NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0170

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0170


PI: Mischa Schirmer, Gemini Observatory, mschirme@gemini.edu
Address: Gemini Observatory, Colina El Pino s/n, La Serena, Chile

CoI: Rebecca Davies, Australian National University
CoI: William Keel, University of Alabama
CoI: James Turner, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Tohru Nagao, Kyoto University
CoI: Hai Fu, University of Iowa
CoI: Nancy Levenson, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Ruben Diaz, Gemini Observatory

Title: Characterizing quasar ionization echoes - towards long-term AGN light curves

Abstract: Green Bean galaxies (GBs) are rare type-2 quasars featuring ultra-luminous emission line regions extending over 20-40 kpc. Due to different light travel times from the AGN into the ionized gas, the latter retains a memory of the AGN's X-ray luminosity over the past several 10,000 years. Evidence from X-ray, optical and mid-IR data shows that the nuclear energy output in GBs must have dropped recently by several orders of magnitude. We are witnessing the final stages in the lives of the most luminous type-2 quasars. The ionization echoes allow us to study SMBH growth, massive outflows, and the co-evolution of the host galaxies from a new perspective. Using GMOS-N/S, we want to complete our imaging survey of all 17 known GBs, obtain a shallow IFU survey, and study one particularly exciting galaxy in greater depth. For the latter, we want to demonstrate that individual AGN light curves, extending over several 10,000 years, can be reconstructed from GBs. Hence this study is complementary to classical monitoring and reverberation mapping.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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