Unveiling the AGN in IC 883: discovery of a parsec-scale radio jet
Journal article, 2017

IC 883 is a luminous infrared galaxy (LIRG) classified as a starburst- active galactic nucleus (AGN) composite. In a previous study, we detected a low- luminosity AGN (LLAGN) radio candidate. Here, we report on our radio follow- up at three frequencies that provides direct and unequivocal evidence of the AGN activity in IC 883. Our analysis of archival X-ray data, together with the detection of a transient radio source with luminosity typical of bright supernovae, gives further evidence of the ongoing star formation activity, which dominates the energetics of the system. At sub- parsec scales, the radio nucleus has a core-jet morphology with the jet being a newly ejected component showing a subluminal proper motion of 0.6-1 c. The AGN contributes less than 2 per cent of the total IR luminosity of the system. The corresponding Eddington factor is similar to 10(-3), suggesting this is a low-accretion rate engine, as often found in LLAGNs. However, its high bolometric luminosity (similar to 10(44) erg s(-1)) agrees better with a normal AGN. This apparent discrepancy may just be an indication of the transition nature of the nucleus from a system dominated by star formation, to an AGN-dominated system. The nucleus has a strongly inverted spectrum and a turnover at similar to 4.4 GHz, thus qualifying as a candidate for the least luminous (L(5.0)GHz similar to 6.3 x 10(28) erg s(-1) Hz(-1)) and one of the youngest (similar to 3 x 10(3) yr) gigahertz-peaked spectrum (GPS) sources. If the GPS origin for the IC 883 nucleus is confirmed, then advanced mergers in the LIRG category are potentially key environments to unveil the evolution of GPS sources into more powerful radio galaxies.

galaxies: individual: IC 883

galaxies: nuclei

galaxies: active

radio continuum: galaxies

galaxies: jets


C. Romero-Cañizales

Millennium Institute of Astrophysics

Diego Portales University

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

Antxon Alberdi

Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA)

C. Ricci

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

P. Arevalo

University of Valparaíso

Miguel Angel Perez-Torres

Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA)

University of Zaragoza

John Conway

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

R. J. Beswick

University of Manchester

M. Bondi

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

T .W. B. Muxlow

University of Manchester

M. K. Argo

University of Manchester

University of Central Lancashire

F. E. Bauer

Millennium Institute of Astrophysics

Space Science Institute

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

A. Efstathiou

European University Cyprus

R. Herrero-Illana

European Southern Observatory Santiago

Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA)

S. Mattila

Tuorla Observatory

S. D. Ryder

Australian Astronomical Observatory

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

0035-8711 (ISSN) 1365-2966 (eISSN)

Vol. 467 2 2504-2516

Advanced Radio Astronomy in Europe (RADIONET3)

European Commission (EC) (EC/FP7/283393), 2012-01-01 -- 2015-12-31.

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology



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