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Serendipitous Discovery Of Dying Agn In Arp 187

Presentation #209.02 in the session “AGN and Quasars I”.

Published onJun 18, 2021
Serendipitous Discovery Of Dying Agn In Arp 187

Arp 187 is one of the fading active galactic nuclei (AGN), whose AGN activity is currently decreasing in luminosity, and is a good laboratory to obtain crucial information on the accretion disk physics and the lifetime of AGN. We investigate the observational signatures of AGN in Arp 187, which trace various physical scales from less than 0.1 pc to nearly 10 kpc, to estimate the long-term luminosity change over 104 years. The VLA 5 GHz, 8 GHz, and the ALMA 133 GHz images reveal bimodal jet lobes with ~5 kpc size and the absence of the central radio-core. The 6dF optical spectrum shows that Arp 187 hosts a narrow-line region with the estimated size of ~1 kpc, and the line strengths give the AGN luminosity of Lbol = 1.5x1046 erg/s. On the other hand, the current AGN activity estimated from the AGN torus emission gives the upper bound of Lbol < 2.2x1043 erg/s. The absence of the radio-core gives the more strict upper bound of the current AGN luminosity of Lbol < 8x1040 erg/s, suggesting that the central engine is already quenched. These multi-wavelength signatures indicate that Arp 187 hosts a “dying” AGN: the central engine is already dead, but the large-scale AGN indicators are still observable as the remnant of the past AGN activity. The central engine has experienced a drastic luminosity decline by a factor of ~103-4 fainter within ~104 years, which is roughly consistent with the viscous timescale of the inner part of the accretion disk within ~500 years.

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