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Tracing the origin of the AGN fuelling reservoir in MCG–6-30-15

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Raimundo, SI 
Davies, RI 
Canning, REA 
Celotti, A 
Fabian, AC 


The active galaxy MCG–6-30-15 has a 400 pc diameter stellar kinematically distinct core, counter-rotating with respect to the main body of the galaxy. Our previous high spatial resolution (0.1 arcsec) H-band observations of this galaxy mapped the stellar kinematics and [Fe II] 1.64 μm gas dynamics though mainly restricted to the spatial region of the counter-rotating core. In this work, we probe the stellar kinematics on a larger field of view and determine the ionized and molecular gas dynamics to study the formation of the counter-rotating core and the implications for active galactic nucleus (AGN) fuelling. We present integral field spectroscopy observations with SINFONI in the H and K bands in the central 1.2 kpc and with VIMOS HR-blue in the central 4 kpc of the galaxy. Ionized gas outflows of v_out ∼ 100 km s⁻¹ are traced by the [Ca VIII] 2.32 μm coronal line and extend out to at least a radius of r ∼ 140 pc. The molecular gas, traced by the H₂ 2.12 μm emission, is also counter-rotating with respect to the main body of the galaxy, indicating that the formation of the distinct core was associated with inflow of external gas into the centre of MCG–6-30-15. The molecular gas traces the available gas reservoir for AGN fuelling and is detected as close as r ∼ 50–100 pc. External gas accretion is able to significantly replenish the fuelling reservoir suggesting that the event which formed the counter-rotating core was also the main mechanism providing gas for AGN fuelling.



galaxies: active, galaxies: individual: MCG–6-30-15, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, galaxies: nuclei, galaxies: Seyfert

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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Oxford University Press
European Research Council (340442)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/N000927/1)
PG acknowledges support from STFC (grant reference ST/J003697/2). This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In this work, we used data obtained as part of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. This research has made use of NASA’s Astrophysics Data System.