Herschel spectroscopic observations of the compact obscured nucleus in Zw 049.057
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2015

Context. The luminous infrared galaxy Zw 049.057 contains a compact obscured nucleus where a considerable amount of the galaxy's luminosity is generated. This nucleus contains a dusty environment that is rich in molecular gas. One approach to probing this kind of environment and to revealing what is hidden behind the dust is to study the rotational lines of molecules that couple well with the infrared radiation emitted by the dust. Aims. We probe the physical conditions in the core of Zw 049.057 and establish the nature of its nuclear power source (starburst or active galactic nucleus). Methods. We observed Zw 049.057 with the Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) and the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) onboard the Herschel Space Observatory in rotational lines of H 2 O, H 2 18O, OH, 18OH, and [O I]. We modeled the unresolved core of the galaxy using a spherically symmetric radiative transfer code. To account for the different excitation requirements of the various molecular transitions, we use multiple components and different physical conditions. Results. We present the full high-resolution SPIRE FTS spectrum of Zw 049.057, along with relevant spectral scans in the PACS range. We find that a minimum of two different components (nuclear and extended) are required in order to account for the rich molecular line spectrum of Zw 049.057. The nuclear component has a radius of 10-30 pc, a very high infrared surface brightness (∼1014L ⊙ kpc-2), warm dust (T d > 100 K), and a very large H 2 column density (N H 2 = 1024-1025 cm-2). The modeling also indicates high nuclear H 2 O (∼5 × 10-6) and OH (∼4 × 10-6) abundances relative to H 2 as well as a low 16O/18O-ratio of 50-100. We also find a prominent infall signature in the [O I] line. We tentatively detect a 500 km s-1 outflow in the H 2 O 3 13 → 2 02 line. Conclusions. The high surface brightness of the core indicates the presence of either a buried active galactic nucleus or a very dense nuclear starburst. The estimated column density towards the core of Zw 049.057 indicates that it is Compton-thick, making a buried X-ray source difficult to detect even in hard X-rays. We discuss the elevated H 2 O abundance in the nucleus in the context of warm grain and gas-phase chemistry. The H 2 O abundance is comparable to that of other compact (ultra-)luminous infrared galaxies such as NGC 4418 and Arp 220 - and also to hot cores in the Milky Way. The enhancement of 18O is a possible indicator that the nucleus of Zw 049.057 is in a similar evolutionary stage as the nuclei of Arp 220 - and more advanced than NGC 4418. We discuss the origin of the extreme nuclear gas concentration and note that the infalling gas detected in [O I] implies that the gas reservoir in the central region of Zw 049.057 is being replenished. If confirmed, the H 2 O outflow suggests that the nucleus is in a stage of rapid evolution.

ISM: molecules

Submillimeter: galaxies

Galaxies: individual: Zw 049.057

Galaxies: ISM

Infrared: galaxies

Line: formation


Niklas Falstad

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Radioastronomi och astrofysik

E. Gonzalez-Alfonso

Universidad de Alcala

Susanne Aalto

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Radioastronomi och astrofysik

P.P. van der Werf

Universiteit Leiden

J. Fischer

Naval Research Laboratory

S. Veilleux

University of Maryland

M. Melendez

University of Maryland

D. Farrah

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

H. A. Smith

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Astronomy and Astrophysics

0004-6361 (ISSN) 1432-0746 (eISSN)

Vol. 580 A52- A52


Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi



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