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STScI Webcast

2019 Cool Sci @ STScI

Extended Ionized Gas Nebulae around Optically Faint AGNs at Redshift z~2

Presented by: David Law (STScI)
Category: Science Colloquia   Duration: 30 minutes   Broadcast date: January 16, 2019
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Abstract: Concerted efforts in recent years have dramatically improved our understanding of the dynamical state and evolutionary history of star-forming galaxies in the young universe, but the role of AGN in this evolution has remained unclear. I will discuss recent multi-wavelength observations of a population of galaxies hosting optically faint AGN at redshift z ~ 2-3 using Keck/OSIRIS and KCWI integral field spectroscopy in combination with HST rest-optical imaging and deep MOSFIRE slit spectroscopy. These observations demonstrate that both the continuum and emission-line structure of the sources exhibit a wide range of morphologies from compact isolated point sources to double-AGN merging systems with extensive ~ 50 kpc tidal tails. There is no widespread evidence of star formation in the host galaxies surrounding these AGN and the sample is most consistent with a population of AGN that radiate at approximately their Eddington limit and photoionize extended [O III] nebulae whose characteristic sizes scale approximately as the square root of the AGN luminosity.