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Published February 20, 2023 | Published
Journal Article Open

GOALS-JWST: Pulling Back the Curtain on the AGN and Star Formation in VV 114


We present results from the James Webb Space Telescope Director's Discretionary Time Early Release Science program 1328 targeting the nearby, luminous infrared galaxy, VV 114. We use the MIRI and NIRSpec instruments to obtain integral-field spectroscopy of the heavily obscured eastern nucleus (V114E) and surrounding regions. The spatially resolved, high-resolution spectra reveal the physical conditions in the gas and dust over a projected area of 2–3 kpc that includes the two brightest IR sources, the NE and SW cores. Our observations show for the first time spectroscopic evidence that the SW core hosts an active galactic nucleus as evidenced by its very low 6.2 μm and 3.3 μm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon equivalent widths (0.12 and 0.017 μm, respectively) and mid- and near-IR colors. Our observations of the NE core show signs of deeply embedded star formation including absorption features due to aliphatic hydrocarbons, large quantities of amorphous silicates, as well as HCN due to cool gas along the line of sight. We detect elevated [Fe ii]/Pfα consistent with extended shocks coincident with enhanced emission from warm H2, far from the IR-bright cores and clumps. We also identify broadening and multiple kinematic components in both H2 and fine structure lines caused by outflows and previously identified tidal features.

Additional Information

© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. We thank the referee for their helpful comments. This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA/CSA JWST. The research was supported by NASA grant JWST-ERS-01328. The data were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-03127 for JWST. The specific observations analysed can be accessed via 10.17909/yqk1-jr92. V.U. acknowledges funding support from NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP) grant 80NSSC20K0450. The Flatiron Institute is supported by the Simons Foundation. A.M.M. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation under grant No. 2009416. A.S.E. and S.L. acknowledge support from NASA grants HST-GO15472 and HST-GO16914. Y.S. was funded in part by the NSF through the Grote Reber Fellowship Program administered by Associated Universities, Inc./National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. F.M-S. acknowledges support from NASA through ADAP award 80NSSC19K1096. S.A. gratefully acknowledges support from an ERC Advanced grant 789410, from the Swedish Research Council and from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg (KAW) Foundation. S.A. gratefully acknowledges John Black for helpful discussions. K.I. acknowledges support by the Spanish MCIN under grant PID2019-105510GB-C33/AEI/10.13039/501100011033. This work was also partly supported by the Spanish program Unidad de Excelencia Mara de Maeztu CEX2020-001058-M, financed by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033. The computations presented here were conducted through Carnegie's partnership in the Resnick High Performance Computing Center, a facility supported by Resnick Sustainability Institute at the California Institute of Technology. Finally, 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. Facilities: JWST (NIRCam - , NIRSpec and MIRI). -

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023