skip to main content

Title: The PG-RQS survey. Building the radio spectral distribution of radio-quiet quasars. I. The 45-GHz data

The origin of the radio emission in radio-quiet quasars (RQQs) remains unclear. Radio emission may be produced by a scaled-down version of the relativistic jets observed in radio-loud (RL) AGN, an AGN-driven wind, the accretion disc corona, AGN photon-ionization of ambient gas (free–free emission), or star formation (SF). Here, we report a pilot study, part of a radio survey (‘PG-RQS’) aiming at exploring the spectral distributions of the 71 Palomar–Green (PG) RQQs: high angular resolution observations (∼50 mas) at 45 GHz (7 mm) with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array of 15 sources. Sub-mJy radio cores are detected in 13 sources on a typical scale of ∼100 pc, which excludes significant contribution from galaxy-scale SF. For 9 sources the 45-GHz luminosity is above the lower frequency (∼1–10 GHz) spectral extrapolation, indicating the emergence of an additional flatter-spectrum compact component at high frequencies. The X-ray luminosity and black hole (BH) mass, correlate more tightly with the 45-GHz luminosity than the 5-GHz. The 45 GHz-based radio-loudness increases with decreasing Eddington ratio and increasing BH mass MBH. These results suggest that the 45-GHz emission from PG RQQs nuclei originates from the innermost region of the core, probably from the accretion disc corona. Increasing contributions to 45-GHz emission from a jet at higher MBH and lower Eddington ratios and from a disc wind at large Eddington ratios are still consistent with our results. Future full radio spectral coverage of the sample will help us investigating the different physical mechanisms in place in RQQ cores.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 1043-1058
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this

    The origin of the radio emission in radio-quiet quasars (RQQ) is not established yet. We present new VLBA observations at 1.6 and 4.9 GHz of 10 RQQ (9 detected), which together with published earlier observations of 8 RQQ (5 detected), forms a representative sample of 18 RQQ drawn from the Palomar–Green sample of low z (< 0.5) AGN. The spectral slope of the integrated emission extends from very steep (α < −1.98) to strongly inverted (α = +2.18), and the slopes of 9 of the 14 objects are flat (α > −0.5). Most objects have an unresolved flat-spectrum core, which coincides with the optical Gaia position. The extended emission is generally steep-spectrum, has a low brightness temperature (< 107 K), and is displaced from the optical core (the Gaia position) by ∼ 5–100 pc. The VLBA core flux is tightly correlated with the X-ray flux, and follows a radio to X-ray luminosity relation of log LR/LX ≃ −6, for all objects with a black hole mass log MBH/M⊙ < 8.5. The flatness of the core emission implies a compact source size (≲ 0.1 pc), which likely originates from the accretion disc corona. The mas-scale extended emission is optically thin and of clumpy structure, and is likely produced by an outflow from the center. Radio observations at higher frequencies can further test the accretion disc coronal emission interpretation for the core emission in RQQ.

    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We examine the 1.4 GHz radio luminosities of galaxies arising from star formation and active galactic nuclei (AGNs) within the state-of-the-art cosmological hydrodynamic simulation Simba. Simba grows black holes via gravitational torque limited accretion from cold gas and Bondi accretion from hot gas, and employs AGN feedback including jets at low Eddington ratios. We define a population of radio loud AGNs (RLAGNs) based on the presence of ongoing jet feedback. Within RLAGN, we define high and low excitation radio galaxies (HERGs and LERGs) based on their dominant mode of black hole accretion: torque limited accretion representing feeding from a cold disc, or Bondi representing advection-dominated accretion from a hot medium. Simba predicts good agreement with the observed radio luminosity function (RLF) and its evolution, overall as well as separately for HERGs and LERGs. Quiescent galaxies with AGN-dominated radio flux dominate the RLF at $\gtrsim 10^{22-23}$ W Hz−1, while star formation dominates at lower radio powers. Overall, RLAGNs have higher black hole accretion rates and lower star formation rates than non-RLAGN at a given stellar mass or velocity dispersion, but have similar black hole masses. Simba predicts an LERG number density of 8.53 Mpc−3, ∼10× higher than for HERGs, broadly as observed. While LERGs dominate among most massive galaxies with the largest black holes and HERGs dominate at high specific star formation rates, they otherwise largely populate similar-sized dark matter haloes and have similar host galaxy properties. Simba thus predicts that deeper radio surveys will reveal an increasing overlap between the host galaxy demographics of HERGs and LERGs. 
    more » « less

