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  1. Abstract

    Feedback likely plays a crucial role in resolving discrepancies between observations and theoretical predictions of dwarf galaxy properties. Stellar feedback was once believed to be sufficient to explain these discrepancies, but it has thus far failed to fully reconcile theory and observations. The recent discovery of energetic galaxy-wide outflows in dwarf galaxies hosting active galactic nuclei (AGNs) suggests that AGN feedback may have a larger role in the evolution of dwarf galaxies than previously suspected. In order to assess the relative importance of stellar versus AGN feedback in these galaxies, we perform a detailed Keck/KCWI optical integral field spectroscopic study of a sample of low-redshift star-forming (SF) dwarf galaxies that show outflows in ionized gas in their Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra. We characterize the outflows and compare them to observations of AGN-driven outflows in dwarfs. We find that SF dwarfs have outflow components that have comparable widths (W80) to those of outflows in AGN dwarfs, but are much less blueshifted, indicating that SF dwarfs have significantly slower outflows than their AGN counterparts. Outflows in SF dwarfs are spatially resolved and significantly more extended than those in AGN dwarfs. The mass-loss, momentum, and energy rates of star-formation-driven outflows are much lower than those of AGN-driven outflows. Our results indicate that AGN feedback in the form of gas outflows may play an important role in dwarf galaxies and should be considered along with SF feedback in models of dwarf galaxy evolution.

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  2. Abstract

    Low-ionization broad absorption line QSOs (LoBALs) are suspected to be merging systems in which extreme, active galactic nucleus-driven outflows have been triggered. Whether or not LoBALs are uniquely associated with mergers, however, has yet to be established. To characterize the morphologies of LoBALs, we present the first high-resolution morphological analysis of a volume-limited sample of 22 Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)-selected LoBALs at 0.5 <z< 0.6 from Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 observations. Host galaxies are resolved in 86% of the systems in F125W, which is sensitive to old stellar populations, while only 18% are detected in F475W, which traces young, unobscured stellar populations. Signs of recent or ongoing tidal interaction are present in 45%–64% of the hosts, including double nuclei, tidal tails, bridges, plumes, shells, and extended debris. Ongoing interaction with a companion is apparent in 27%−41% of the LoBALs, with as much as 1/3 of the sample representing late-stage mergers at projected nuclear separations <10 kpc. Detailed surface brightness modeling indicates that 41% of the hosts are bulge dominated while only 18% are disks. We discuss trends in various properties as a function of merger stage and parametric morphology. Notably, mergers are associated with slower, dustier winds than those seen in undisturbed/unresolved hosts. Our results favor an evolutionary scenario in which quasar-level accretion during various merger stages is associated with the observed outflows in low-zLoBALs. We discuss differences between LoBALs and FeLoBALs and show that selection via the traditional balnicity index would have excluded all but one of the mergers.

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  3. Abstract

    Local low-metallicity dwarf galaxies are relics of the early universe and are thought to hold clues into the origins of supermassive black holes. While recent studies are uncovering a growing population of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in dwarf galaxies, the vast majority reside in galaxies with solar or supersolar metallicities and stellar masses comparable to that of the LMC. Using Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) and Very Large Telescope observations, we report the detection of [Fex]λ6374 coronal line emission and a broad Hαline in the nucleus of SDSS J094401.87−003832.1, a nearby (z= 0.0049) metal-poor dwarf galaxy almost 500 times less massive than the LMC. Unlike the emission from the lower-ionization nebular lines, the [Fex]λ6374 emission is compact and centered on the brightest nuclear source, with a spatial extent of ≈100 pc, similar to that seen in well-known AGNs. The [Fex] luminosity is ≈1037erg s−1, within the range seen in previously identified AGNs in the dwarf-galaxy population. The [Fex] emission has persisted over the roughly 19 yr time period between the SDSS and MUSE observations, ruling out supernovae as the origin for the emission. The FWHM of the broad component of the Hαline is 446 ± 17 km s−1and its luminosity is ≈1.5 × 1038erg s−1, corresponding to a black hole mass of ≈ 3150M, in line with its stellar mass if virial mass relations and black hole–galaxy scaling relations apply in this mass regime. These observations, together with previously reported multiwavelength observations, can most plausibly be explained by the presence of an accreting intermediate-mass black hole in a primordial galaxy analog.

