Activity Phenomena in Galaxies: a 3D Perspective from the Nucleus to the Outskirts


This project has two lines of fundamental development. First, the application of 3D techniques, in particular of integral field spectroscopy, to the study of extended objects (nuclear activity in galaxies, star formation regions, etc), as well as the participation in the development of new instruments and data analysis procedures related to 3D techniques. In particular, we participate in the development of HARMONI, the first-light high-spatial resolution integral field spectrograph for the ESO Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). Second, the scientific exploitation of the GTC observations of galaxies with active nuclei (AGN) obtained with the infrared instruments CanariCam and EMIR and with ALMA in the sub-mm regime. The data is being used to characterize the dusty torus that obscures local AGN and to study quasar winds in luminous obscured AGN (AGN feedback). Moreover, this project is devoted to get observing time with the JWST as part of the GATOS consortium (Galactic Activity, Torus and Outflow Survey), as well as to exploit on-going ALMA observations of nearby AGN.

Principal investigator
  1. Publication of a letter in A&A in which we find kpc-scale dynamical differences between almost identical pairs of active and non-active disc galaxies in terms of structural properties (del Moral Castro, García-Lorenzo, Ramos Almeida et al. 2020).

  2. Publication of the first work entirely based on data from the infrared spectrograph EMIR on the GTC (Ramos Almeida, Acosta-Pulido, Tadhunter, et al. 2019). Using the infrared spectrum of the nearby obscured quasar J1509+0434 we characterize its ionized and warm molecular outflows.

  3. Ana Monreal-Ibero participed in the identification of the first system of three nuclear black holes with separations of a few hundred parsecs (Kollatschny et al. 2020).

  4. Cristina Ramos Almeida participated in a detailed study of the cold molecular gas in the torus of NGC 1068 using ALMA data (García-Burillo, Combes, Ramos Almeida, et al. 2019). 
  5. The European Network H2020-ITN-2019 "Big Data Applications for Black Hole Evolution Studies" (BID4BEST) started on March, 1st 2020. The new PhD student Giovanna Speranza will be starting her contract at the IAC in September 2020.

  6. Begoña García Lorenzo and Cristina Ramos Almeida enjoyed one-month stays during the Summer of 2019 at the Department of Physics of the University of Oxford and at the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Cambridge respectively. Both stays were funded by the Severo Ochoa mobility program.

Publications related

  • The circumnuclear environment of NGC 613: a nuclear starburst caught in the act?

    We present near-infrared (H- and K-band) integral-field observations of the inner ˜700 pc of the active spiral galaxy NGC 613, obtained with SINFONI on the Very Large Telescope. We use emission-line ratios to determine the dominant excitation mechanisms in different regions within our field of view, in particular, the active nucleus and the star

    Lançon, A. et al.

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  • The Mice at play in the CALIFA survey. A case study of a gas-rich major merger between first passage and coalescence

    We present optical integral field spectroscopy (IFS) observations of the Mice, a major merger between two massive (≳1011 M⊙) gas-rich spirals NGC 4676A and B, observed between first passage and final coalescence. The spectra provide stellar and gas kinematics, ionised gas properties, and stellar population diagnostics, over the full optical extent

    Wild, V. et al.

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  • Near- to mid-infrared imaging and spectroscopy of two buried AGNs of the nearby merging galaxy NGC 6240 with Subaru/IRCS+AO and GTC/CanariCam

    We report near-infrared K ', L', and M ' band imaging observations of the nearby merging galaxy NGC 6240 with the Infrared Camera and Spectrograph on the Subaru telescope. The observations were performed with the assistance of the Subaru Adaptive Optics System, and the achieved spatial resolutions were around 0{^''.}10-0{^''.}20. We also obtained

    Mori, T. I. et al.

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