Hidden or missing outflows in highly obscured galaxy nuclei?⋆
Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory, 439 92 Onsala, Sweden
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3 Observatoire de Paris, LERMA, College de France, CNRS, PSL Univ., UPMC, Sorbonne Univ., 75014 Paris, France
4 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA
5 Department of Astronomy, 530 McCormick Road, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
6 Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics & Astronomy, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
7 Department of Astronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 5534 Sterling, 475 North Charter Street, Madison, WI 53706, USA
8 Observatorio de Madrid, OAN-IGN, Alfonso XII, 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain
9 Universidad de Alcalá, Departamento de Física y Matemáticas, Campus Universitario, 28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
10 Cosmic Dawn Center (DAWN), DTU-Space, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej 327, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby; Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
11 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
12 Astron. Dept., King Abdulaziz University, PO Box 80203 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
13 National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS), 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181–8588, Japan
14 European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura 763 0355 Santiago, Chile
15 Joint ALMA Observatory, Alonso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura, 763 0355 Santiago, Chile
16 Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Sciences Center, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
17 Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, PO Box 23-141 10617 Taipei, Taiwan
18 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
19 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Accepted: 17 January 2019
Context. Understanding the nuclear growth and feedback processes in galaxies requires investigating their often obscured central regions. One way to do this is to use (sub)millimeter line emission from vibrationally excited HCN (HCN-vib), which is thought to trace warm and highly enshrouded galaxy nuclei. It has been suggested that the most intense HCN-vib emission from a galaxy is connected to a phase of nuclear growth that occurs before the nuclear feedback processes have been fully developed.
Aims. We aim to investigate if there is a connection between the presence of strong HCN-vib emission and the development of feedback in (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies ((U)LIRGs).
Methods. We collected literature and archival data to compare the luminosities of rotational lines of HCN-vib, normalized to the total infrared luminosity, to the median velocities of 119 μm OH absorption lines, potentially indicating outflows, in a total of 17 (U)LIRGs.
Results. The most HCN-vib luminous systems all lack signatures of significant molecular outflows in the far-infrared OH absorption lines. However, at least some of the systems with bright HCN-vib emission have fast and collimated outflows that can be seen in spectral lines at longer wavelengths, including in millimeter emission lines of CO and HCN (in its vibrational ground state) and in radio absorption lines of OH.
Conclusions. We conclude that the galaxy nuclei with the highest LHCN − vib/LIR do not drive wide-angle outflows that are detectable using the median velocities of far-infrared OH absorption lines. This is possibly because of an orientation effect in which sources oriented in such a way that their outflows are not along our line of sight also radiate a smaller proportion of their infrared luminosity in our direction. It could also be that massive wide-angle outflows destroy the deeply embedded regions responsible for bright HCN-vib emission, so that the two phenomena cannot coexist. This would strengthen the idea that vibrationally excited HCN traces a heavily obscured stage of evolution before nuclear feedback mechanisms are fully developed.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: nuclei / galaxies: ISM / ISM: molecules / ISM: jets and outflows
© ESO 2019