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  1. Abstract

    We present Fabry–Pérot (FP) imaging and longslit spectroscopy of the nearby Seyfert II galaxy NGC 1068 using the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS) on the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) to observe the impact of the central active galactic nucleus (AGN) on the ionized gas in the galaxy on kiloparsec scales. With SALT RSS FP we are able to observe the Hα+ [Nii] emission line complex over a ∼2.6 arcmin2field of view. Combined with the longslit observation, we demonstrate the efficacy of FP spectroscopy for studying nearby Type II Seyfert galaxies and investigate the kiloparsec-scale ionized gas in NGC 1068. We confirm the results of previous work from the TYPHOON/Progressive Integral Step Method survey that the kiloparsec-scale ionized features in NGC 1068 are driven by AGN photoionization. We analyze the spatial variation of the AGN intensity to put forward an explanation for the shape and structure of the kiloparsec-scale ionization features. Using a toy model, we suggest the ionization features may be understood as a light echo from a burst of enhanced AGN activity ∼2000 yr ago.

     
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  2. Abstract

    We present new estimates on the fraction of heavily X-ray-obscured, Compton-thick (CT) active galactic nuclei (AGNs) out to a redshift ofz≤ 0.8. From a sample of 540 AGNs selected by mid-infrared (MIR) properties in observed X-ray survey fields, we forward model the observed-to-intrinsic X-ray luminosity ratio (RLX) with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the total fraction of CT AGNs (fCT), many of which are missed in typical X-ray observations. We create modelNHdistributions and convert these toRLXusing a set of X-ray spectral models. We probe the posterior distribution of our models to infer the population of X-ray-nondetected sources. From our simulation we estimate a CT fraction offCT=0.5550.032+0.037. We perform an X-ray stacking analysis for sources in Chandra X-ray Observatory fields and find that the expected soft (0.5–2 keV) and hard (2–7 keV) observed fluxes drawn from our model to be within 0.48 and 0.12 dex of our stacked fluxes, respectively. Our results suggests at least 50% of all MIR-selected AGNs, possibly more, are CT (NH≳ 1024cm−2), which is in excellent agreement with other recent work using independent methods. This work indicates that the total number of AGNs is higher than can be identified using X-ray observations alone, highlighting the importance of a multiwavelength approach. A highfCTalso has implications for black hole (BH) accretion physics and supports models of BH and galaxy coevolution that include periods of heavy obscuration.

     
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  3. Abstract

    We perform X-ray spectral analyses to derive the characteristics (e.g., column density, X-ray luminosity) of ≈10,200 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the XMM-Spitzer Extragalactic Representative Volume Survey, which was designed to investigate the growth of supermassive black holes across a wide dynamic range of cosmic environments. Using physical torus models (e.g., Borus02) and a Bayesian approach, we uncover 22 representative Compton-thick (CT;NH> 1.5 × 1024cm−2) AGN candidates with good signal-to-noise ratios as well as a large sample of 136 heavily obscured AGNs. We also find an increasing CT fraction (fCT) from low (z< 0.75) to high (z> 0.75) redshift. Our CT candidates tend to show hard X-ray spectral shapes and dust extinction in their spectral energy distribution fits, which may shed light on the connection between AGN obscuration and host-galaxy evolution.

     
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  4. Abstract

    We investigate galactic winds in the HizEA galaxies, a collection of 46 late-stage galaxy mergers atz= 0.4–0.8, with stellar masses oflog(M*/M)=10.411.5, star formation rates (SFRs) of 20–500Myr−1, and ultra-compact (a few 100 pc) central star-forming regions. We measure their gas kinematics using the Mgiiλλ2796,2803 absorption lines in optical spectra from MMT, Magellan, and Keck. We find evidence of outflows in 90% of targets, with maximum outflow velocities of 550–3200 km s−1. We combine these data with ten samples from the literature to construct scaling relations for outflow velocity versus SFR, star formation surface density (ΣSFR),M*, and SFR/M*. The HizEA galaxies extend the dynamic range of the scaling relations by a factor of ∼2–4 in outflow velocity and an order of magnitude in SFR and ΣSFR. The ensemble scaling relations exhibit strong correlations between outflow velocity, SFR, SFR/R, and ΣSFR, and weaker correlations withM*and SFR/M*. The HizEA galaxies are mild outliers on the SFR andM*scaling relations, but they connect smoothly with more typical star-forming galaxies on plots of outflow velocity versus SFR/Rand ΣSFR. These results provide further evidence that the HizEA galaxies’ exceptional outflow velocities are a consequence of their extreme star formation conditions rather than hidden black hole activity, and they strengthen previous claims that ΣSFRis one of the most important properties governing the velocities of galactic winds.