    Radio-loud active galactic nuclei (RLAGNs) are a unique AGN population and were thought to be preferentially associated with supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at low accretion rates. They could impact the host galaxy evolution by expelling cold gas through the jet-mode feedback. In this work, we studied CO(6−5) line emission and continuum emission in a high-redshift radio galaxy, MRC 0152−209, at z = 1.92 using ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) up to a 0.024″ resolution (corresponding to ∼200 pc at z = 1.92). This system is a starburst major merger comprising two galaxies: the north-west (NW) galaxy hosting the RLAGN with jet kinetic power Ljet ≳ 2 × 1046  erg s−1 and the other galaxy to the south-east (SE). Based on the spectral energy distribution fitting for the entire system (NW+SE galaxies), we find an AGN bolometric luminosity LAGN, bol ∼ 3 × 1046  erg s−1 with a lower limit of ∼0.9 × 1046  erg s−1 for the RLAGN. We estimate the black hole mass through MBH–M⋆ scaling relations and find an Eddington ratio of λEdd ∼ 0.07–4 conservatively by adopting the lower limit of LAGN, bol and considering the dispersion of the scaling relation. These results suggest that the RLAGN is radiatively efficient and the powerful jets could be launched from a super-Eddington accretion disc. ALMA Cycle 6 observations further reveal a massive (${M}_\mathrm{H_2}=(1.1-2.3)\times 10^9\ \rm M_\odot$), compact (∼500 pc), and monopolar molecular outflow perpendicular to the jet axis. The corresponding mass outflow rate ($1200^{+300}_{-300}-2600^{+600}_{-600}\ \mathrm{M_\odot }\ \rm yr^{-1}$) is comparable with the star formation rate of at least $\sim 2100\ \mathrm{M_\odot }\ \rm yr^{-1}$. Depending on the outflowing molecular gas mass, the outflow kinetic power/LAGN, bol ratio of ∼0.008–0.02, and momentum boost factor of ∼3–24 agree with a radiative-mode AGN feedback scenario. On the other hand, the jets can also drive the molecular outflow within its lifetime of ∼2 × 105 yr without additional energy supply from AGN radiation. The jet-mode feedback is then capable of removing all cold gas from the host galaxy through the long-term, episodic launching of jets. Our study reveals a unique object where starburst activity, powerful jets, and rapid BH growth co-exist, which may represent a fundamental stage of AGN-host galaxy co-evolution.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract We present 150 MHz, 1.4 GHz, and 3 GHz radio imaging (LoTSS, FIRST, and VLASS) and spatially resolved ionized gas characteristics (SDSS IV-MaNGA) for 140 local ( z < 0.1) early-type red geyser galaxies. These galaxies have a low star formation activity (with a star formation rate, SFR, ∼ 0.01 M ⊙ yr −1 ), but show unique extended patterns in spatially resolved emission-line maps that have been interpreted as large-scale ionized winds driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN). In this work, we confirm that red geysers host low-luminosity radio sources ( L 1.4GHz ∼ 10 22 WHz −1 ). Out of 42 radio-detected red geysers, 32 are spatially resolved in LoTSS and FIRST, with radio sizes varying between ∼5–25 kpc. Three sources have radio sizes exceeding 40 kpc. A majority display a compact radio morphology and are consistent with either low-power compact radio sources (FR0 galaxies) or radio-quiet quasars. They may be powered by small-scale AGN-driven jets that remain unresolved at the current 5″ resolution of radio data. The extended radio sources, not belonging to the “compact” morphological class, exhibit steeper spectra with a median spectral index of −0.67, indicating the dominance of lobed components. The red geysers hosting extended radio sources also have the lowest specific SFRs, suggesting they either have a greater impact on the surrounding interstellar medium or are found in more massive halos on average. The degree of alignment of the ionized wind cone and the extended radio features are either 0° or 90°, indicating possible interaction between the interstellar medium and the central radio AGN. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We present the analysis of ∼100 pc scale compact radio continuum sources detected in 63 local (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies (U/LIRGs;LIR≥ 1011L), using FWHM ≲ 0.″1–0.″2 resolution 15 and 33 GHz observations with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. We identify a total of 133 compact radio sources with effective radii of 8–170 pc, which are classified into four main categories—“AGN” (active galactic nuclei), “AGN/SBnuc” (AGN-starburst composite nucleus), “SBnuc” (starburst nucleus), and “SF” (star-forming clumps)—based on ancillary data sets and the literature. We find that “AGN” and “AGN/SBnuc” more frequently occur in late-stage mergers and have up to 3 dex higher 33 GHz luminosities and surface densities compared with “SBnuc” and “SF,” which may be attributed to extreme nuclear starburst and/or AGN activity in the former. Star formation rates (SFRs) and surface densities (ΣSFR) are measured for “SF” and “SBnuc” using both the total 33 GHz continuum emission (SFR ∼ 0.14–13Myr−1, ΣSFR∼ 13–1600Myr−1kpc−2) and the thermal free–free emission from Hiiregions (median SFRth∼ 0.4Myr−1,ΣSFRth44Myr−1kpc−2). These values are 1–2 dex higher than those measured for similar-sized clumps in nearby normal (non-U/LIRGs). The latter also have a much flatter median 15–33 GHz spectral index (∼−0.08) compared with “SBnuc” and “SF” (∼−0.46), which may reflect higher nonthermal contribution from supernovae and/or interstellar medium densities in local U/LIRGs that directly result from and/or lead to their extreme star-forming activities on 100 pc scales.

    more » « less