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The impact of AGN on their host galaxies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher HarrisonORCiD


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In these proceedings I briefly: (1) review the impact (or feedback) that active galactic nuclei (AGN) are predicted to have on their host galaxies and larger scale environment, (2) review the observational evidence for or against these predictions and (3) present new results on ionised outflows in AGN. The observational support for the maintenance mode of feedback is strong (caveat the details); AGN at the centre of massive halos appear to be regulating the cooling of hot gas, which could in turn control the levels of future star formation (SF) and black hole growth. In contrast, direct observational support for more rapid forms of feedback, which dramatically impact on SF (i.e., the quasar mode), remains elusive. From a systematic study of the spectra of ≈24 000 AGN we find that extreme ionised gas kinematics are common, and are most prevalent in radio bright AGN (L 1.4 GHz > 103 W Hz-1). Follow-up IFU observations have shown that these extreme gas kinematics are extended over kilo-parsec scales. However, the co-existence of high-levels of SF, luminous AGN activity and radio jets raises interesting questions on the primary drivers and impact of these outflows. Galaxy-wide, high-mass outflows are being observed in an increasing number of AGN and are a plausible mechanism for the depletion of gas; however, there is still much work to be done to determine the physical processes that drive these outflows and to measure the level of impact that they have on their host galaxies. Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2014.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harrison CM

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: IAU Symposium 304: Multiwavelength AGN Surveys and Studies

Year of Conference: 2013

Pages: 284-290

Print publication date: 01/10/2013

Online publication date: 25/07/2014

ISSN: 1743-9213

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1743921314004098

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union

ISBN: 9781107045248