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  4. Abstract

    The discovery over the last several decades of low- and moderate-luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in disk-dominated galaxies—which show no “classical” bulges—suggests that secular mechanisms represent an important growth pathway for supermassive black holes in these systems. We present new follow-up NuSTAR observations of the optically elusive AGNs in two bulgeless galaxies, NGC 4178 and J0851+3926. Galaxy NGC 4178 was originally reported as hosting an AGN based on the detection of [Nev] mid-infrared emission detected by Spitzer, and based on Chandra X-ray imaging, it has since been argued to host either a heavily obscured AGN or a supernova remnant. Galaxy J0851+3926 was originally identified as an AGN based on its Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer mid-IR colors, and follow-up near-infrared spectroscopy previously revealed a hidden broad-line region, offering compelling evidence for an optically elusive AGN. Neither AGN is detected within the new NuSTAR imaging, and we derive upper limits on the hard X-ray 10–24 keV fluxes of <7.41 × 10−14and <9.40 × 10−14erg cm−2s−1for the AGNs in NGC 4178 and J0851+3926, respectively. If these nondetections are due to large absorbing columns along the line of sight, the nondetections in NGC 4178 and J0851+3926 could be explained with column densities of log(NH/cm2) > 24.2 and 24.1, respectively. The nature of the nuclear activity in NGC 4178 remains inconclusive; it is plausible that the [Nev] traces a period of higher activity in the past, but that the AGN is relatively quiescent now. The nondetection in J0851+3926 and multiwavelength properties are consistent with the AGN being heavily obscured.

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    The tension between the diverging density profiles in Lambda cold dark matter simulations and the constant-density inner regions of observed galaxies is a long-standing challenge known as the ‘core–cusp’ problem. We demonstrate that the SMUGGLE galaxy formation model implemented in the arepo moving mesh code forms constant-density cores in idealized dwarf galaxies of M⋆ ≈ 8 × 107 Msun with initially cuspy dark matter (DM) haloes of M200 ≈ 1010 Msun. Identical initial conditions run with an effective equation of state interstellar medium model preserve cuspiness. Literature on the subject has pointed to the low density threshold for star formation, ρth, in such effective models as an obstacle to baryon-induced core formation. Using a SMUGGLE run with equal ρth, we demonstrate that core formation can proceed at low density thresholds, indicating that ρth is insufficient on its own to determine whether a galaxy develops a core. We reaffirm that the ability to resolve a multiphase interstellar medium at sufficiently high densities is a more reliable indicator of core formation than any individual model parameter. In SMUGGLE, core formation is accompanied by large degrees of non-circular motion, with gas rotational velocity profiles that consistently fall below the circular velocity $v_\text{circ} = \sqrt{GM/R}$ out to ∼2 kpc. Asymmetric drift corrections help recover the average underlying DM potential for some of our less efficient feedback runs, but time-variations in the instantaneous azimuthal gas velocity component are substantial, highlighting the need for careful modelling in the inner regions of dwarfs to infer the true distribution of DM.

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    We study gas inflows on to supermassive black holes using hydrodynamics simulations of isolated galaxies and idealized galaxy mergers with an explicit, multiphase interstellar medium (ISM). Our simulations use the recently developed ISM and stellar evolution model called Stars and MUltiphase Gas in GaLaxiEs (SMUGGLE). We implement a novel super-Lagrangian refinement scheme that increases the gas mass resolution in the immediate neighbourhood of the black holes (BHs) to accurately resolve gas accretion. We do not include black hole feedback in our simulations. We find that the complex and turbulent nature of the SMUGGLE ISM leads to highly variable BH accretion. BH growth in SMUGGLE converges at gas mass resolutions ≲3 × 103 M⊙. We show that the low resolution simulations combined with the super-Lagrangian refinement scheme are able to produce central gas dynamics and BH accretion rates very similar to that of the uniform high resolution simulations. We further explore BH fueling by simulating galaxy mergers. The interaction between the galaxies causes an inflow of gas towards the galactic centres and results in elevated and bursty star formation. The peak gas densities near the BHs increase by orders of magnitude resulting in enhanced accretion. Our results support the idea that galaxy mergers can trigger AGN activity, although the instantaneous accretion rate depends strongly on the local ISM. We also show that the level of merger-induced enhancement of BH fueling predicted by the SMUGGLE model is much smaller compared to the predictions by simulations using an effective equation of state model of the ISM.

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  7. Abstract

    While it is generally believed that supermassive black holes (SMBHs) lie in most galaxies with bulges, few SMBHs have been confirmed in bulgeless galaxies. Identifying such a population could provide important insights to the BH seed population and secular BH growth. To this end, we obtained near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of a sample of low-redshift bulgeless galaxies with mid-infrared colors suggestive of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We find additional evidence of AGN activity (such as coronal lines and broad permitted lines) in 69% (9/13) of the sample, demonstrating that mid-infrared selection is a powerful tool to detect AGNs. More than half of the galaxies with confirmed AGN activity show fast outflows in [Oiii] in the optical and/or [Sivi] in the NIR, with the latter generally having much faster velocities that are also correlated to their spatial extent. We are also able to obtain virial BH masses for some targets and find they fall within the scatter of other late-type galaxies in theMBHMstellarrelation. The fact that they lack a significant bulge component indicates that secular processes, likely independent of major mergers, grew these BHs to supermassive sizes. Finally, we analyze the rotational gas kinematics and find two notable exceptions: two AGN hosts with outflows that appear to be rotating faster than expected. There is an indication that these two galaxies have stellar masses significantly lower than expected from their dark matter halo masses. This, combined with the observed AGN activity and strong gas outflows, may be evidence of the effects of AGN feedback.

