Free-floating molecular clumps and gas mixing: Hydrodynamic aftermaths of the intracluster-interstellar medium interaction

Rafael Ruggiero, Romain Teyssier, Gastao B.Lima Neto, Valentin Perret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction of gas-rich galaxies with the intracluster medium (ICM) of galaxy clusters has a remarkable impact on their evolution, mainly due to the gas loss associated with this process. In this work, we use an idealized, high-resolution simulation of a Virgo-like cluster, run with RAMSES and with dynamics reproducing that of a zoom cosmological simulation, to investigate the interaction of infalling galaxies with the ICM. We find that the tails of ram pressure stripped galaxies give rise to a population of up to more than a hundred clumps of molecular gas lurking in the cluster. The number count of those clumps varies a lot overtime - they are preferably generated when a large galaxy crosses the cluster (M200c > 1012 M), and their lifetime (≲ 300 Myr) is small compared to the age of the cluster. We compute the intracluster luminosity associated with the star formation that takes place within those clumps, finding that the stars formed in all of the galaxy tails combined amount to an irrelevant contribution to the intracluster light. Surprisingly, we also find in our simulation that the ICM gas significantly changes the composition of the gaseous discs of the galaxies: after crossing the cluster once, typically 20 per cent of the cold gas still in those discs comes from the ICM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2191-2199
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: ISM- galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: dwarf
  • Galaxies: interactions
  • Methods: numerical


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