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Title: The small observed scale of AGN-driven outflows, and inside-out disc quenching
Authors: Zubovas, K.
King, A.
First Published: 28-Jul-2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP), Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, (November 11, 2016) 462 (4): 4055-4066.
Abstract: Observations of massive outflows with detectable central active galactic nuclei (AGN) typically find them within radii ≲10 kpc. We show that this apparent size restriction is a natural result of AGN driving if this process injects total energy only of the order of the gas binding energy to the outflow, and the AGN varies over time (‘flickers’) as suggested in recent work. After the end of all AGN activity, the outflow continues to expand to larger radii, powered by the thermal expansion of the remnant-shocked AGN wind. We suggest that on average, outflows should be detected further from the nucleus in more massive galaxies. In massive gas-rich galaxies, these could be several tens of kpc in radius. We also consider the effect that pressure of such outflows has on a galaxy disc. In moderately gas-rich discs, with gas-to-baryon fraction <0.2, the outflow may induce star formation significant enough to be distinguished from quiescent by an apparently different normalization of the Kennicutt–Schmidt law. The star formation enhancement is probably stronger in the outskirts of galaxy discs, so coasting outflows might be detected by their effects upon the disc even after the driving AGN has shut off. We compare our results to the recent inference of inside-out quenching of star formation in galaxy discs.
DOI Link: 10.1093/mnras/stw1845
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Creative Commons “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” licence CC BY-NC-ND, further details of which can be found via the following link: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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