NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0515

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0515


PI: Jacqueline Fischer, Naval Research Laboratory, Jackie.Fischer@nrl.navy.mil
Address: Code 7211, 4555 Overlook Ave SW, Washington, DC 20375, USA

CoI: Barry Rothberg, George Mason University
CoI: Thomas Geballe, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Eduardo Gonzalez-Alfonso, Universidad de Alca de Henares
CoI: Eckhard Sturm, Max Planck Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik
CoI: Sylvain Veilleux, University of Maryland
CoI: Javier Gracia-Carpio, Max Planck Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik
CoI: Steve Hailey-Dunsheath, Max Planck Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik
CoI: Dieter Lutz, Max Planck Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik
CoI: Aprajita Verma, Oxford University
CoI: Amiel Sternberg, Tel Aviv University

Title: \centering A Pilot Study of Mid-IR Molecular Outflows in AGN Powered ULIRGs

Abstract: One of the exciting new results of the Herschel Space Observatory mission is the discovery of massive high velocity (v ~ 1000 km/sec) molecular outflows in ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs). These outflows, powered by stellar processes or by AGN, are traced by far- infrared OH transitions that are pumped by the high far-IR radiation density in ULIRGs and are observed in numerous transitions as P-Cygni, absorption, or emission line profiles. Based on our modeling of the lines and continuum, the OH observations imply short gas depletion times, mass loss rates at least several times higher than the star formation rates, and appear strongest in AGN dominated ULIRGs. These mergers of gas-rich galaxies have been caught in the act of clearing out their star-forming molecular fuel as they evolve toward becoming gas poor ellipticals! We propose mid-infrared Gemini GNIRS M-band spectroscopy in the fundamental CO (v=1-0) ro-vibrational lines in two AGN dominated ULIRGs: IRAS 05189-2524 & Mrk 231. Because these lines can probe the outflows much closer to the AGN than the far-IR lines, they can help constrain our models, help discern the quasars' interactions with the outflows on small spatial scales, and thus help discern whether indeed the quasar is responsible for this morphology changing feedback.


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