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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof David Alexander

Harrison, C.M., Thomson, A.P., Alexander, D.M., Bauer, F.E., Edge, A.C., Hogan, M.T., Mullaney, J.R. & Swinbank, A.M. (2015). Storm in a "Teacup": A Radio-quiet Quasar with ≈10 kpc Radio-emitting Bubbles and Extreme Gas Kinematics. The Astrophysical Journal 800(1): 45.

Author(s) from Durham


We present multi-frequency (1-8 GHz) Very Large Array data, combined with VIsible MultiObject Spectrograph integral field unit data and Hubble Space Telescope imaging, of a z = 0.085 radio-quiet type 2 quasar (with L 1.4 GHz ≈ 5 × 1023 W Hz–1 and L AGN ≈ 2 × 1045 erg s–1). Due to the morphology of its emission-line region, the target (J1430+1339) has been referred to as the "Teacup" active galactic nucleus (AGN) in the literature. We identify "bubbles" of radio emission that are extended ≈10-12 kpc to both the east and west of the nucleus. The edge of the brighter eastern bubble is co-spatial with an arc of luminous ionized gas. We also show that the "Teacup" AGN hosts a compact radio structure, located ≈0.8 kpc from the core position, at the base of the eastern bubble. This radio structure is co-spatial with an ionized outflow with an observed velocity of v = –740 km s–1. This is likely to correspond to a jet, or possibly a quasar wind, interacting with the interstellar medium at this position. The large-scale radio bubbles appear to be inflated by the central AGN, which indicates that the AGN can also interact with the gas on gsim 10 kpc scales. Our study highlights that even when a quasar is formally "radio-quiet" the radio emission can be extremely effective for observing the effects of AGN feedback.