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A Magnified View of Circumnuclear Star Formation and Feedback around an Active Galactic Nucleus at z = 2.6

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberL12
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2018


We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations of an intrinsically radio-bright (L 1.4 GHz = (1.7 ± 0.1) ×1025 W Hz-1) and infrared luminous (L IR ≈ 1013 L o) galaxy at z = 2.6. The infrared-to-radio luminosity ratio, q = 1.8, indicates the presence of a radio-loud active galactic nucleus (AGN). Gravitational lensing by two foreground galaxies at z ≈ 0.2 provides access to physical scales of approximately 360 pc, and we resolve a 2.5 kpc radius ring of star-forming molecular gas, traced by atomic carbon C i (1 → 0) and carbon monoxide CO (J = 4 → 3). We also detect emission from the cyanide radical, CN (N = 4 → 3). With a velocity width of 680 km s-1, this traces dense molecular gas traveling at velocities nearly a factor of two larger than the rotation speed of the molecular ring. While this could indicate the presence of a dynamical and photochemical interaction between the AGN and molecular interstellar medium on scales of a few 100 pc, ongoing feedback is unlikely to have a significant impact on the assembly of stellar mass in the molecular ring, given the ∼10 s Myr depletion timescale due to star formation.

    Research areas

  • galaxies: active, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: individual (9io9), galaxies: nuclei, radio continuum: galaxies, submillimeter: galaxies

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