FPI for the project "Understanding nuclear activity in galaxies: from low to high accretion rates"

Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC)
Fecha limite/Deadline: 

This is a coordinated project that aims to make significant contributions to the resolution of some of the most important challenges in the research frontiers of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) covering a large range of intrinsic luminosities (from LINERs to QSOs), accretion rates (low and high), scales (from the central SMBH to galaxy clusters), and redshifts (from the local volume to high-z objects), and for the first time integrating also the perspective allowed by numerical simulations. At the smallest scales, we plan to study the physical properties of the AGN central engines specially in radio loud quasars, to determine the properties of the obscuring torus in LINERs and Seyferts, to test the Unified Model in Seyferts and to analyze the eventual disappearance of the BLR at the lowest AGN luminosities and/or accretion rates. At scales of the host galaxy, we plan to derive kinematical and stellar content properties of Seyferts and LINERs and relate them to the AGN fueling mechanisms, as well as to study the fueling and feedback of star formation and nuclear activity in nearby objects. At the largest scales, from close pairs to galaxy groups with tens of members, we plan to analyze the environments of radio galaxies and type 1 AGN.

More specifically, the milestones of the research subproject at the IAA untitled "Understanding nuclear activity in galaxies: from low to high accretion rates" are: (i) to determine the nature of the torus in nearby and local LINERS and search for signatures of its disappearance at low luminosities; (ii) to determine the eventual contribution of outflows in the broadening of permitted emission lines in type 1 LINERs; (iii) to analyse the kinematics and stellar populations in nearby AGN with top-ranked IFU and NIR spectroscopy; (iv) to analyse the dichotomy between Radio Loud and Radio Quiet quasars and the effect of the relativistic radio jets on the gas in the broad line emitting regions; (v) to study the importance of X-ray properties for discriminating pop. A and B quasars; (vi) to study the geometry and dynamics of nuclear outflows in the most highly accreting quasars; (vii) to analyse binary black holes in the context of mergers; (viii) to study the presence and type of AGN hosts in galaxy clusters. These fundamental problems will be tackled with data at our disposal coming from state-of-the-art instrumentation, and with data we plan to gather partly within the framework of the scientific groups of projects for new incoming instrumentation at GTC.

We propose a PhD thesis work under the supervision of I. Márquez and J. Masegosa to continue with the exploration on the dissapearance of the torus  and the Broad Line Region at very low luminosities. Firstly, an analysis at MIR frequencies will be performed in combination with our previous X-ray data to get insights on the nature of the torus. Secondly, IFU optical spectroscopy (MEGARA@GTC and/or MUSE@VLT) will be obtained and analyzed for a well defined sample of low luminosity AGN to get a definitive conclusion on the nature of the observed broad emission lines.