Publications by Patrick Roche

The complex evolutionary paths of local infrared bright galaxies: a high-angular resolution mid-infrared view

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 463 (2016) 2405-2424

P Roche, A Alonso-Herrero, R Poulton, A Hernán-Caballero, I Aretxaga, M Martínez-Paredes, C Ramos Almeida, M Pereira-Santaella, T Díaz-Santos, NA Levenson, C Packham, L Colina, P Esquej, O González-Martín, K Ichikawa, M Imanishi, JM Rodríguez Espinosa, C Telesco

We investigate the evolutionary connection between local infrared (IR)-bright galaxies (logLIR ≥11.4 Lʘ) and quasars. We use high-angular resolution (∼0.3–0.4 arcsec∼few hundred parsecs) 8–13µm ground-based spectroscopy to disentangle the active galactic nuclei (AGN) id-IR properties from those of star formation. The comparison between the nuclear 11.3µm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon feature emission and that measured with Spitzer/Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph indicates that the star formation is extended over a few kpc in the IRbright galaxies. The AGN contribution to the total IR luminosity of IR-bright galaxies is lower than in quasars. Although the dust distribution is predicted to change as IR-bright galaxies evolve to IR-bright quasars and then to optical quasars, we show that the AGN mid-IR emission of all the quasars in our sample is not significantly different. In contrast, the nuclear emission of IR-bright galaxies with low AGN contributions appears more heavily embedded in dust although there is no clear trend with the interaction stage or projected nuclear separation. This suggests that the changes in the distribution of the nuclear obscuring material may be taking place rapidly and at different interaction stages washing out the evidence of an evolutionary path. When compared to normal AGN, the nuclear star formation activity of quasars appears to be dimming, whereas it is enhanced in some IR-bright nuclei, suggesting that the latter are in an earlier star formation-dominated phase.

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