Zooming into local active galactic nuclei: the power of combining SDSS-IV MaNGA with higher resolution integral field unit observations

Dominika Wylezalek, Allan Schnorr Müller, Nadia L. Zakamska, Thaisa Storchi-Bergmann, Jenny E. Greene, Francisco Müller-Sánchez, Michael Kelly, Guilin Liu, David R. Law, Jorge K. Barrera-Ballesteros, Rogemar A. Riffel, Daniel Thomas

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Ionised gas outflows driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN) are ubiquitous in high luminosity AGN with outflow speeds apparently correlated with the total bolometric luminosity of the AGN. This empirical relation and theoretical work suggest that in the range L_bol ~ 10^43-45 erg/s there must exist a threshold luminosity above which the AGN becomes powerful enough to launch winds that will be able to escape the galaxy potential. In this paper, we present pilot observations of two AGN in this transitional range that were taken with the Gemini North Multi-Object Spectrograph Integral Field Unit (IFU). Both sources have also previously been observed within the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-IV (SDSS) Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory (MaNGA) survey. While the MaNGA IFU maps probe the gas fields on galaxy-wide scales and show that some regions are dominated by AGN ionization, the new Gemini IFU data zoom into the centre with four times better spatial resolution. In the object with the lower L_bol we find evidence of a young or stalled biconical AGN-driven outflow where none was obvious at the MaNGA resolution. In the object with the higher L_bol we trace the large-scale biconical outflow into the nuclear region and connect the outflow from small to large scales. These observations suggest that AGN luminosity and galaxy potential are crucial in shaping wind launching and propagation in low-luminosity AGN. The transition from small and young outflows to galaxy-wide feedback can only be understood by combining large-scale IFU data that trace the galaxy velocity field with higher resolution, small scale IFU maps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2612-2624
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date2 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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