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


This project has two lines of fundamental development. First, the scientific exploitation of GTC infrared and optical observations of galaxies with active nuclei (AGN) obtained with the instruments CanariCam, EMIR and MEGARA, and with ALMA in the sub-mm regime. The data is being used to study quasar winds in luminous obscured AGN (AGN feedback) as part of the H2020 Innovative Training Network BID4BEST. Moreover, this project is devoted to obtain and exploit observing time with the JWST and ALMA as part of the GATOS consortium (Galactic Activity, Torus and Outflow Survey) with the aim of characterizing nuclear obscuration in local AGN. Second, the application of integral field spectroscopy to the study of extended objects (active and star forming galaxies), and development of new instruments and data analysis procedures related to 3D observing 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).

Principal investigator
Project staff
  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. The VASCO project, led by Beatriz Villarroel (Nordita & IAC), received a scholarship for "A citizen science effort to scan for vanishing and appearing sources in historical sky surveys" that is done in collaboration with different institutes, including the Spanish Virtual Observatory, University of Constantine (Algeria), Center for Basic Space Science (Nigeria) and Uppsala University."
  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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). 
  6. 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.

  7. 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

  • Spitzer Mid-IR Spectroscopy of Powerful 2Jy and 3CRR Radio Galaxies. II. AGN Power Indicators and Unification

    It remains uncertain which continuum and emission line diagnostics best indicate the bolometric powers of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), especially given the attenuation caused by the circumnuclear material and the possible contamination by components related to star formation. Here we use mid-IR spectra along with multiwavelength data to

    Dicken, D. et al.

    Advertised on:

  • Two physical regimes for the giant H II regions and giant molecular clouds in the Antennae galaxies

    We have combined observations of the Antennae galaxies from the radio interferometer ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) and from the optical interferometer GHαFaS (Galaxy Hα Fabry-Perot System). The two sets of observations have comparable angular and spectral resolutions, enabling us to identify 142 giant molecular clouds (GMCs)

    Zaragoza-Cardiel, J. et al.

    Advertised on:

  • 3D kinematics of the near-IR HH 223 outflow in L723

    In this work, we derive the full 3D kinematics of the near-infrared outflow HH 223, located in the dark cloud Lynds 723 (L723), where a well-defined quadrupolar CO outflow is found. HH 223 appears projected on to the two lobes of the east-west CO outflow. The radio continuum source VLA 2, towards the centre of the CO outflow, harbours a multiple

    López, R. et al.

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