Round Ionized Nebulae
A Spectacular Bubble
Something limits the mass growth of galaxies, and accretion energy is often invoked, since only 1% of the binding energy of a supermassive black hole is sufficient to remove all gas from a massive galaxy. But direct evidence for such feedback is sorely lacking. With Nadia Zakamska and collaborators, I look at the warm ionized gas around luminous obscured quasars in search of signs of feedback.
In Greene, Zakamska, & Smith (2012), we presented a 20-kpc scale ionized gas bubble in SDSS J1356+1026 (shown here from HST+Chandra imaging; Comerford et al. 2015).
Perhaps our most surprising result is that at the highest luminosities, the ionized nebulae are completely round, 15 kpc in size, and the velocity dispersions are high (~800 km/s) across the entire ionized region (Liu et al. 2013a,b).
See also Hainline et al. 2013 for size scaling with WISE, and Greene et al. 2009, 2011 for early results.
Graduate student Ai-Lei Sun analyzed ALMA data of the ULIRG/QSO/ionized outflow SDSS J1356+1026. She found a compact molecular disk and a possible small scale outflow.