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The impact of ionized outflows from z - 2.5 quasars is not through instantaneous in situ quenching: The evidence from ALMA and VLT/SINFONI

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher HarrisonORCiD, Dr David Rosario


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© 2021 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical SocietyWe present high-resolution (-2.4 kpc) ALMA band 7 observations (rest-frame λ - 250 μm) of three powerful z - 2.5 quasars (Lbol = 1047.3–1047.5 erg s−1). These targets have previously been reported as showing evidence for suppressed star formation based on cavities in the narrow H α emission at the location of outflows traced with [O III] emission. Here, we combine the ALMA observations with a re-analysis of the VLT/SINFONI data to map the rest-frame far-infrared emission, H α emission, and [O III] emission. In all targets, we observe high velocity [O III] gas (i.e. W80 - 1000–2000 km s−1) across the whole galaxy. We do not identify any H α emission that is free from contamination from AGN-related processes; however, based on SED analyses, we show that the ALMA data contain a significant dust-obscured star formation component in two out of the three systems. This dust emission is found to be extended over ≈1.5–5.5 kpc in the nuclear regions, overlaps with the previously reported H α cavities and is co-spatial with the peak in surface brightness of the [O III] outflows. In summary, within the resolution and sensitivity limits of the data, we do not see any evidence for a instantaneous shut down of in situ star formation caused directly by the outflows. However, similar to the conclusions of previous studies and based on our measured star formation rates, we do not rule out that the global host galaxy star formation could be suppressed on longer time-scales by the cumulative effect of quasar episodes during the growth of these massive black holes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Scholtz J, Harrison CM, Rosario DJ, Alexander DM, Knudsen KK, Stanley F, Chen C-C, Kakkad D, Mainieri V, Mullaney J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Year: 2021

Volume: 505

Issue: 4

Pages: 5469-5487

Online publication date: 09/06/2021

Acceptance date: 26/05/2021

ISSN (print): 0035-8711

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2966

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stab1631


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