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The Perseus Cluster of Galaxies

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dominic Walton.

The Perseus cluster is the X-ray brightest cluster of galaxies in the Sky. I first observed it in 1973, finding the peaked cool core and have observed it with many X-ray observatories since from the Einstein Observatory through to ROSAT , Chandra and Hitomi. The image from Chandra has become a poster-child for Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) Feedback and clearly demonstrates that an accreting black hole can influence its environment over a scale factor of a billion or more. I shall review observations of the Perseus cluster at all wavelengths from radio through X-rays and at all scales from the central black hole to the cluster virial radius. I discuss how AGN Feedback might work in this object and consider what we do not know – some fundamental parts of the transfer of energy are unclear. The AGN -hosting central galaxy, NGC1275 , is one of the most gas rich galaxies at low redshift with well over 10 billion Msun of molecular hydrogen. Young star formation is seen around NGC1275 as well as a radio minihalo. There are cold fronts in the intracluster gas extending over 1 Mpc and interesting galaxy members such as NGC1277 and 1272. I intend to show that the Perseus cluster, 70 Mpc away, has much to offer astronomers.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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