skip to main content

Title: The DIVING3D Survey – Deep IFS View of Nuclei of Galaxies – III. Analysis of the nuclear region of the early-type galaxies of the sample

We analysed the nuclear region of all 56 early-type galaxies from the DIVING3D Project, which is a statistically complete sample of objects that contains all 170 galaxies in the Southern Hemisphere with B < 12.0 mag and galactic latitude |b| < 15°. Observations were performed with the Integral Field Unit of the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph. Emission lines were detected in the nucleus of 86 ± 5 per cent of the objects. Diagnostic diagrams were used to classify 52 ± 7 per cent of the objects as LINERs or Seyferts, while the other 34 ± 6 per cent galaxies without H β or [O iii] lines in their spectra were classified as weak emission line objects. Transition Objects are not seen in the sample, possibly because the seeing-limited data cubes of the objects allow one to isolate the nuclei of the galaxies from their circumnuclear regions, avoiding contamination from H ii regions. A broad line region is seen in 29 ± 6 per cent of the galaxies. Of the 48 galaxies with emission-line nuclei, 41 have signs of AGNs. Some objects also have indications of shocks in their nuclei. Lenticular galaxies are more likely to have emission lines than ellipticals. Also, more luminous objects have higher [N ii]/H α ratios, which may be associated with the mass-metalicity relation of galaxies. A direct comparison of our results with the Palomar Survey indicates that the detection rates of emission lines and also of type 1 AGNs are higher in the DIVING3D objects. This is a consequence of using a more modern instrument with a better spatial resolution than the Palomar Survey observations.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Medium: X Size: p. 2207-2222
["p. 2207-2222"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this

    This work presents the first results of the Deep IFS View of Nuclei of Galaxies (DIVING3D) survey. We analysed the nuclear emission-line spectra of a sub-sample we call mini-DIVING3D, which includes all Southern galaxies with B < 11.2 and |b| > 15°. We verified that $23{{\ \rm per\ cent}} \pm 4{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of the galaxies show nuclear emission-line properties characteristic of Low Ionization Nuclear Emission-Line Regions (LINERs). Diagnostic diagram analysis reveals an apparent dichotomy, not detected in previous studies, between objects classified as H ii regions and as LINERs or Seyferts, with very few galaxies classified as transition objects. A possible explanation for this result is that at least part of the transition objects are composite systems, with a central LINER contaminated by the emission from circumnuclear H ii regions. The higher spatial resolution of the DIVING3D survey, in comparison with previous studies, allowed us to isolate the nuclear emission from circumnuclear contaminations, reducing the number of transition objects. We also propose an alternative scenario, in which the emission-line spectra of some transition objects are the result of shock heating by central outflows, together with photoionization by young stars. Clear evidence of active galactic nuclei, in the optical and X-ray spectral bands, were detected in 69 per cent of the LINERs in the mini-DIVING3D sample. Considering the entire mini-DIVING3D sample, evidence of AGNs were detected in 65 per cent of the objects.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    We analyze a sample of 25 [Nev] (λ3426) emission-line galaxies at 1.4 <z< 2.3 using Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 G102 and G141 grism observations from the CANDELS LyαEmission at Reionization (CLEAR) survey. [Nev] emission probes extremely energetic photoionization (creation potential of 97.11 eV) and is often attributed to energetic radiation from active galactic nuclei (AGNs), shocks from supernovae, or an otherwise very hard ionizing spectrum from the stellar continuum. In this work, we use [Nev] in conjunction with other rest-frame UV/optical emission lines ([Oii]λλ3726, 3729, [Neiii]λ3869, Hβ, [Oiii]λλ4959, 5007, Hα+[Nii]λλ6548, 6583, [Sii]λλ6716, 6731), deep (2–7 Ms) X-ray observations (from Chandra), and mid-infrared imaging (from Spitzer) to study the origin of this emission and to place constraints on the nature of the ionizing engine. The majority of the [Nev]-detected galaxies have properties consistent with ionization from AGNs. However, for our [Nev]-selected sample, the X-ray luminosities are consistent with local (z≲ 0.1) X-ray-selected Seyferts, but the [Nev] luminosities are more consistent with those fromz∼ 1 X-ray-selected QSOs. The excess [Nev] emission requires either reduced hard X-rays or a ∼0.1 keV excess. We discuss possible origins of the apparent [Nev] excess, which could be related to the “soft (X-ray) excess” observed in some QSOs and Seyferts and/or be a consequence of a complex/anisotropic geometry for the narrow-line region, combined with absorption from a warm, relativistic wind ejected from the accretion disk. We also consider implications for future studies of extreme high-ionization systems in the epoch of reionization (z≳ 6) with the James Webb Space Telescope.

