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  1. Abstract

    We present results from the James Webb Space Telescope Director’s Discretionary Time Early Release Science program 1328 targeting the nearby, luminous infrared galaxy, VV 114. We use the MIRI and NIRSpec instruments to obtain integral-field spectroscopy of the heavily obscured eastern nucleus (V114E) and surrounding regions. The spatially resolved, high-resolution spectra reveal the physical conditions in the gas and dust over a projected area of 2–3 kpc that includes the two brightest IR sources, the NE and SW cores. Our observations show for the first time spectroscopic evidence that the SW core hosts an active galactic nucleus as evidenced by its very low 6.2μm and 3.3μm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon equivalent widths (0.12 and 0.017μm, respectively) and mid- and near-IR colors. Our observations of the NE core show signs of deeply embedded star formation including absorption features due to aliphatic hydrocarbons, large quantities of amorphous silicates, as well as HCN due to cool gas along the line of sight. We detect elevated [Feii]/Pfαconsistent with extended shocks coincident with enhanced emission from warm H2, far from the IR-bright cores and clumps. We also identify broadening and multiple kinematic components in both H2and fine structure lines caused by outflows and previously identified tidal features.

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  2. Abstract

    We present a multiwavelength study of IC 860, a nearby post-starburst galaxy at the early stage of transitioning from blue and star forming to red and quiescent. Optical images reveal a galaxy-wide, dusty outflow originating from a compact core. We find evidence for a multiphase outflow in the molecular and neutral gas phase from the CO position–velocity diagram and NaD absorption features. We constrain the neutral mass outflow rate to be ∼0.5Myr−1, and the total hydrogen mass outflow rate to be ∼12Myr−1. Neither outflow component seems able to escape the galaxy. We also find evidence for a recent merger in the optical images, CO spatial distribution, and kinematics, and evidence for a buried active galactic nucleus in the optical emission line ratios, mid-IR properties, and radio spectral shape. The depletion time of the molecular gas reservoir under the current star formation rate is ∼7 Gyr, indicating that the galaxy could stay at the intermediate stage between the blue and red sequence for a long time. Thus the timescales for a significant decline in star formation rate (quenching) and gas depletion are not necessarily the same. Our analysis supports the quenching picture where outflows help suppress star formation by disturbing rather than expelling the gas and shed light on possible ongoing activities in similar quenching galaxies.

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  3. Abstract

    We have used the Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to obtain the first spatially resolved, mid-infrared images ofIIZw096, a merging luminous infrared galaxy (LIRG) atz= 0.036. Previous observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope suggested that the vast majority of the total IR luminosity (LIR) of the system originated from a small region outside of the two merging nuclei. New observations with JWST/MIRI now allow an accurate measurement of the location and luminosity density of the source that is responsible for the bulk of the IR emission. We estimate that 40%–70% of the IR bolometric luminosity, or 3–5 × 1011L, arises from a source no larger than 175 pc in radius, suggesting a luminosity density of at least 3–5 × 1012Lkpc−2. In addition, we detect 11 other star-forming sources, five of which were previously unknown. The MIRI F1500W/F560W colors of most of these sources, including the source responsible for the bulk of the far-IR emission, are much redder than the nuclei of local LIRGs. These observations reveal the power of JWST to disentangle the complex regions at the hearts of merging, dusty galaxies.

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    We study environmental quenching using the spatial distribution of current star formation and stellar population ages with the full SAMI Galaxy Survey. By using a star formation concentration index [C-index, defined as log10(r50, H α/r50, cont)], we separate our sample into regular galaxies (C-index ≥−0.2) and galaxies with centrally concentrated star formation (SF-concentrated; C-index <−0.2). Concentrated star formation is a potential indicator of galaxies currently undergoing ‘outside-in’ quenching. Our environments cover ungrouped galaxies, low-mass groups (M200 ≤ 1012.5M⊙), high-mass groups (M200 in the range 1012.5–14 M⊙) and clusters (M200 > 1014M⊙). We find the fraction of SF-concentrated galaxies increases as halo mass increases by 9 ± 2 per cent, 8 ± 3 per cent, 19 ± 4 per cent, and 29 ± 4 per cent for ungrouped galaxies, low-mass groups, high-mass groups, and clusters, respectively. We interpret these results as evidence for ‘outside-in’ quenching in groups and clusters. To investigate the quenching time-scale in SF-concentrated galaxies, we calculate light-weighted age (AgeL) and mass-weighted age (AgeM) using full spectral fitting, as well as the Dn4000 and HδA indices. We assume that the average galaxy age radial profile before entering a group or cluster is similar to ungrouped regular galaxies. At large radius (1–2 Re), SF-concentrated galaxies in high-mass groups have older ages than ungrouped regular galaxies with an age difference of 1.83 ± 0.38 Gyr for AgeL and 1.34 ± 0.56 Gyr for AgeM. This suggests that while ‘outside-in’ quenching can be effective in groups, the process will not quickly quench the entire galaxy. In contrast, the ages at 1–2 Re of cluster SF-concentrated galaxies and ungrouped regular galaxies are consistent (difference of 0.19 ± 0.21 Gyr for AgeL, 0.40 ± 0.61 Gyr for AgeM), suggesting the quenching process must be rapid.

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  5. Abstract

    Post-starburst (PSB), or “E + A,” galaxies represent a rapid transitional phase between major, gas-rich mergers and gas-poor, quiescent, early-type galaxies. Surprisingly, many PSBs have been shown to host a significant interstellar medium (ISM), despite theoretical predictions that the majority of the star-forming gas should be expelled in active galactic nuclei– or starburst-driven outflows. To date, the resolved properties of this surviving ISM have remained unknown. We present high-resolution ALMA continuum and CO(2–1) observations in six gas- and dust-rich PSBs, revealing for the first time the spatial and kinematic structure of their ISM on sub-kpc scales. We find extremely compact molecular reservoirs, with dust and gas surface densities rivaling those found in (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies. We observe spatial and kinematic disturbances in all sources, with some also displaying disk-like kinematics. Estimates of the internal turbulent pressure in the gas exceed those of normal star-forming disks by at least 2 orders of magnitude, and rival the turbulent gas found in local interacting galaxies, such as the Antennae. Though the source of this high turbulent pressure remains uncertain, we suggest that the high incidence of tidal disruption events in PSBs could play a role. The star formation in these PSBs’ turbulent central molecular reservoirs is suppressed, forming stars only 10% as efficiently as starburst galaxies with similar gas surface densities. “The fall” of star formation in these galaxies was not precipitated by complete gas expulsion or redistribution. Rather, this high-resolution view of PSBs’ ISM indicates that star formation in their remaining compact gas reservoirs is suppressed by significant turbulent heating.

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  6. Abstract

    The nearby, luminous infrared galaxy NGC 7469 hosts a Seyfert nucleus with a circumnuclear star-forming ring and is thus the ideal local laboratory for investigating the starburst–AGN (active galactic nucleus) connection in detail. We present integral-field observations of the central 1.3 kpc region in NGC 7469 obtained with the JWST Mid-InfraRed Instrument. Molecular and ionized gas distributions and kinematics at a resolution of ∼100 pc over the 4.9–7.6μm region are examined to study the gas dynamics influenced by the central AGN. The low-ionization [Feii]λ5.34μm and [Arii]λ6.99μm lines are bright on the nucleus and in the starburst ring, as opposed to H2S(5)λ6.91μm, which is strongly peaked at the center and surrounding ISM. The high-ionization [Mgv] line is resolved and shows a broad, blueshifted component associated with the outflow. It has a nearly face-on geometry that is strongly peaked on the nucleus, where it reaches a maximum velocity of −650 km s−1, and extends about 400 pc to the east. Regions of enhanced velocity dispersion in H2and [Feii] ∼ 180 pc from the AGN that also show highL(H2)/L(PAH) andL([Feii])/L(Pfα) ratios to the W and N of the nucleus pinpoint regions where the ionized outflow is depositing energy, via shocks, into the dense interstellar medium between the nucleus and the starburst ring. These resolved mid-infrared observations of the nuclear gas dynamics demonstrate the power of JWST and its high-sensitivity integral-field spectroscopic capability to resolve feedback processes around supermassive black holes in the dusty cores of nearby luminous infrared galaxies.

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    We investigate the mean locally measured velocity dispersions of ionized gas (σgas) and stars (σ*) for 1090 galaxies with stellar masses $\log \, (M_{\!\ast }/M_{\odot }) \ge 9.5$ from the SAMI Galaxy Survey. For star-forming galaxies, σ* tends to be larger than σgas, suggesting that stars are in general dynamically hotter than the ionized gas (asymmetric drift). The difference between σgas and σ* (Δσ) correlates with various galaxy properties. We establish that the strongest correlation of Δσ is with beam smearing, which inflates σgas more than σ*, introducing a dependence of Δσ on both the effective radius relative to the point spread function and velocity gradients. The second strongest correlation is with the contribution of active galactic nuclei (AGN) (or evolved stars) to the ionized gas emission, implying that the gas velocity dispersion is strongly affected by the power source. In contrast, using the velocity dispersion measured from integrated spectra (σap) results in less correlation between the aperture-based Δσ (Δσap) and the power source. This suggests that the AGN (or old stars) dynamically heat the gas without causing significant deviations from dynamical equilibrium. Although the variation of Δσap is much smaller than that of Δσ, a correlation between Δσap and gas velocity gradient is still detected, implying that there is a small bias in dynamical masses derived from stellar and ionized gas velocity dispersions.

