measured metal abundances. Although due to uncertainties in the average gas density we cannot exclude that mixing may have played an important role, the short time required to produce the observed metal masses ( less than or similar to 2 Myr) suggests that the correlations are unlikely to have been destroyed by efficient mixing. More likely, a significant fraction of Type II SN ejecta may be in a cool phase, in grains, or escaping in hot winds. In each case, any such fraction of the ejecta would remain undetectable with soft X-ray observations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-171
Number of pages14
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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