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Disk, merger, or outflow? Molecular gas kinematics in two powerful obscured QSOs at z ≥ 3.4

Abstract : We report on the detection of bright CO(4-3) line emission in two powerful, obscured quasars discovered in the SWIRE survey, SW022513 and SW022550 at z ≥ 3.4. We analyze the line strength and profile to determine the gas mass, dynamical mass, and the gas dynamics for both galaxies. In SW022513 we may have found the first evidence for a molecular, AGN-driven wind in the early Universe. The line profile in SW022513 is broad (FWHM=1000 km s-1) and blueshifted by -200 km s-1 relative to systemic (where the systemic velocity is estimated from the narrow components of ionized gas lines, as is commonly done for AGN at low and high redshifts). SW022550 has a more regular, double-peaked profile, which is marginally spatially resolved in our data, consistent with either a merger or an extended disk. The molecular gas masses, 4 × 1010 M, are large and account for <30% of the stellar mass, making these obscured QSOs as gas rich as other powerful CO emitting galaxies at high redshift, i.e., submillimeter galaxies. Our sources exhibit relatively lower star-formation efficiencies compared to other dusty, powerful starburst galaxies at high redshift. We speculate that this could be a consequence of the AGN perturbing the molecular gas.

Based on observations carried out with the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain).

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Submitted on : Friday, April 22, 2022 - 3:53:17 PM
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M. Polletta, N. P. H. Nesvadba, R. Neri, A. Omont, S. Berta, et al.. Disk, merger, or outflow? Molecular gas kinematics in two powerful obscured QSOs at z ≥ 3.4. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2011, 533, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201116446⟩. ⟨insu-03645912⟩

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