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Direct Evidence for Termination of Obscured Star Formation by Radiatively Driven Outflows in Reddened QSOs

D. Farrah, T. Urrutia, M. Lacy, A. Efstathiou, J. Afonso, K. Coppin, P. B. Hall, C. Lonsdale, T. Jarrett, C. Bridge, C. Borys, S. M. Petty

We present optical to far-infrared photometry of 31 reddened QSOs that show evidence for radiatively driven outflows originating from active galactic nuclei(AGNs) in their rest-frame UV spectra. We use these data to study the relationships between the AGN-driven outflows, and the AGN and starburst infrared luminosities. We find that FeLoBAL QSOs are invariably IR-luminous, with IR luminosities exceeding 1012 L &sun; in all cases. The AGN supplies 76% of the total IR emission, on average, but with a range from 20% to 100%. We find no evidence that the absolute luminosity of obscured star formation is affected by the AGN-driven outflows. Conversely, we find an anticorrelation between the strength of AGN-driven outflows, as measured from the range of outflow velocities over which absorption exceeds a minimal threshold, and the contribution from star formation to the total IR luminosity, with a much higher chance of seeing a starburst contribution in excess of 25% in systems with weak outflows than in systems with strong outflows. Moreover, we find no convincing evidence that this effect is driven by the IR luminosity of the AGN. We conclude that radiatively driven outflows from AGNs can have a dramatic, negative impact on luminous star formation in their host galaxies. We find that such outflows act to curtail star formation such that star formation contributes less than ~25% of the total IR luminosity. We also propose that the degree to which termination of star formation takes place is not deducible from the IR luminosity of the AGN.

accretion - accretion: disks, galaxies: starburst - infrared: galaxies - quasars: absorption: lines, quasars: general

The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 745, Number 2, Page 178_1
2012 February

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia