Green bank telescope detection of polarization-dependent H I absorption and H I outflows in local ULIRGs and quasars.
TENG S.H., VEILLEUX S. and BAKER A.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the results of a 21 cm H I survey of 27 local massive gas-rich late-stage mergers and merger remnants with the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. These remnants were selected from the Quasar/ULIRG Evolution Study sample of ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs; L_8-1000 µm_> 1012 L☉) and quasars; our targets are all bolometrically dominated by active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and sample the later phases of the proposed ULIRG-to-quasar evolutionary sequence. We find the prevalence of H I absorption (emission) to be 100% (29%) in ULIRGs with H I detections, 100% (88%) in FIR-strong quasars, and 63% (100%) in FIR-weak quasars. The absorption features are associated with powerful neutral outflows that change from being mainly driven by star formation in ULIRGs to being driven by the AGN in the quasars. These outflows have velocities that exceed 1500 km/s in some cases. Unexpectedly, we find polarization-dependent H I absorption in 57% of our spectra (88% and 63% of the FIR-strong and FIR-weak quasars, respectively). We attribute this result to absorption of polarized continuum emission from these sources by foreground H I clouds. About 60% of the quasars displaying polarized spectra are radio-loud, far higher than the ∼10% observed in the general AGN population. This discrepancy suggests that radio jets play an important role in shaping the environments in these galaxies. These systems may represent a transition phase in the evolution of gas-rich mergers into "mature" radio galaxies.
galaxies: active - galaxies: evolution - ISM: jets and outflows - quasars: absorption lines - radio lines: galaxies