We use the Bullet Cluster (1E0657-56) to investigate the extent to which star formation in cluster galaxies is influenced by ram pressure from supersonic gas (Mach 3) during a cluster merger. While the effects of ram pressure have been studied for individual galaxies infalling into galaxy clusters, this system provides a unique opportunity to investigate the impact of dramatic merger events on the cluster galaxy population. In this analysis, we use Spitzer IRAC data to study star formation. At the redshift of the cluster, the 6.2 μm PAH feature is redshifted into the 8 μm band, enabling use of the m 4.5-m 8 color as a proxy for specific star formation rate. We find that the color distribution on the two sides of the shock differs by less than 2σ, and conclude that ram pressure from the shock front has no dramatic, immediate impact on the star formation of cluster galaxies in the Bullet Cluster.
- galaxies: clusters: individual (1E0657-56, The Bullet Cluster)
- galaxies: evolution
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science