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Astron. Astrophys. 321, 765-770 (1997)

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The neutral gas content of X-ray bright elliptical galaxies

J. Braine 1, C. Henkel 2 and T. Wiklind 3

1 Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimétrique, 300 rue de la Piscine, F-38240 St. Martin d'Hères, France
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn, Germany
3 Onsala Space Observatory, S-43992 Onsala, Sweden

Received 16 August 1995 / Accepted 8 November 1996


Sensitive CO observations are presented for a sample of elliptical galaxies which are luminous X-ray and weak far infrared (FIR) emitters. Only non-detections were obtained. The absence of detectable amounts of CO (this includes the previously `detected' prototypical galaxy NGC 4472) does not support those standard cooling flow scenarios in which dust grain sputtering reduces the FIR luminosity, while cooled down gas is forming a significant mass of dense molecular gas.

Key words: galaxies: cooling flows – galaxies: individual, NGC 4472 – galaxies: ISM – galaxies: elliptical – radio lines: galaxies – X-rays: galaxies

Send offprint requests to: Jonathan Braine

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998