A 100 kpc nebula associated with the `Teacup' fading quasar

Villar-Martín, M.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; Humphrey, A.; Silva, M.; Ramos Almeida, C.; Piqueras-López, J.; Emonts, B.
Bibliographical reference

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 474, Issue 2, p.2302-2312

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We report the discovery of an ˜100 kpc ionized nebula associated with the radio-quiet type 2 quasar (QSO2) nicknamed the `Teacup' (z = 0.085). The giant nebula is among the largest known around active galaxies at any z. We propose that it is part of the circumgalactic medium (CGM) of the QSO2 host, which has been populated with tidal debris by galactic interactions. This rich gaseous medium has been rendered visible due to the illumination by the powerful active nucleus (AGN). Subsolar abundances (˜0.5 Z⊙) are tentatively favoured by AGN photoionization models. We also report the detection of coronal emission (Fe+6) from the NE bubble, at ˜9 kpc from the AGN. The detection of coronal lines at such large distances from the AGN and the [N II] λ6583/Hα, [S II] λλ6716,6731/Hα, [O I] λ6300/Hα optical emission-line ratios of the giant nebula are consistent with the fading quasar scenario proposed by Gagne et al. The fading rate appears to have been faster in the last ˜46 000 yr. Deep wide field integral field spectroscopy of giant nebulae around powerful AGN such as the `Teacup's' with instruments such as MUSE on VLT opens up a way to detect and study the elusive material from the CGM around massive active galaxies thanks to the illumination by the luminous AGN.
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