Institute of Astronomy

The ultradense, interacting environment of a dual AGN at z ∼ 3.3 revealed by JWST/NIRSpec IFS

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Michele Perna (CAB, Madrid)17 May 2023Institute of Astronomy Seminars


LBQS 0302-0019 is a blue QSO at z ∼ 3.3, hosting powerful outflows, and residing in a complex environment consisting of an obscured AGN candidate and multiple companions, all within 30 kpc in projection. In this talk I will present the JWST/NIRSpec IFS observations of this complex system. We developed a procedure to correct for the spurious oscillations in NIRSpec single-spaxel spectra, due to the spatial under-sampling of the point spread function. We performed a quasar-host decomposition with the QDeblend3D tools, and used multi-component kinematic decomposition of the optical emission line profiles to infer the physical properties of the emitting gas. We identified i) a low-velocity component possibly tracing a warm rotating disk; ii) a powerful ionised outflow, with an outflow mass rate of ∼10^4 Msun/yr. We also detected eight interacting companion objects close to LBQS 0302-0019, and confirmed the presence of an obscured AGN at ∼20 kpc of the primary QSO. This work has unveiled with unprecedented detail the complex environment of this dual AGN, which includes nine interacting companions (five of which were previously unknown). Our results support a scenario where mergers can trigger dual AGN, and can be important drivers for rapid early SMBH growth.


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