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Today's Colloquium: The impact of warm outflows in rapidly evolving galaxies in the local universe

Submitter: Clive Tadhunter
Description: There has been much speculation that AGN-driven outflows are an important process in galaxy evolution, regulating the shape of the high luminosity end of the galaxy luminosity function, and the correlations between black hole mass and host galaxy properties. However, the true energetic significance of the outflows has been hard to quantify. Here I present new results on the spatially resolved warm outflows in some of the most rapidly evolving galaxies in the local universe, which for the first time accurately quantify their masses and kinetic powers.

The images show the the nearby ultra luminous infrared galaxy Mrk273 (z=0.0373) taken with the OSIRIS instrument on the 10m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) on La Palma.

The upper image was taken using a medium-band continuum filter centred at 5572A and shows the system of tidal tails which demonstrate that the system has been involved in a major galaxy merger that has triggered its starburst and AGN activity.

The lower image was taken through a narrow-band filter centered on the redshifted Halpha emission line and shows a spectacular extended emission line nebulosity that extends out to a radius of 45kpc from the nucleus. There is currently a debate about the origin of such nebulosities: do they represent material that has been ejected from the nuclear regions by AGN-driven outflows, or rather tidal debris related to the merger events? See Spence et al., 2016, MNRAS, 459, L16 for further details.
Copyright: Spence et al., 2016, MNRAS, 459, L16
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