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Title: The dual role of starburst and active galactic nuclei in driving extreme molecular outflows
We report molecular gas observations of IRAS 20100-4156 and IRAS 03158+4227, two local ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs) hosting some of the fastest and most massive molecular outflows known. Using ALMA and PdBI observations, we spatially resolve the CO(1-0) emission from the outflowing molecular gas in both and find maximum outflow velocities of $ v_{\rm max} \sim 1600$ and $\sim 1700$ km/s for IRAS 20100-4156 and IRAS 03158+4227, respectively. We find total gas mass outflow rates of $\dot M_{\rm OF} \sim 670$ and $\sim 350$ Msun/yr, respectively, corresponding to molecular gas depletion timescales $\tau^{\rm dep}_{\rm OF} \sim 11$ and $\sim 16$ Myr. This is nearly 3 times shorter than the depletion timescales implied by star formation, $\tau^{\rm dep}_{\rm SFR} \sim 33$ and $\sim 46$ Myr, respectively. To determine the outflow driving mechanism, we compare the starburst ($L_{*}$) and AGN ($L_{\rm AGN}$) luminosities to the outflowing energy and momentum fluxes, using mid-infrared spectral decomposition to discern $L_{\rm AGN}$. Comparison to other molecular outflows in ULIRGs reveals that outflow properties correlate similarly with $L_{*}$ and $L_{\rm IR}$ as with $L_{\rm AGN}$, indicating that AGN luminosity alone may not be a good tracer of feedback strength and that a combination of AGN and starburst more » activity may be driving the most powerful molecular outflows. We also detect the OH 1.667 GHz maser line from both sources and demonstrate its utility in detecting molecular outflows. « less
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The Astrophysical journal
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National Science Foundation
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