Volume 654, October 2021
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Published online||27 October 2021|
The effect of active galactic nuclei on the cold interstellar medium in distant star-forming galaxies⋆
Cosmic Dawn Center (DAWN), Denmark
2 Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Jagtvej 128, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
3 AIM, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
4 Center for Extragalactic Astronomy, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
5 DTU-Space, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej 327, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
6 Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Athens, Greece
7 Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), Giessenbachstr. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
8 Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, 776 Daedeokdae-ro, 34055 Daejeon, Republic of Korea
9 Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM), 300 Rue de la Piscine, 38400 Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France
10 Department of Physics & Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
11 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via Brera 28, 20121 Milano, Italy
12 Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Sheffield, Hounsfield Road, Sheffield S3 7RH, UK
13 Department of Astronomy, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005, PR China
14 Purple Mountain Observatory & Key Laboratory for Radio Astronomy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 10 Yuanhua Road, Nanjing 210033, PR China
15 Instituto de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Casilla, 4059 Valparaíso, Chile
16 Núcleo de Astronomía, Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Ejército 441, Santiago, Chile
17 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
18 Universidad de La Laguna, Dpto. Astrofísica, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
19 Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli-IPMU, WPI), The University of Tokyo Institutes for Advanced Study, The University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8583, Japan
20 Department of Astronomy, School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Accepted: 28 August 2021
In the framework of a systematic study with the ALMA interferometer of IR-selected main-sequence and starburst galaxies at z ∼ 1 − 1.7 at typical ∼1″ resolution, we report on the effects of mid-IR- and X-ray-detected active galactic nuclei (AGN) on the reservoirs and excitation of molecular gas in a sample of 55 objects. We find widespread detectable nuclear activity in ∼30% of the sample. The presence of dusty tori influences the IR spectral energy distribution of galaxies, as highlighted by the strong correlation among the AGN contribution to the total IR luminosity budget (fAGN = LIR, AGN/LIR), its hard X-ray emission, and the Rayleigh-Jeans to mid-IR (S1.2 mm/S24 μm) observed color, with evident consequences on the ensuing empirical star formation rate estimates. Nevertheless, we find only marginal effects of the presence and strength of AGN on the carbon monoxide CO (J = 2, 4, 5, 7) or neutral carbon ([C I](3P1 − 3P0), [C I](3P2 − 3P1)) line luminosities and on the derived molecular gas excitation as gauged by line ratios and the full spectral line energy distributions. The [C I] and CO emission up to J = 5, 7 thus primarily traces the properties of the host in typical IR luminous galaxies. However, our analysis highlights the existence of a large variety of line luminosities and ratios despite the homogeneous selection. In particular, we find a sparse group of AGN-dominated sources with the highest LIR, AGN/LIR, SFR ratios, ≳3, that are more luminous in CO (5−4) than what is predicted by the L′CO(5-4)−LIR, SFR relation, which might be the result of the nuclear activity. For the general population, our findings translate into AGN having minimal effects on quantities such as gas and dust fractions and star formation efficiencies. If anything, we find hints of a marginal tendency of AGN hosts to be compact at far-IR wavelengths and to display 1.8 times larger dust optical depths. In general, this is consistent with a marginal impact of the nuclear activity on the gas reservoirs and star formation in average star-forming AGN hosts with LIR > 5 × 1011 L⊙, typically underrepresented in surveys of quasars and submillimeter galaxies.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: starburst / galaxies: active / galaxies: high-redshift / submillimeter: ISM
Data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (22.214.171.124) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/654/A165
© ESO 2021
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