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Multiphase Outflows in High-redshift Quasar Host Galaxies

Vayner, Andrey and Zakamska, Nadia and Wright, Shelley A. and Armus, Lee and Murray, Norman and Walth, Gregory (2021) Multiphase Outflows in High-redshift Quasar Host Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 923 (1). Art. No. 59. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac2b9e.

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We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observations of six radio-loud quasar host galaxies at z = 1.4–2.3. We combine the kiloparsec-scale resolution ALMA observations with high spatial resolution adaptive optics integral field spectrograph data of the ionized gas. We detect molecular gas emission in five quasar host galaxies and resolve the molecular interstellar medium using the CO (3–2) or CO (4–3) rotational transitions. Clumpy molecular outflows are detected in four quasar host galaxies and a merger system 21 kpc away from one quasar. Between the ionized and cold molecular gas phases, the majority of the outflowing mass is in a molecular phase, while for three out of four detected multiphase gas outflows, the majority of the kinetic luminosity and momentum flux is in the ionized phase. Combining the energetics of the multiphase outflows, we find that their driving mechanism is consistent with energy-conserving shocks produced by the impact of the quasar jets with the gas in the galaxy. By assessing the molecular gas mass to the dynamics of the outflows, we estimate a molecular gas depletion timescale of a few megayears. The gas outflow rates exceed the star formation rates, suggesting that quasar feedback is a major mechanism of gas depletion at the present time. The coupling efficiency between the kinetic luminosity of the outflows and the bolometric luminosity of the quasar of 0.1%–1% is consistent with theoretical predictions. Studying multiphase gas outflows at high redshift is important for quantifying the impact of negative feedback in shaping the evolution of massive galaxies.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Vayner, Andrey0000-0002-0710-3729
Zakamska, Nadia0000-0001-6100-6869
Wright, Shelley A.0000-0003-1034-8054
Armus, Lee0000-0003-3498-2973
Walth, Gregory0000-0002-6313-6808
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2021 May 26; revised 2021 September 24; accepted 2021 September 28; published 2021 December 10. The authors wish to thank Jim Lyke, Randy Campbell, and other SAs with their assistance at the telescope to acquire the Keck OSIRIS data sets. We would like to thank Erica Keller, Melissa Hoffman, and Loreto Barcos Munoz for assistance with ALMA data reduction and imaging at NRAO. We want to thank the anonymous referee for the constructive comments that helped improve the manuscript. This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA 2013.1.01359.S, ADS/JAO.ALMA 2017.1.01527.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Software: OSIRIS DRP (Larkin et al. 2013), CASA (McMullin et al. 2007), Matplotlib (Hunter 2007), SciPy (Virtanen et al. 2020), NumPy (Harris et al. 2020), Astropy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2018).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Quasars; Molecular gas; AGN host galaxies; Supermassive black holes; CO line emission
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Quasars (1319); Molecular gas (1073); AGN host galaxies (2017); Supermassive black holes (1663); CO line emission (262)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211213-518561000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Andrey Vayner et al 2021 ApJ 923 59
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112379
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:13 Dec 2021 22:18
Last Modified:13 Dec 2021 22:18

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