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MUSE observations of a changing-look AGN – I. The reappearance of the broad emission lines

MUSE observations of a changing-look AGN – I. The reappearance of the broad emission lines
MUSE observations of a changing-look AGN – I. The reappearance of the broad emission lines
Optical changing-look Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are a class of sources that change type within a short time-scale of years or decades. This change is characterized by the appearance or disappearance of broad emission lines, often associated with dramatic AGN continuum flux changes that are orders of magnitude larger than those expected from typical AGN variability. In this work we study for the first time the host galaxy of a changing-look AGN, Mrk 590, using high spatial resolution optical and near-infrared observations. We discover that after ∼10 yr absence, the optical broad emission lines of Mrk 590 have reappeared. The AGN optical continuum flux however is still ∼10 times lower than that observed during the most luminous state in the 1990s. The host galaxy shows a 4.5 kpc radius star-forming ring with knots of ionized and cold molecular gas emission. Extended ionized and warm molecular gas emission is detected in the nucleus, indicating that there is a reservoir of gas as close as 60 pc from the black hole. We observe a nuclear gas spiral between radii r ∼ 0.5 and 2 kpc, which has been suggested as a dynamical mechanism able to drive the necessary gas to fuel AGN. We also discover blue-shifted and high velocity dispersion [O III] emission out to a radius of 1 kpc, tracing a nuclear gas outflow. The gas dynamics in Mrk 590 suggest a complex balance between gas inflow and outflow in the nucleus of the galaxy.
0035-8711
123-140
Raimundo, S I
e409d9d3-17e8-4049-ad29-43ada60b24e2
Vestergaard, M
0403f403-5b3b-4cc4-b3f0-87f841afe909
Koay, J Y
b994da36-1688-49ab-b8d3-a488d06f9a8e
Lawther, D
e49b26ad-3d71-4699-9e8a-647278a792f7
Casasola, V
2161b85f-c363-4386-849c-b79d9caa1a54
Peterson, B M
ced340e7-3232-477e-bf0a-822a7fe67c92
Raimundo, S I
e409d9d3-17e8-4049-ad29-43ada60b24e2
Vestergaard, M
0403f403-5b3b-4cc4-b3f0-87f841afe909
Koay, J Y
b994da36-1688-49ab-b8d3-a488d06f9a8e
Lawther, D
e49b26ad-3d71-4699-9e8a-647278a792f7
Casasola, V
2161b85f-c363-4386-849c-b79d9caa1a54
Peterson, B M
ced340e7-3232-477e-bf0a-822a7fe67c92

Raimundo, S I, Vestergaard, M, Koay, J Y, Lawther, D, Casasola, V and Peterson, B M (2019) MUSE observations of a changing-look AGN – I. The reappearance of the broad emission lines. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 486 (1), 123-140. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stz852).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Optical changing-look Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are a class of sources that change type within a short time-scale of years or decades. This change is characterized by the appearance or disappearance of broad emission lines, often associated with dramatic AGN continuum flux changes that are orders of magnitude larger than those expected from typical AGN variability. In this work we study for the first time the host galaxy of a changing-look AGN, Mrk 590, using high spatial resolution optical and near-infrared observations. We discover that after ∼10 yr absence, the optical broad emission lines of Mrk 590 have reappeared. The AGN optical continuum flux however is still ∼10 times lower than that observed during the most luminous state in the 1990s. The host galaxy shows a 4.5 kpc radius star-forming ring with knots of ionized and cold molecular gas emission. Extended ionized and warm molecular gas emission is detected in the nucleus, indicating that there is a reservoir of gas as close as 60 pc from the black hole. We observe a nuclear gas spiral between radii r ∼ 0.5 and 2 kpc, which has been suggested as a dynamical mechanism able to drive the necessary gas to fuel AGN. We also discover blue-shifted and high velocity dispersion [O III] emission out to a radius of 1 kpc, tracing a nuclear gas outflow. The gas dynamics in Mrk 590 suggest a complex balance between gas inflow and outflow in the nucleus of the galaxy.

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MUSE observations of a changing-look AGN I The re-appearance of the broad emission lines - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 15 March 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 March 2019
Published date: 11 June 2019
Additional Information: arxiv is am

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Local EPrints ID: 443914
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443914
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: a96059c3-a3bc-47a3-aef7-98c4dddbf40b

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Date deposited: 16 Sep 2020 16:35
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 21:37

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Contributors

Author: S I Raimundo
Author: M Vestergaard
Author: J Y Koay
Author: D Lawther
Author: V Casasola
Author: B M Peterson

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