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Search for Molecular Outflows in Local Volume AGN with Herschel-PACS

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Abstract

We present the results from a systematic search for galactic-scale, molecular (OH 119 $$\mu$$m) outflows in a sample of 52 Local Volume ($$d < 50$$ Mpc) Burst Alert Telescope detected active galactic nuclei (BAT AGN) with \emph{Herschel}-PACS. We combine the results from our analysis of the BAT AGN with the published \emph{Herschel}/PACS data of 43 nearby ($$z<0.3$$) galaxy mergers, mostly ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs) and QSOs. The objects in our sample of BAT AGN have, on average, $$\sim 10-100$$ times lower AGN luminosities, star formation rates (SFRs), and stellar masses than those of the ULIRG and QSO sample. OH 119 $$\mu$$m is detected in 42 of our BAT AGN targets. Evidence for molecular outflows (i.e. OH absorption profiles with median velocities more blueshifted than $$-$$50 km s$$^{-1}$$ and/or blueshifted wings with 84-percentile velocities less than $$-$$300 km s$$^{-1}$$) is seen in only four BAT AGN (NGC~7479 is the most convincing case). Evidence for molecular inflows (i.e. OH absorption profiles with median velocities more redshifted than 50 km s$$^{-1}$$) is seen in seven objects, although an inverted P-Cygni profile is detected unambiguously in only one object (Circinus). Our data show that both the starburst and AGN contribute to driving OH outflows, but the fastest OH winds require AGN with quasar-like luminosities. We also confirm that the total absorption strength of OH 119 $$\mu$$m is a good proxy for dust optical depth as it correlates strongly with the 9.7 $$\mu$$m silicate absorption feature, a measure of obscuration originating in both the nuclear torus and host galaxy disk.

Author and article information

Journal
2016-05-20
Article
10.3847/0004-637X/826/2/111
1605.06512