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    Powerful outflows are thought to play a critical role in galaxy evolution and black hole growth. We present the first large-scale systematic study of ionized outflows in paired galaxies and post-mergers compared to a robust control sample of isolated galaxies. We isolate the impact of the merger environment to determine if outflow properties depend on merger stage. Our sample contains ∼4000 paired galaxies and ∼250 post-mergers in the local universe (0.02 ≤ z ≤ 0.2) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 (SDSS DR 7) matched in stellar mass, redshift, local density of galaxies, and [O iii] λ5007 luminosity to a control sample of isolated galaxies. By fitting the [O iii] λ5007 line, we find ionized outflows in ∼15 per cent of our entire sample. Outflows are much rarer in star-forming galaxies compared to active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and outflow incidence and velocity increase with [O iii] λ5007 luminosity. Outflow incidence is significantly elevated in the optical + mid-infrared selected AGN compared to purely optical AGN; over 60 per cent show outflows at the highest luminosities ($L_{\mathrm{[OIII]~\lambda 5007}}\, \gtrsim$ 1042 erg s−1), suggesting mid-infrared AGN selection favours galaxies with powerful outflows, at least for higher [O iii] λ5007 luminosities. However, we find no statistically significant difference in outflow incidence, velocity, and luminosity in mergers compared to isolated galaxies, and there is no dependence on merger stage. Therefore, while interactions are predicted to drive gas inflows and subsequently trigger nuclear star formation and accretion activity, when the power source of the outflow is controlled for, the merging environment has no further impact on the large-scale ionized outflows as traced by [O iii] λ5007.

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    We present a suite of 16 high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations of an isolated dwarf galaxy (gaseous and stellar disc plus a stellar bulge) within an initially cuspy dark matter (DM) halo, including self-interactions between the DM particles; as well as stochastic star formation and subsequent supernova feedback (SNF), implemented using the stellar feedback model SMUGGLE. The simulations start from identical initial conditions, and we regulate the strength of DM self-interactions and SNF by systematically varying the self-interacting DM (SIDM) momentum transfer cross-section and the gas density threshold for star formation. The DM halo forms a constant density core of similar size and shape for several combinations of those two parameters. Haloes with cores that are formed due to SIDM (adiabatic cusp-core transformation) have velocity dispersion profiles that are closer to isothermal than those of haloes with cores that are formed due to SNF in simulations with bursty star formation (impulsive cusp-core transformation). Impulsive SNF can generate positive stellar age gradients and increase random motion in the gas at the centre of the galaxy. Simulated galaxies in haloes with cores that were formed adiabatically are spatially more extended, with stellar metallicity gradients that are shallower (at late times) than those of galaxies in other simulations. Such observable properties of the gas and the stars, which indicate either an adiabatic or an impulsive evolution of the gravitational potential, may be used to determine whether observed cores in DM haloes are formed through DM self-interactions or in response to impulsive SNF.

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  10. Abstract

    We combine our dynamical modeling black-hole mass measurements from the Lick AGN Monitoring Project 2016 sample with measured cross-correlation time lags and line widths to recover individual scale factors,f, used in traditional reverberation-mapping analyses. We extend our sample by including prior results from Code for AGN Reverberation and Modeling of Emission Lines (caramel) studies that have utilized our methods. Aiming to improve the precision of black-hole mass estimates, as well as uncover any regularities in the behavior of the broad-line region (BLR), we search for correlations betweenfand other AGN/BLR parameters. We find (i) evidence for a correlation between the virial coefficientlog10(fmean,σ)and black-hole mass, (ii) marginal evidence for a similar correlation betweenlog10(frms,σ)and black-hole mass, (iii) marginal evidence for an anticorrelation of BLR disk thickness withlog10(fmean,FWHM)andlog10(frms,FWHM), and (iv) marginal evidence for an anticorrelation of inclination angle withlog10(fmean,FWHM),log10(frms,σ), andlog10(fmean,σ). Last, we find marginal evidence for a correlation between line-profile shape, when using the root-mean-square spectrum,log10(FWHM/σ)rms, and the virial coefficient,log10(frms,σ), and investigate how BLR properties might be related to line-profile shape usingcaramelmodels.

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