Discovery of spectacular quasar-driven superbubbles in red quasars

Lu Shen, Guilin Liu, Zhicheng He, Nadia L. Zakamska, Eilat Glikman, Jenny E. Greene, Weida Hu, Guobin Mou, Dominika Wylezalek, David S.N. Rupke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Quasar-driven outflows on galactic scales are a routinely invoked ingredient for galaxy formation models. We report the discovery of ionized gas nebulae surrounding three luminous red quasars at z ~ 0.4 from Gemini integral field unit observations. All these nebulae feature unprecedented pairs of “superbubbles” extending ~20 kpc in diameter, and the line-of-sight velocity difference between the red- and blueshifted bubbles reaches up to ~1200 km/s. Their spectacular dual-bubble morphology (in analogy to the galactic “Fermi bubbles”) and their kinematics provide unambiguous evidence for galaxy-wide quasar-driven outflows, in parallel with the quasi-spherical outflows similar in size from luminous type 1 and type 2 quasars at concordant redshift. These bubble pairs manifest themselves as a signpost of the short-lived superbubble “break-out” phase, when the quasar wind drives the bubbles to escape the confinement from the dense environment and plunge into the galactic halo with a high-velocity expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadg8287
JournalScience Advances
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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