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Title: SUPPRESSION OF STAR FORMATION IN NGC 1266

NGC 1266 is a nearby lenticular galaxy that harbors a massive outflow of molecular gas powered by the mechanical energy of an active galactic nucleus (AGN). It has been speculated that such outflows hinder star formation (SF) in their host galaxies, providing a form of feedback to the process of galaxy formation. Previous studies, however, indicated that only jets from extremely rare, high-power quasars or radio galaxies could impart significant feedback on their hosts. Here we present detailed observations of the gas and dust continuum of NGC 1266 at millimeter wavelengths. Our observations show that molecular gas is being driven out of the nuclear region at M-dot {sub out}≈110 M{sub ⊙} yr{sup –1}, of which the vast majority cannot escape the nucleus. Only 2 M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1} is actually capable of escaping the galaxy. Most of the molecular gas that remains is very inefficient at forming stars. The far-infrared emission is dominated by an ultra-compact (≲ 50 pc) source that could either be powered by an AGN or by an ultra-compact starburst. The ratio of the SF surface density (Σ{sub SFR}) to the gas surface density (Σ{sub H{sub 2}}) indicates that SF is suppressed by a factor ofmore » ≈50 compared to normal star-forming galaxies if all gas is forming stars, and ≈150 for the outskirt (98%) dense molecular gas if the central region is powered by an ultra-compact starburst. The AGN-driven bulk outflow could account for this extreme suppression by hindering the fragmentation and gravitational collapse necessary to form stars through a process of turbulent injection. This result suggests that even relatively common, low-power AGNs are able to alter the evolution of their host galaxies as their black holes grow onto the M-σ relation.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ; ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  2. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States)
  3. Physics Department, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM 87801 (United States)
  4. Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción (Chile)
  5. Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201 (United States)
  6. European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, D-85748 Garching (Germany)
  7. Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique, 300 Rue de la Piscine, Domaine Universitaire, F-38406 Saint Martin d'Hères (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364736
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 798; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BLACK HOLES; DENSITY; FAR INFRARED RADIATION; FEEDBACK; GALAXY NUCLEI; GRAVITATIONAL COLLAPSE; JETS; PHOTON EMISSION; QUASARS; RADIO GALAXIES; STAR CLUSTERS; STARS