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Forming Stars in a Dual AGN Host: Molecular and Ionized Gas in the Nearby, Luminous Infrared Merger, Mrk 266

Presentation #213.05 in the session AGN and Quasars III.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Forming Stars in a Dual AGN Host: Molecular and Ionized Gas in the Nearby, Luminous Infrared Merger, Mrk 266

We present observations of cold molecular and ionized gas measurements in the nearby, Luminous Infrared Merger, Mrk266 (NGC5256). Each of the two merging galaxies host an active galactic nucleus, making Mrk266 one of the few known dual AGN system. Using CO observations with the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-Wave Astronomy (CARMA), we find a total molecular mass in the central region of 1.1±0.3 ×1010 solar masses, suggesting a possible future star formation rate of 13±3 solar masses per year. With the Fourier Transform Spectrograph (SITELLE) on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, we track the ionized gas dynamics across the entirety of the system, measure an extinction-corrected Halpha luminosity, and estimate a present-day star formation rate of 14.8±1.5 solar masses per year in the core of the system. These results confirm that Mrk266 is an intermediate stage merger with a relatively high recent star formation rate. The southwestern component, host of a Compton-thick AGN, has more molecular and ionized gas than the northeastern component. We speculate that this difference may originate in the properties of the interstellar medium in the two systems. Higher molecular gas resolution coupled with C[II] observations to probe CO-dark regions are required to further investigate what is already an ideal laboratory to study the relationship between galaxy mergers, dual AGN, and star formation.

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