|Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 2003. 41:
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Abstract. We review the origin, evolution and physical nature of hot gas in elliptical galaxies and associated galaxy groups. Unanticipated recent X-ray observations with Chandra and XMM indicate much less cooling than previously expected. Consequently, many long-held assumptions need to be reexamined or discarded and new approaches must be explored. Chief among these are the role of heating by active galactic nuclei, the influence of radio lobes on the hot gas, details of the cooling process, possible relation between the hot and colder gas in elliptical galaxies, and the complexities of stellar enrichment of the hot gas.
Keywords elliptical galaxies, X-rays, cooling flows, galaxy groups, galaxy clusters
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