University of Massachusetts, Amherst | 2018 Oct 29
An international team of astrophysicists using the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) in central Mexico has detected an unexpected and powerful outflow of molecular gas in a distant active galaxy similar to the Milky Way. The galaxy is 800 million light years from Earth. ...
Min S. Yun says that the LMT ... is uniquely suited for detecting a faint, broad line like this observational result and is designed specifically for this type of experiment. “Understanding how frequently the central supermassive black hole disrupts its host galaxy through a yet unknown energetic feedback process is one of the most important unanswered questions in the study of galaxy evolution today, and the LMT with its full 50-meter surface that was just completed, should yield more insights in the coming observing seasons,” he says.
Anna Lia Longinotti ... says “The novelty of this result is that we are seeing feedback in a galaxy where this phenomenon is not expected. The other two galaxies where it was observed are more dust- and gas-rich, whereas this galaxy is a spiral type, therefore more similar to the Milky Way. This discovery opens the path to explore the possibility that active galactic nuclei (AGN) feedback can be produced also by less luminous objects with different characteristics.”
About two years ago ... the presence of ultra-fast outflows of ionized, hot gas at sub-relativistic velocity was reported in this same object, called IRAS 17020+4544. These winds are thought to originate in the accretion disk located around the supermassive black hole that powers luminous active galactic nuclei (quasars). The activity of this type of galaxy is related to the energy released by accretion processes that take place close to the black hole. Despite hosting an active nucleus, this galaxy is considerably less luminous when compared to quasars. ...
Early Science with the Large Millimeter Telescope: An Energy-driven Wind Revealed by
Massive Molecular and Fast X-Ray Outflows in the Seyfert Galaxy IRAS 17020+4544 ~ A.L. Longinotti et al