     
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  5. Abstract

    High-accuracy black hole (BH) masses require excellent spatial resolution that is only achievable for galaxies within ∼100 Mpc using present-day technology. At larger distances, BH masses are often estimated with single-epoch scaling relations for active galactic nuclei. This method requires only luminosity and the velocity dispersion of the broad-line region (BLR) to calculate a virial product, and an additional virial factor,f, to determine the BH mass. The accuracy of these single-epoch masses, however, is unknown, and there are few empirical constraints on the variance offbetween objects. We attempt to calibrate single-epoch BH masses using spectropolarimetric measurements of nine megamaser galaxies from which we measure the velocity distribution of the BLR. We do not find strong evidence for a correlation between the virial products used for single-epoch masses and dynamical mass, either for the megamaser sample alone or when it is combined with dynamical masses from reverberation mapping modeling. Furthermore, we find evidence that the virial parameterfvaries between objects, but we do not find strong evidence for a correlation with other observable parameters such as luminosity or broad-line width. Although we cannot definitively rule out the existence of any correlation between dynamical mass and virial product, we find tension between the allowedf-values for masers and those widely used in the literature. We conclude that the single-epoch method requires further investigation if it is to be used successfully to infer BH masses.

     
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  6. Abstract

    We present results on the properties of extreme gas outflows in massive (M*∼ 1011M), compact, starburst (star formation rate, SFR∼ 200Myr−1) galaxies atz= 0.4–0.7 with very high star formation surface densities (ΣSFR∼ 2000Myr−1kpc−2). Using optical Keck/HIRES spectroscopy of 14 HizEA starburst galaxies, we identify outflows with maximum velocities of 820–2860 km s−1. High-resolution spectroscopy allows us to measure precise column densities and covering fractions as a function of outflow velocity and characterize the kinematics and structure of the cool gas outflow phase (T∼ 104K). We find substantial variation in the absorption profiles, which likely reflects the complex morphology of inhomogeneously distributed, clumpy gas and the intricacy of the turbulent mixing layers between the cold and hot outflow phases. There is not a straightforward correlation between the bursts in the galaxies’ star formation histories and their wind absorption line profiles, as might naively be expected for starburst-driven winds. The lack of strong Mgiiabsorption at the systemic velocity is likely an orientation effect, where the observations are down the axis of a blowout. We infer high mass outflow rates of ∼50–2200Myr−1, assuming a fiducial outflow size of 5 kpc, and mass loading factors ofη∼ 5 for most of the sample. While these values have high uncertainties, they suggest that starburst galaxies are capable of ejecting very large amounts of cool gas that will substantially impact their future evolution.

