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Far-infrared emission in luminous quasars accompanied by nuclear outflows

Submitter: Natasha Maddox
Description: Feedback from accretion onto the supermassive black hole at the centres of galaxies is often invoked to explain many characteristics of galaxies. Indeed, this feedback in the form of galaxy-scale outflows is required in simulations to stop galaxies from growing too large, too quickly. However, observing this process in luminous quasar systems is difficult.

The Herschel Space Observatory has observed large areas of sky at far-infrared (FIR) wavelengths, which measures emission from dust in galaxies. Using a large sample of SDSS quasars that have also been observed with the Herschel Space Observatory, we find that quasars that are bright in the FIR also show signs of strong outflows originating from the nuclear black hole region. This indicates a connection between quasar activity, which occurs at the nucleus of galaxies, and galaxy-scale processes such as star formation.

The result is only now possible due to the availability of new, very accurate measures of the quasar redshifts, and large-area FIR surveys. This work has been accepted for publication in MNRAS, and can be found on the arXiv at 1706.04789.
Copyright: N. Maddox (image credit: Di Matteo, Springel & Hernquist)
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