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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof David Alexander

Lansbury, George B., Jarvis, Miranda E., Harrison, Chris M., Alexander, David M., Moro, Agnese Del, Edge, Alastair C., Mullaney, James R. & Thomson, Alasdair P. (2018). Storm in a Teacup: X-Ray View of an Obscured Quasar and Superbubble. The Astrophysical Journal Letters 856(1): L1.

Author(s) from Durham


We present the X-ray properties of the "Teacup AGN" (SDSS J1430+1339), a z = 0.085 type 2 quasar that is interacting dramatically with its host galaxy. Spectral modeling of the central quasar reveals a powerful, highly obscured active galactic nucleus (AGN) with a column density of N H = (4.2–6.5) × 1023 cm−2 and an intrinsic luminosity of L 2–10 keV = (0.8–1.4) × 1044 erg s−1. The current high bolometric luminosity inferred (L bol ≈1045–1046 erg s−1) has ramifications for previous interpretations of the Teacup as a fading/dying quasar. High-resolution Chandra imaging data reveal a ≈10 kpc loop of X-ray emission, cospatial with the "eastern bubble" previously identified in luminous radio and ionized gas (e.g., [O iii] line) emission. The X-ray emission from this structure is in good agreement with a shocked thermal gas, with T = (4–8) × 106 K, and there is evidence for an additional hot component with T gsim 3 × 107 K. Although the Teacup is a radiatively dominated AGN, the estimated ratio between the bubble power and the X-ray luminosity is in remarkable agreement with observations of ellipticals, groups, and clusters of galaxies undergoing AGN feedback.