     
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  7. Abstract We present an analysis of 10 ks snapshot Chandra observations of 12 shocked post-starburst galaxies, which provide a window into the unresolved question of active galactic nuclei (AGN) activity in post-starburst galaxies and its role in the transition of galaxies from active star formation to quiescence. While seven of the 12 galaxies have statistically significant detections (with two more marginal detections), the brightest only obtained 10 photons. Given the wide variety of hardness ratios in this sample, we chose to pursue a forward-modeling approach to constrain the intrinsic luminosity and obscuration of these galaxies, rather than stacking. We constrain the intrinsic luminosity of obscured power laws based on the total number of counts and spectral shape, itself mostly set by the obscuration, with hardness ratios consistent with the data. We also tested thermal models. While all the galaxies have power-law models consistent with their observations, a third of the galaxies are better fit as an obscured power law and another third are better fit as thermal emission. If these post-starburst galaxies, early in their transition, contain AGNs, then these are mostly confined to lower obscuration ( N H ≤ 10 23 cm −2 ) and lower luminosity ( L 2−10 keV ≤ 10 42 erg s −1 ). Two galaxies, however, are clearly best fit as significantly obscured AGNs. At least half of this sample shows evidence of at least low-luminosity AGN activity, though none could radiatively drive out the remaining molecular gas reservoirs. Therefore, these AGNs are more likely along for the ride, having been fed gas by the same processes driving the transition. 
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  8. Abstract We present a z = 0.94 quasar, SDSS J004846.45-004611.9, discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) BOSS survey. A visual analysis of this spectrum reveals highly broadened and blueshifted narrow emission lines, in particular, [Ne v ] λ 3426 and [O iii ] λ 5007, with outflow velocities of 4000 km s −1 , along with unusually large [Ne v ] λ 3426/[Ne iii ] λ 3869 ratios. The gas shows higher ionization at higher outflow velocities, indicating a connection between the powerful outflow and the unusual strength of the high ionization lines. The spectral energy distribution and the i − W3 color of the source reveal that it is likely a core extremely red quasar (ERQ); a candidate population of young active galactic nuclei (AGN) that are violently blowing out gas and dust from their centers. The dominance of host galaxy light in its spectrum and its fortuitous position in the SDSS S82 region allows us to measure its star formation history and investigate variability for the first time in an ERQ. Our analysis indicates that SDSS J004846.45-004611.9 underwent a short-lived starburst phase 400 Myr ago and was subsequently quenched, possibly indicating a time lag between star formation quenching and the onset of AGN activity. We also find that the strong extinction can be uniquely attributed to the AGN and does not persist in the host galaxy, contradicting a scenario where the source has recently transitioned from being a dusty submillimeter galaxy. In our relatively shallow photometric data, the source does not appear to be variable at 0.24–2.4 μ m in the rest frame, most likely due to the dominant contribution of host galaxy starlight at these wavelengths. 
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  9. Abstract

    We present a measurement of the intrinsic space density of intermediate-redshift (z∼ 0.5), massive (M*∼ 1011M), compact (Re∼ 100 pc) starburst (ΣSFR∼ 1000Myr−1kpc−1) galaxies with tidal features indicative of them having undergone recent major mergers. A subset of them host kiloparsec-scale, > 1000 km s−1outflows and have little indication of AGN activity, suggesting that extreme star formation can be a primary driver of large-scale feedback. The aim for this paper is to calculate their space density so we can place them in a better cosmological context. We do this by empirically modeling the stellar populations of massive, compact starburst galaxies. We determine the average timescale on which galaxies that have recently undergone an extreme nuclear starburst would be targeted and included in our spectroscopically selected sample. We find that massive, compact starburst galaxies targeted by our criteria would be selectable for14824+27Myr and have an intrinsic space densitynCS(1.10.3+0.5)×106Mpc3. This space density is broadly consistent with ourz∼ 0.5 compact starbursts being the most extremely compact and star-forming low-redshift analogs of the compact star-forming galaxies in the early universe, as well as them being the progenitors to a fraction of intermediate-redshift, post-starburst, and compact quiescent galaxies.

     
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  10. Abstract We constrain the intrinsic Eddington ratio ( λ Edd ) distribution function for local active galactic nuclei (AGN) in bins of low and high obscuration [ log ( N H / cm − 2 ) ≤ 22 and 22 < log ( N H / cm − 2 ) < 25 ], using the Swift Burst Alert Telescope 70 month/BASS DR2 survey. We interpret the fraction of obscured AGN in terms of circumnuclear geometry and temporal evolution. Specifically, at low Eddington ratios ( log λ Edd < −2), obscured AGN outnumber unobscured ones by a factor of ∼4, reflecting the covering factor of the circumnuclear material (0.8, or a torus opening angle of ∼34°). At high Eddington ratios ( log λ Edd > −1), the trend is reversed, with <30% of AGN having log ( N H / cm − 2 ) > 22 , which we suggest is mainly due to the small fraction of time spent in a highly obscured state. Considering the Eddington ratio distribution function of narrow-line and broad-line AGN from our prior work, we see a qualitatively similar picture. To disentangle temporal and geometric effects at high λ Edd , we explore plausible clearing scenarios such that the time-weighted covering factors agree with the observed population ratio. We find that the low fraction of obscured AGN at high λ Edd is primarily due to the fact that the covering factor drops very rapidly, with more than half the time spent with <10% covering factor. We also find that nearly all obscured AGN at high- λ Edd exhibit some broad lines. We suggest that this is because the height of the depleted torus falls below the height of the broad-line region, making the latter visible from all lines of sight. 
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