Astrophys. J., 779, 173 (2013/December-3)
Detection of a high brightness temperature radio core in the active-galactic-nucleus-driven molecular outflow candidate NGC 1266.
NYLAND K., ALATALO K., WROBEL J.M., YOUNG L.M., MORGANTI R., DAVIS T.A., DE ZEEUW P.T., DEUSTUA S. and BUREAU M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present new high spatial resolution Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) H I absorption and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) continuum observations of the active-galactic-nucleus-(AGN-)driven molecular outflow candidate NGC 1266. Although other well-known systems with molecular outflows may be driven by star formation (SF) in a central molecular disk, the molecular mass outflow rate of 13 M☉/yr in NGC 1266 reported by Alatalo et al. exceeds SF rate estimates from a variety of tracers. This suggests that an additional energy source, such as an AGN, may play a significant role in powering the outflow. Our high spatial resolution H I absorption data reveal compact absorption against the radio continuum core co-located with the putative AGN, and the presence of a blueshifted spectral component re-affirms that gas is indeed flowing out of the system. Our VLBA observations at 1.65 GHz reveal one continuum source within the densest portion of the molecular gas, with a diameter d < 8 mas (1.2 pc), a radio power Prad= 1.48x1020 W/Hz, and a brightness temperature Tb> 1.5x107 K that is most consistent with an AGN origin. The radio continuum energetics implied by the compact VLBA source, as well as archival VLA continuum observations at lower spatial resolution, further support the possibility that the AGN in NGC 1266 could be driving the molecular outflow. These findings suggest that even low-level AGNs may be able to launch massive outflows in their host galaxies.
galaxies: active - galaxies: individual: NGC 1266 - galaxies: nuclei - radio continuum: galaxies
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