Volume 562, February 2014
|Number of page(s)||25|
|Published online||31 January 2014|
1 Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 19 J. J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK
2 Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
3 Max Planck Institute für Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), Giessenbachstraße 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
4 Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimétrique (IRAM), 300 rue de la Piscine, 38406 St. Martin d’Hères, Grenoble, France
5 Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, 43992 Onsala, Sweden
6 Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (INAF), via Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio Catone, Italy
7 Naval Research Laboratory, Remote Sensing Division, 4555 Overlook Ave SW, Washington, DC 20375, USA
8 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional (OAN), Observatorio de Madrid, Alfonso XII 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain
9 Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Departamento de Física y Matemáticas, Campus Universitario, 28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
10 California Institute of Technology, Mail Code 301-17, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
11 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Received: 8 August 2013
Accepted: 7 November 2013
We study the properties of massive, galactic-scale outflows of molecular gas and investigate their impact on galaxy evolution. We present new IRAM PdBI CO(1–0) observations of local ultra-luminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs) and quasar-hosts: a clear signature of massive and energetic molecular outflows, extending on kpc scales, is found in the CO(1–0) kinematics of four out of seven sources, with measured outflow rates of several 100 M⊙ yr-1. We combine these new observations with data from the literature, and explore the nature and origin of massive molecular outflows within an extended sample of 19 local galaxies. We find that starburst-dominated galaxies have an outflow rate comparable to their star formation rate (SFR), or even higher by a factor of ~2–4, implying that starbursts can indeed be effective in removing cold gas from galaxies. Nevertheless, our results suggest that the presence of an active galactic nucleus (AGN) can boost the outflow rate by a large factor, which is found to increase with the LAGN/Lbol ratio. The gas depletion time scales due to molecular outflows are anti-correlated with the presence and luminosity of an AGN in these galaxies, and range from a few hundred million years in starburst galaxies down to just a few million years in galaxies hosting powerful AGNs. In quasar hosts, the depletion time scales due to the outflow are much shorter than the depletion time scales due to star formation. We estimate the outflow kinetic power and find that, for galaxies hosting powerful AGNs, it corresponds to about 5% of the AGN luminosity, as expected by models of AGN feedback. Moreover, we find that momentum rates of about 20 LAGN/c are common among the AGN-dominated sources in our sample. For “pure” starburst galaxies, our data tentatively support models in which outflows are mostly momentum-driven by the radiation pressure from young stars onto dusty clouds. Overall, our results indicate that, although starbursts are effective in powering massive molecular outflows, the presence of an AGN may strongly enhance such outflows, and therefore have a profound feedback effect on the evolution of galaxies by efficiently removing fuel for star formation, hence quenching star formation.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: evolution / quasars: general / radio lines: ISM / ISM: molecules / galaxies: ISM
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
The reduced datacubes are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/562/A21
© ESO, 2014
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