    more » « less
  3. ABSTRACT Reionization-era galaxies tend to exhibit weak Ly α emission, likely reflecting attenuation from an increasingly neutral IGM. Recent observations have begun to reveal exceptions to this picture, with strong Ly α emission now known in four of the most massive z = 7–9 galaxies in the CANDELS fields, all of which also exhibit intense [O iii]+H β emission (EW > 800 Å). To better understand why Ly α is anomalously strong in a subset of massive z ≃ 7–9 galaxies, we have initiated an MMT/Binospec survey targeting a larger sample (N = 22) of similarly luminous (≃1–6 L$^{\ast }_{\mathrm{UV}}$) z ≃ 7 galaxies selected over very wide-area fields (∼3 deg2). We confidently (>7σ) detect Ly α in 78 per cent (7/9) of galaxies with strong [O iii]+H β emission (EW > 800 Å) as opposed to only 8 per cent (1/12) of galaxies with more moderate (EW = 200–800 Å) [O iii]+H β. We argue that the higher Ly α EWs of the strong [O iii]+H β population likely reflect enhanced ionizing photon production efficiency owing to their large sSFRs (≳30 Gyr−1). We also find evidence that Ly α transmission from massive galaxies declines less rapidly over 6 < z < 7 than in low-mass lensed systems. In particular, our data suggest no strong evolution in Ly α transmission, consistent with a picture wherein massive z ≃ 7 galaxies often reside in large ionized regions. We detect three closely separated (R = 1.7 physical Mpc) z ≃ 7 Ly α emitters in our sample, conceivably tracing a large ionized structure that is consistent with this picture. We detect tentative evidence for an overdensity in this region, implying a large ionizing photon budget in the surrounding volume. 
    more » « less

    We present the results of a search for extended emission-line regions (EELRs) ionized by extant or recently faded active galactic nuclei (AGNs), using [O III] narrow-band imaging and spectroscopic follow-up. The sample includes 198 galaxies in 92 strongly interacting or merging galaxy systems in the range of z = 0.009–0.0285. Among these, three systems have EELRs extended beyond 10 kpc in projection from the nucleus detected in previous studies. We identify a single new distant emission region, projected 35 kpc from UGC 5941. Our optical spectrum does not detect He II, but its strong-line ratios put this in the same class as securely characterized EELR clouds. The nucleus of UGC 5941 is dominated by recent star formation, preventing detection of any weak ongoing AGN. Overall counts of distant EELRs in this and the previous TELPERION samples give incidence 2–5 per cent depending on galaxy and AGN selection, 20–50 times higher than the Galaxy Zoo EELR survey with its higher surface-brightness threshold and much larger input sample. AGNs in interacting and merging systems have an increased detection rate of 12 ± 6 per cent, while none are detected around non-interacting AGNs. Some of these AGNs are at luminosity low enough to require additional X-ray or far-infrared information to tell whether the EELR ionization level suggests long-term fading.

    more » « less

    We describe JWST/NIRSpec prism measurements of Ly α emission in z ≳ 5 galaxies. We identify Ly α detections in 10 out of 69 galaxies with robust rest-optical emission-line redshift measurements at 5 ≤ z < 7 in the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) and DDT-2750 observations of the Extended Groth Strip field. Galaxies at z ≃ 6 with faint continuum (F150W=27–29 mag) are found with extremely large rest-frame Ly α equivalent widths (EWs; ranging up to 286 Å). Likely Ly α detections are also seen in two new z > 7 galaxies (z = 7.49 and 7.17) from the second epoch of CEERS observations, both showing large Ly α EWs that likely indicate significant transmission through the intergalactic medium (IGM). We measure high Ly α escape fractions in the 12 Ly α emitters in our sample (median 0.28), two of which show $f_{\rm esc}^{ {\rm Ly}\alpha }$ near unity (>0.80). We find that $50_{-11}^{+11}$ per cent of z ≃ 6 galaxies with [O iii] + H β EW>1000 Å have $f_{\rm esc}^{ {\rm Ly}\alpha }$ >0.2, consistent with the fractions found in lower redshift samples with matched [O iii] + H β EWs. While uncertainties are still significant, we find that only $10_{-5}^{+9}$ per cent of z > 7 galaxies with similarly strong rest optical emission lines show such large $f_{\rm esc}^{ {\rm Ly}\alpha }$, as may be expected if IGM attenuation of Ly α increases towards higher redshifts. We identify photometric galaxy overdensities near the z ≳ 7 Ly α emitters, potentially providing the ionizing flux necessary to create large ionized sightlines that facilitate Ly α transmission. Finally, we investigate the absence of Ly α emission in a comparable (and spectroscopically confirmed) galaxy overdensity at z = 7.88 in the Abell 2744 field, discussing new prism spectra of the field obtained with the UNCOVER program.

    more » « less