Integral field spectroscopy of nearby QSOs - I. ENLR size-luminosity relation, ongoing star formation and resolved gas-phase metallicities

Integral field spectroscopy of nearby QSOs - I. ENLR size-luminosity relation, ongoing star formation and resolved gas-phase metallicities
Husemann, B; Jahnke, K; Sanchez, SF; Wisotzki, L; Nugroho, D; Kupko, D; Schramm, M
We present optical integral field spectroscopy for a flux-limited sample of 19 quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) at low redshift (z < 0.2) and spatially resolve their ionized gas properties at a physical resolution of 2-5 kpc. Extended ionized gas exists in all QSO host galaxies irrespective of their morphological types. The extended narrow-line regions (ENLRs), photoionized by the radiation of active galactic nuclei (AGN), have sizes of up to several kpc and correlate more strongly with the QSO continuum luminosity at 5100 than with the integrated [OIII] luminosity. We find a relation of the form log r proportional to (0.46 +/- 0.04) log L-5100, reinforcing the picture of an approximately constant ionization parameter for the ionized clouds across the ENLR. Besides the ENLR, we also find gas ionized by young massive stars in more than 50 per cent of the galaxies on kpc scales. In more than half of the sample, the specific star formation rates based on the extinction-corrected H alpha luminosity are consistent with those of inactive disc-dominated galaxies, even for some bulge-dominated QSO hosts. Enhanced star formation rates of up to similar to 70 M-circle dot yr(-1) are rare and always associated with signatures of major mergers. Comparison with the star formation rate based on the 60+100 mu m far-infrared (FIR) luminosity suggests that the FIR luminosity is systematically contaminated by AGN emission and H alpha appears to be a more robust and sensitive tracer for the star formation rate. Evidence for efficient AGN feedback is scarce in our sample, but some of our QSO hosts lack signatures of ongoing star formation leading to a reduced specific star formation rate with respect to the main sequence of galaxies. Whether this is causally linked to the AGN or simply caused by gas depletion remains an open question. Based on 12 QSOs where we can make measurements, we find that on average bulge-dominated QSO host galaxies tend to fall below the mass-metallicity relation compared to their disc-dominated counterparts. While not yet statistically significant for our small sample, this may provide a useful diagnostic for future large surveys if this metal dilution can be shown to be linked to recent or ongoing galaxy interactions.
Autor principal: 
Husemann, B
Autor/es del IAA: 
Sanchez, S. F.
Fecha de publicación: 
Tipo de documento: 
Palabras clave: 
techniques: imaging spectroscopy; ISM: abundances; galaxies: active; galaxies: ISM; quasars: emission lines; galaxies: star formation