Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 502, L79-L84 (2021/March-3)
ALMA detection of millimetre 183 GHz H2O maser emission in the Superantennae galaxy at z ∼ 0.06.
IMANISHI M., HAGIWARA Y., HORIUCHI S., IZUMI T. and NAKANISHI K.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the results of Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) band-5 (∼170 GHz) observations of the merging ultraluminous infrared galaxy, the 'Superantennae' (IRAS 19254-7245), at z = 0.0617, which has been diagnosed as containing a luminous obscured active galactic nucleus (AGN). In addition to dense molecular line emission (HCNJ = 2-1, HCO+J = 2-1, and HNC J = 2-1), we detect a highly luminous (∼6 x 104 L☉) 183 GHz H2O 31,3-22,0 emission line. We interpret the strong H2O emission as largely originating in maser amplification in AGN-illuminated dense and warm molecular gas, based on (1) the spatially compact (<=220 pc) nature of the H2O emission, unlike spatially resolved (>=500 pc) dense molecular emission, and (2) a strikingly different velocity profile from, and (3) significantly elevated flux ratio relative to, dense molecular emission lines. H2O maser emission, other than the widely studied 22 GHz 61,6-52,3 line, has been expected to provide important information on the physical properties of gas in the vicinity of a central mass-accreting supermassive black hole (SMBH), because of different excitation energy. We here demonstrate that with highly sensitive ALMA, millimetre 183 GHz H2O maser detection is feasible out to >270 Mpc, opening a new window to scrutinize molecular gas properties around a mass-accreting SMBH far beyond the immediately local Universe.
© 2021 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society
masers - galaxies: active - galaxies: individual: IRAS 19254-7245 (Superantennae) - galaxies: nuclei - quasars: supermassive black holes - radio lines: galaxies
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