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Date and Time of the Query: 2019-08-18 T16:11:31 PDT
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For refcode 2011ApJ...735...76K:
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2011ApJ...735...76K Spitzer/IRAC Low Surface Brightness Observations of the Virgo Cluster Krick, J. E.; Bridge, C.; Desai, V.; Mihos, J. C.; Murphy, E.; Rudick, C.; Surace, J.; Neill, J. Abstract. We present 3.6 and 4.5 micron Spitzer Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) imaging over 0.77 deg^2^ at the Virgo cluster core for the purpose of understanding the formation mechanisms of the low surface brightness intracluster light (ICL) features. Instrumental and astrophysical backgrounds that are hundreds of times higher than the signal were carefully characterized and removed. We examine ICL plumes as well as the outer halo of the giant elliptical M87. For two ICL plumes, we use optical colors to constrain their ages to be greater than 3 and 5 Gyr, respectively. Upper limits on the IRAC fluxes constrain the upper limits to the masses, and optical detections constrain the lower limits to the masses. In this first measurement of mass of ICL plumes we find masses in the range of 5.5 x 10^8^ - 4.5 x 10^9^ and 2.1 x 10^8^-1.5 x 10^9^ M_sun_ for the two plumes for which we have coverage. Given their expected short lifetimes, and a constant production rate for these types of streams, integrated over Virgo's lifetime, they can account for the total ICL content of the cluster, implying that we do not need to invoke ICL formation mechanisms other than gravitational mechanisms leading to bright plumes. We also examined the outer halo of the giant elliptical M87. The color profile from the inner to outer halo of M87 (160 kpc) is consistent with either a flat or optically blue gradient, where a blue gradient could be due to younger or lower metallicity stars at larger radii. The similarity of the age predicted by both the infrared and optical colors (> a few gigayears) indicates that the optical measurements are not strongly affected by dust extinction. Key words: cosmology: observations, galaxies: clusters: individual: Virgo, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: photometry, infrared: galaxies
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