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Astronomy Tea Talk

Monday, April 17, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Online and In-Person Event
Tracing AGN Feedback on the Star-Forming ISM in NGC 7469 with JWST
Thomas Lai, Caltech/IPAC,

AGN feedback plays an important role in regulating star formation activity and nearby interstellar medium (ISM) through outflowing winds and ionizing radiation. However, in the past, the lack of high spatial resolution in the infrared has limited our ability to closely examine the star-forming ISM in the vicinity of an AGN. The advent of integral-field observations through the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has opened up a tremendous opportunity to study the starburst-AGN connection in the sub-kpc scale. In this presentation, I will present the MIRI IFU observation of a type 1 Seyfert galaxy NGC7469, which hosts both a rapidly accreting black hole and a circumnuclear starburst ring with a radius of 500 pc. The high spatial and spectral resolution of MIRI has enabled us to isolate the starbursting event surrounding the AGN and study the dust and warm molecular gas on a ~100 pc scale. Our findings show that the starburst ring exhibits prominent Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) emission, with grain sizes and ionization states varying by only ∼30%. A suite of H2 pure rotational lines is also detected throughout the ring, enabling us to estimate the warm molecular gas mass and temperature. Our study demonstrates that with JWST, we can finally study the resolved properties of the near nuclear ISM in great detail, even in the dustiest galaxies, on the scales of individual star-forming regions.

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