The Jet-Driven Outflow In The Radio Galaxy SDSS J1517+3353: Implications For Double-Peaked Narrow-Line Active Galactic Nucleus
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We report on the study of an intriguing active galaxy that was selected as a potential multiple supermassive black hole merger in the early-type host SDSS J151709.20+335324.7 (z = 0.135) from a complete search for double-peaked [O III] lines from the SDSS spectroscopic quasi-stellar object (QSO) database. Ground-based SDSS imaging reveals two blue structures on either side of the photometric center of the host galaxy, separated from each other by about 5.7 kpc. From a combination of SDSS fiber and Keck/HIRES long-slit spectroscopy, it is demonstrated that, in addition to these two features, a third distinct structure surrounds the nucleus of the host galaxy. All three structures exhibit highly ionized line emission with line ratios characteristic of Seyfert II active galactic nuclei. The analysis of spatially resolved emission-line profiles from the HIRES spectrum reveal three distinct kinematic subcomponents, one at rest and the other two moving at -350 km s(-1) and 500 km s(-1) with respect to the systemic velocity of the host galaxy. A comparison of imaging and spectral data confirm a strong association between the kinematic components and the spatial knots, which implies a highly disturbed and complex active region in this object. A comparative analysis of the broadband positions, colors, kinematics, and spectral properties of the knots in this system lead to two plausible explanations: (1) a multiple active galactic nucleus (AGN) produced due to a massive dry merger, or (2) a very powerful radio jet-driven outflow. Subsequent VLA radio imaging reveals a clear jet aligned with the emission-line gas, confirming the latter explanation. We use the broadband radio measurements to examine the impact of the jet on the interstellar medium of the host galaxy, and find that the energy in the radio lobes can heat a significant fraction of the gas to the virial temperature. Finally, we discuss tests that may help future surveys distinguish between jet-driven kinematics and true black-hole binaries. J1517+3353 is a remarkable laboratory for AGN feedback and warrants deeper follow-up study. In the Appendix, we present high-resolution radio imaging of a second AGN with double-peaked [O III] lines, SDSS J112939.78+605742.6, which shows a sub-arcsecond radio jet. If the double-peaked nature of the narrow lines in radio-loud AGNs are generally due to radio jet interactions, we suggest that extended radio structure should be expected in most of such systems.
CitationRosario, D. J., G. A. Shields, G. B. Taylor, S. Salviander, and K. L. Smith. "The Jet-driven Outflow in the Radio Galaxy SDSS J1517+ 3353: Implications for Double-peaked Narrow-line Active Galactic Nucleus." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 716, No. 1 (Nov., 2010): 131.
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