The MOSDEF survey: a census of AGN-driven ionized outflows at $z = 1.4-3.8$
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The MOSDEF survey: a census of AGN-driven ionized outflows at $z = 1.4-3.8$

  • Author(s): Leung, Gene CK
  • Coil, Alison L
  • Aird, James
  • Azadi, Mojegan
  • Kriek, Mariska
  • Mobasher, Bahram
  • Reddy, Naveen
  • Shapley, Alice
  • Siana, Brian
  • Fetherolf, Tara
  • Fornasini, Francesca M
  • Freeman, William R
  • Price, Sedona H
  • Sanders, Ryan L
  • Shivaei, Irene
  • Zick, Tom
  • et al.

Using data from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey, we present a census of AGN-driven ionized outflows in a sample of 159 AGNs at $1.4 \le z \le 3.8$. The sample spans AGN bolometric luminosities of $10^{44-47} \mathrm{~erg~s}^{-1}$ and includes both quiescent and star-forming galaxies extending across three orders of magnitude in stellar mass. We identify and characterize outflows from the \hbeta, [OIII], \halpha ~and [NII] emission line spectra. We detect outflows in $17\%$ of the AGNs, seven times more often than in a mass-matched sample of inactive galaxies in MOSDEF. The outflows are fast and galaxy-wide, with velocities of $\sim 400-3500 ~\mathrm{km~s}^{-1}$ and spatial extents of $0.3-11.0$ kpc. The incidence of outflows among AGNs is independent of the stellar mass of the host galaxy, with outflows detected in both star-forming and quiescent galaxies. This suggests that outflows exist across different phases in galaxy evolution. We investigate relations between outflow kinematic, spatial, and energetic properties and both AGN and host galaxy properties. Our results show that AGN-driven outflows are widespread in galaxies along the star-forming main sequence. The mass-loading factors of the outflows are typically $0.1-1$ and increase with AGN luminosity, capable of exceeding unity at $L_\mathrm{AGN} \gtrsim 10^{46.3} \mathrm{~erg~s}^{-1}$. In these more luminous sources the ionized outflow alone is likely sufficient to regulate star formation, and when combined with outflowing neutral and molecular gas may be able to quench star formation in their host galaxies.

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