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Cold gas removal from the centre of a galaxy by a low-luminosity jet

Abstract : The energy emitted by active galactic nuclei (AGNs) may provide a self-regulating process (AGN feedback) that shapes the evolution of galaxies. This is believed to operate along two modes, namely on galactic scales by clearing the interstellar medium via outflows, and on circumgalactic scales by preventing the cooling and accretion of gas onto the host galaxy. Radio jets associated with radiatively inefficient AGNs are known to contribute to the latter mode of feedback. However, such jets could also play a role on circumnuclear and galactic scales, blurring the distinction between the two modes. We have discovered a spatially resolved, massive molecular outflow, carrying ~75% of the gas in the central region of the host galaxy of a radiatively inefficient AGN. The outflow coincides with the radio jet 540 pc offset from the core, unambiguously pointing to the jet as the driver of this phenomenon. The modest luminosity of the radio source (L1.4 GHz = 2.1 × 1023 W Hz−1) confirms predictions of simulations that jets of low-luminosity radio sources carry enough power to drive such outflows. Including kiloparsec-scale feedback from such sources, which comprise the majority of the radio AGN population, in cosmological simulations may assist in resolving some of their limitations.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 9, 2022 - 12:21:19 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 3:46:36 AM

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Suma Murthy, Raffaella Morganti, Alexander Y. Wagner, Tom Oosterloo, Pierre Guillard, et al.. Cold gas removal from the centre of a galaxy by a low-luminosity jet. Nature Astronomy, 2022, 6, pp.488-495. ⟨10.1038/s41550-021-01596-6⟩. ⟨insu-03748294⟩

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