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The Herschel Virgo Cluster Survey: VI. The far-infrared view of M87

M. Baes, M. Clemens, E. M. Xilouris, J. Fritz, W. D. Cotton, J. Davies, G. J. Bendo, S. Bianchi, L. Cortese, I. De Looze, M. Pohlen, J. Verstappen, H. Böhringer, D. J. Bomans, A. Boselli, E. Corbelli, A. Dariush, S. Di Serego Alighieri, D. Fadda, D. A. Garcia-Appadoo, G. Gavazzi, C. Giovanardi, M. Grossi, T. Hughes, L. K. Hunt, A. Jones, S. C. Madden, D. Pierini, S. Sabatini, M. W. L. Smith, C. Vlahakis, S. Zibetti

The origin of the far-infrared emission from the nearby radio galaxy M 87 remains a matter of debate. Some studies find evidence of a far-infrared excess due to thermal dust emission, whereas others propose that the far-infrared emission can be explained by synchrotron emission without the need for an additional dust emission component. We present Herschel PACS and SPIRE observations of M 87, taken as part of the science demonstration phase observations of the Herschel Virgo Cluster Survey. We compare these data with a synchrotron model based on mid-infrared, far-infrared, submm and radio data from the literature to investigate the origin of the far-infrared emission. Both the integrated SED and the Herschel surface brightness maps are adequately explained by synchrotron emission. At odds with previous claims, we find no evidence of a diffuse dust component in M 87, which is not unexpected in the harsh X-ray environment of this radio galaxy sitting at the core of the Virgo cluster. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

galaxies: individual: M 87 - radiation: mechanisms: thermal - radiation: mechanisms: non-thermal - infrared: galaxies

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 518, Number of pages L53_1
2010 July

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia