Nuclear Activity in Galaxies: a 3D Perspective from the Nucleus to the Outskirts


This project consists of two main research lines. First, the study of quasar-driven outflows in luminous and nearby obscured active galactic nuclei (AGN) and the impact that they have on their massive host galaxies (AGN feedback). To do so, we have obtained Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) infrared and optical observations with the instruments CanariCam, EMIR and MEGARA, as well as with ALMA in the sub-mm/mm regime. Part of this project is being done within the framework of the H2020 Innovative Training Network BID4BEST. The group is also devoted to obtain and exploit observing time with the JWST and ALMA as part of the GATOS consortium (Galactic Activity, Torus and Outflow Survey) with the aim of characterizing nuclear obscuration and the gas flow cycle in local AGN. Second, the application of integral field spectroscopy to the study of extended objects (active and star forming galaxies) to investigate the triggering of both phenomena. We also contribute to the development of new instruments and data analysis procedures related to 3D observing techniques. In particular, we participate in the development of HARMONI, the first-light high-spatial resolution integral field spectrograph for the ESO Extremely Large Telescope.

Principal investigator
Project staff
del Moral Castro
  1. Publication of a letter in A&A in which we find kpc-scale dynamical differences between almost identical pairs of active and non-active disc galaxies in terms of structural properties (del Moral Castro, García-Lorenzo, Ramos Almeida et al. 2020). This study opens a new window to investigate the AGN triggering phenomenon.

  2. The European Network H2020-ITN-2019 "Big Data Applications for Black Hole Evolution Studies" (BID4BEST) started on March, 1st 2020. The new PhD student Giovanna Speranza started her contract at the IAC in September 2020.

  3. In the framework of the GATOS collaboration (Galactic Activity, Torus and Outflow Survey) we published a study of the feedback processes in the galaxy NGC5643 (García-Bernete et al. 2021). To do so we used molecular gas (ALMA data) and ionized gas tracers (MUSE).

  4. Ana Monreal-Ibero participed in the identification of the first system of three nuclear black holes with separations of a few hundred parsecs using data from VLT/MUSE (Kollatschny et al. 2020).

  5. Omaira González Martín visited the IAC for three months in 2020 to work with Cristina Ramos Almeida in various research projects, including the preparation and submission of JWST proposals. This stay was funded by the Fundación Jesús Serra.

  6. The VASCO project, led by Beatriz Villarroel (Nordita & IAC), received a scholarship for "A citizen science effort to scan for vanishing and appearing sources in historical sky surveys" that is done in collaboration with different institutes, including the Spanish Virtual Observatory, University of Constantine (Algeria), Center for Basic Space Science (Nigeria) and Uppsala University."

  7. Publication of the first work entirely based on data from the infrared spectrograph EMIR on the GTC (Ramos Almeida, Acosta-Pulido, Tadhunter, et al. 2019). Using the infrared spectrum of the nearby obscured quasar J1509+0434 we characterize its ionized and warm molecular outflows.

  8. Publication of a study of the torus of NGC 1068 using sub-mm data from ALMA (García-Burillo, Combes, Ramos Almeida, et al. 2019). This work reveals the many faces of the AGN torus depending on the transition we look at.

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