Satish Sonkamble

Visiting Fellow
Email: ssonkamble [at]
Phone: +91- 20 - 25719269
Extn: 9269
Office: 218B
National Centre for Radio Astrophysics
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Savitribai Phule Pune University Campus,
Pune 411 007
Maharashtra, INDIA

Main Research Areas: X-ray, radio & optical observations of groups and galaxy clusters; Substructure formation; AGN Feedback; Studies of shocks, cold fronts, gas sloshing, etc.


Satish Sonkamble obtained an M.Sc. in Physics from the School of Physical Sciences, Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded, in 2009. He completed his doctoral studies and obtained a Ph.D. in Physics at the same university in August 2017, after which he joined NCRA-TIFR as a project post-doctoral fellow.

Research description:

My research interests are in galaxy groups and clusters. This study is based on X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray space observatory, radio data from GMRT, VLA etc. and optical data from multiple ground and space-based observatories. Currently I am involved in the following research areas:
1. Feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN):
The issue of AGN feedback is not yet fully understood. Despite extensive discussions in the literature, it is still not clear how an AGN transfers its power to the diffuse ambient plasma. Recently, there has been great interest in the process of ``AGN feedback'', its role in galaxy formation, and the possibility that AGN feedback solves the over-cooling problem. Key issues include the effect of AGN feedback in regulating the cooling of the intra-cluster medium, how AGNs are fuelled in groups and clusters, and the physics of the balance between heating and cooling process in the cores of groups and clusters. I am currently involved studies of samples of groups and clusters that that aims to improve our understanding of AGN feedback processes.
2. Investigation of X-ray cavities:
X-ray cavities have been detected in a large number of clusters, and are expected to arise due to AGN feedback. However, little information is available is on X-ray cavities at high redshifts, and it is not clear if and how AGN heating evolves across time. According to cosmological simulations, currently black holes are in the "radio mode" of accretion (i.e. a mechanical mode), which involves accretion at sub-Eddington rates and the driving of powerful outflows, whereas at earlier times ( z >> 1), the "quasar mode" (i.e. a radiative mode) dominates, corresponding to a merger-driven phase where the black hole grows rapidly. I am trying to investigate when and how this transition occurs in high-redshift systems.
3. The co-evolution of black holes and galaxies:
Many astrophysicists now believe that we can not understand how feedback operates, and how galaxies formed and evolved without understanding their central super-massive black holes in detail. Understanding the links between black hole growth and their host galaxies and the effect of AGN feedback on the black hole fueling and star formation are other topics of my interest.

Selected publications:

1.  MACS J0553.4-3342: A young merging galaxy cluster caught through the eyes of Chandra and HST (M. B. Pandge, J. Bagchi, S. S.  Sonkamble et al., 2017, MNRAS, 472, 2042)

2.  Detection of a pair of prominent X-ray cavities in Abell 3847 (N. D. Vagshette, S. Naik, M. K. Patil, S. S. Sonkamble, 2017, MNRAS, 466, 2054)

3.  AGN-driven perturbations in the intracluster medium of the cool-core cluster ZwCl 2701 (N. D. Vagshette, S. S. Sonkamble S. S., S. Naik, M. K. Patil, 2016, MNRAS, 461, 1885)

4.  X-ray cavities and temperature jumps in the environment of the strong cool core cluster Abell 2390 (S. S. Sonkamble, N. D. Vagshette, P. K. Pawar, M. K. Patil, 2015, Ap&SS, 359, 61)