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  8. Abstract

    We study the ionization and excitation structure of the interstellar medium in the late-stage gas-rich galaxy merger NGC 6240 using a suite of emission-line maps at ∼25 pc resolution from the Hubble Space Telescope, Keck/NIRC2 with Adaptive Optics, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). NGC 6240 hosts a superwind driven by intense star formation and/or one or both of two active nuclei; the outflows produce bubbles and filaments seen in shock tracers from warm molecular gas (H22.12μm) to optical ionized gas ([Oiii], [Nii], [Sii], and [Oi]) and hot plasma (FeXXV). In the most distinct bubble, we see a clear shock front traced by high [Oiii]/Hβand [Oiii]/[Oi]. Cool molecular gas (CO(2−1)) is only present near the base of the bubble, toward the nuclei launching the outflow. We interpret the lack of molecular gas outside the bubble to mean that the shock front is not responsible for dissociating molecular gas, and conclude that the molecular clouds are partly shielded and either entrained briefly in the outflow, or left undisturbed while the hot wind flows around them. Elsewhere in the galaxy, shock-excited H2extends at least ∼4 kpc from the nuclei, tracing molecular gas even warmer than that between the nuclei, where the two galaxies’ interstellar media are colliding. A ridgeline of high [Oiii]/Hβemission along the eastern arm aligns with the southern nucleus’ stellar disk minor axis; optical integral field spectroscopy from WiFeS suggests this highly ionized gas is centered at systemic velocity and likely photoionized by direct line of sight to the southern active galactic nucleus.

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  9. Abstract We present mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of the nucleus of the nearby Seyfert galaxy NGC 7469 taken with the MIRI instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as part of Directors Discretionary Time Early Release Science program 1328. The high-resolution nuclear spectrum contains 19 emission lines covering a wide range of ionization. The high-ionization lines show broad, blueshifted emission reaching velocities up to 1700 km s −1 and FWHM ranging from ∼500 to 1100 km s −1 . The width of the broad emission and the broad-to-narrow line flux ratios correlate with ionization potential. The results suggest a decelerating, stratified, AGN-driven outflow emerging from the nucleus. The estimated mass outflow rate is 1–2 orders of magnitude larger than the current black hole accretion rate needed to power the AGN. Eight pure rotational H 2 emission lines are detected with intrinsic widths ranging from FWHM ∼125 to 330 km s −1 . We estimate a total mass of warm H 2 gas of ∼1.2 × 10 7 M ⊙ in the central 100 pc. The PAH features are extremely weak in the nuclear spectrum, but a 6.2 μ m PAH feature with an equivalent width of ∼0.07 μ m and a flux of 2.7 × 10 −17 W m −2 is detected. The spectrum is steeply rising in the mid-infrared, with a silicate strength of ∼0.02, significantly smaller than seen in most PG QSOs but comparable to other Seyfert 1s. These early MIRI mid-infrared IFU data highlight the power of JWST to probe the multiphase interstellar media surrounding actively accreting supermassive black holes. 
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  10. Abstract We present James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) imaging of NGC 7469 with the Near-Infrared Camera and the Mid-InfraRed Instrument. NGC 7469 is a nearby, z = 0.01627, luminous infrared galaxy that hosts both a Seyfert Type-1.5 nucleus and a circumnuclear starburst ring with a radius of ∼0.5 kpc. The new near-infrared (NIR) JWST imaging reveals 66 star-forming regions, 37 of which were not detected by Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations. Twenty-eight of the 37 sources have very red NIR colors that indicate obscurations up to A v ∼ 7 and a contribution of at least 25% from hot dust emission to the 4.4 μ m band. Their NIR colors are also consistent with young (<5 Myr) stellar populations and more than half of them are coincident with the mid-infrared (MIR) emission peaks. These younger, dusty star-forming regions account for ∼6% and ∼17% of the total 1.5 and 4.4 μ m luminosity of the starburst ring, respectively. Thanks to JWST, we find a significant number of young dusty sources that were previously unseen due to dust extinction. The newly identified 28 young sources are a significant increase compared to the number of HST-detected young sources (4–5). This makes the total percentage of the young population rise from ∼15% to 48%. These results illustrate the effectiveness of JWST in identifying and characterizing previously hidden star formation in the densest star-forming environments around active galactic nuclei (AGN). 
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