Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 521, A65-65 (2010/10-1)
Energetics of the molecular gas in the H2 luminous radio galaxy 3C 326: evidence for negative AGN feedback.
NESVADBA N.P.H., BOULANGER F., SALOME P., GUILLARD P., LEHNERT M.D., OGLE P., APPLETON P., FALGARONE E. and PINEAU DES FORETS G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a detailed analysis of the gas conditions in the H2 luminous radio galaxy 3C 326 N at z∼0.1, which has a low star-formation rate (SFR∼0.07M☉/yr) in spite of a gas surface density similar to those in starburst galaxies. Its star-formation efficiency is likely a factor ∼10-50 lower than those of ordinary star-forming galaxies. Combining new IRAM CO emission-line interferometry with existing Spitzer mid-infrared spectroscopy, we find that the luminosity ratio of CO and pure rotational H2 line emission is factors 10-100 lower than what is usually found. This suggests that most of the molecular gas is warm. The Na D absorption-line profile of 3C 326 N in the optical suggests an outflow with a terminal velocity of ~-1800km/s and a mass outflow rate of 30-40M☉/yr, which cannot be explained by star formation. The mechanical power implied by the wind, of order 1043erg/s, is comparable to the bolometric luminosity of the emission lines of ionized and molecular gas. To explain these observations, we propose a scenario where a small fraction of the mechanical energy of the radio jet is deposited in the interstellar medium of 3C 326 N, which powers the outflow, and the line emission through a mass, momentum and energy exchange between the different gas phases of the ISM. Dissipation times are of order 107–8yrs, similar or greater than the typical jet lifetime. Small ratios of CO and PAH surface brightnesses in another 7 H2 luminous radio galaxies suggest that a similar form of AGN feedback could be lowering star-formation efficiencies in these galaxies in a similar way. The local demographics of radio-loud AGN suggests that secular gas cooling in massive early-type galaxies of ≥1011M☉ could generally be regulated through a fundamentally similar form of ``maintenance-phase'' AGN feedback.
galaxies: evolution - galaxies: ISM - galaxies: jets - radio continuum: galaxies - radio lines: galaxies
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