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    We present the results of high-resolution adaptive optics imaging observations of four kinematically identified recoiling supermassive black hole (rSMBH) candidates. Ellipse fitting was carried out to measure the spatial offset between the active galactic nucleus (AGN) and the centre of the host galaxy. Two rSMBH candidates (J1713 + 3523 and J2054 + 0049) are found to be offset AGN. However, the Very Long Baseline Array 1.5 GHz continuum imaging observation and spectral decomposition of the [O iii]5007 line suggest that J1713 + 3523 is a dual AGN and its spatial offset is not due to a recoil event. The spatial offset between the AGN and the centre of the host galaxy in J2054 + 0049 is 0.06 ± 0.01 arcsec (201 ± 22 pc). Spectral decomposition of J2054 + 0049 also suggests that it could be a dual AGN system and the measured spatial offset may not be due to a recoil event.

  2. 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 withmore »“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.

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  3. Abstract Nuclear rings are excellent laboratories for studying intense star formation. We present results from a study of nuclear star-forming rings in five nearby normal galaxies from the Star Formation in Radio Survey (SFRS) and four local LIRGs from the Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey at sub-kiloparsec resolutions using Very Large Array high-frequency radio continuum observations. We find that nuclear ring star formation (NRSF) contributes 49%–60% of the total star formation of the LIRGs, compared to 7%–40% for the normal galaxies. We characterize a total of 57 individual star-forming regions in these rings, and find that with measured sizes of 10–200 pc, NRSF regions in the LIRGs have star formation rate (SFR) and Σ SFR up to 1.7 M ⊙ yr −1 and 402 M ⊙ yr −1 kpc −2 , respectively, which are about 10 times higher than in NRSF regions in the normal galaxies with similar sizes, and comparable to lensed high- z star-forming regions. At ∼100–300 pc scales, we estimate low contributions (<50%) of thermal free–free emission to total radio continuum emission at 33 GHz in the NRSF regions in the LIRGs, but large variations possibly exist at smaller physical scales. Finally, using archival sub-kiloparsec resolution COmore »( J = 1–0) data of nuclear rings in the normal galaxies and NGC 7469 (LIRG), we find a large scatter in gas depletion times at similar molecular gas surface densities, which tentatively points to a multimodal star formation relation on sub-kiloparsec scales.« less
  4. Abstract

    Radio astronomy is undergoing a renaissance, as the next generation of instruments provides a massive leap forward in collecting area and therefore raw sensitivity. However, to achieve this theoretical level of sensitivity in the science data products, we need to address the much more pernicious systematic effects, which are the true limitation. These become all the more significant when we consider that much of the time used by survey instruments, such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), will be dedicated to deep surveys. CHILES is a deep Hisurvey of the COSMOS field, with 1000 hr of Very Large Array time. We present our approach for creating the image cubes from the first epoch, with discussions of the methods and quantification of the data quality from 946 to 1420 MHz—a redshift range of 0.5−0. We lay out the problems we had to solve and describe how we tackled them. These are important because CHILES is the first deep wide-band multiepoch Hisurvey and has relevance for ongoing and future surveys. We focus on the accumulated systematic errors in the imaging, as the goal is to deliver a high-fidelity image that is only limited by the random thermal errors. To understand andmore »correct these systematic effects, we ideally manage them in the domain in which they arise, and that is predominately the visibility domain. CHILES is a perfect test bed for many of the issues we can expect for deep imaging with the SKA or ngVLA, and we discuss the lessons we have learned.

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  5. It remains unclear what sets the efficiency with which molecular gas transforms into stars. Here we present a new VLA map of the spiral galaxy M 51 in 33 GHz radio continuum, an extinction-free tracer of star formation, at 3″ scales (∼100 pc). We combined this map with interferometric PdBI/NOEMA observations of CO(1–0) and HCN(1–0) at matched resolution for three regions in M 51 (central molecular ring, northern and southern spiral arm segments). While our measurements roughly fall on the well-known correlation between total infrared and HCN luminosity, bridging the gap between Galactic and extragalactic observations, we find systematic offsets from that relation for different dynamical environments probed in M 51; for example, the southern arm segment is more quiescent due to low star formation efficiency (SFE) of the dense gas, despite its high dense gas fraction. Combining our results with measurements from the literature at 100 pc scales, we find that the SFE of the dense gas and the dense gas fraction anti-correlate and correlate, respectively, with the local stellar mass surface density. This is consistent with previous kpc-scale studies. In addition, we find a significant anti-correlation between the SFE and velocity dispersion of the dense gas. Finally, wemore »confirm that a correlation also holds between star formation rate surface density and the dense gas fraction, but it is not stronger than the correlation with dense gas surface density. Our results are hard to reconcile with models relying on a universal gas density threshold for star formation and suggest that turbulence and galactic dynamics play a major role in setting how efficiently dense gas converts into stars.« less