Observations of feedback from radio-quiet quasars - II. kinematics of ionized gas nebulae

Guilin Liu, Nadia L. Zakamska, Jenny E. Greene, Nicole P.H. Nesvadba, Xin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prevalence and energetics of quasar feedback is a major unresolved problem in galaxy formation theory. In this paper, we present Gemini Integral Field Unit observations of ionized gas around 11 luminous, obscured, radio-quiet quasars at z ~ 0.5 out to ~15 kpc from the quasar; specifically, we measure the kinematics and morphology of [O III] λ5007 Å emission. The round morphologies of the nebulae and the large line-of-sight velocity widths (with velocities containing 80 per cent of the emission as high as 103 km s-1) combined with relatively small velocity difference across them (from 90 to 520 km s-1) point towards wide-angle quasispherical outflows.We use the observed velocity widths to estimate a median outflow velocity of 760 km s-1, similar to or above the escape velocities from the host galaxies. The line-ofsight velocity dispersion declines slightly towards outer parts of the nebulae (by 3 per cent kpc-1 on average). The majority of nebulae show blueshifted excesses in their line profiles across most of their extents, signifying gas outflows. For the median outflow velocity, we find Ėkin between 4 × 1044 and 3 × 1045 erg s-1 and ⊙ between 2 × 103 and 2 × 104Mo⊙ yr-1. These values are large enough for the observed quasar winds to have a significant impact on their host galaxies. The median rate of converting bolometric luminosity to kinetic energy of ionized gas clouds is ~2 per cent.We report four new candidates for 'superbubbles' - outflows that may have broken out of the denser regions of the host galaxy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2576-2597
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume436
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Emission lines
  • Quasars

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