Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 400, 2098-2110 (2009/December-3)
Near-infrared imaging and spectroscopy of the nuclear region of the disturbed Virgo cluster spiral NGC4438.
PEREZ S., CASASSUS S., CORTES J.R. and KENNEY J.D.P.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present near-infrared (NIR) Very Large Telescope (VLT) Infrared Spectrometer and Array Camera (ISAAC) imaging and spectroscopy of the peculiar Virgo galaxy NGC4438, whose nucleus has been classified as a low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER). The data are supplemented by mid-infrared imaging, and compared to previous HST broad-band images. Images and position-velocity maps of the [Feii] and H2 line emissions are presented and compared with the distribution of the optical narrow-line region and radio features. Our results show that shocks (possibly driven by a radio jet) contribute to an important fraction of the excitation of [Feii], while X-ray heating from a central active galactic nucleus (AGN) may be responsible for the H2excitation. We address the question whether the outflow has an AGN or a starburst origin by providing new estimates of the central star formation rate and the kinetic energy associated with the gas. By fitting a Sérsic bulge, an exponential disc and a compact nuclear source to the light distribution, we decomposed NGC4438's light distribution and found an unresolved nuclear source at 0.8arcsec resolution with MK = -18.7 and J - H = 0.69. Our measured bulge velocity dispersion, 142 km/s, together with the standard relation, suggests a central black hole mass of. The stellar kinematics measured from the NIR CO lines show a strong peak in the velocity dispersion of σ0∼ 178 km/s in the central 0.5arcsec, which is possible kinematic evidence of a central black hole. We calculated a general expression for the integrated Sérsic profile flux density in elliptical geometry, including the case of `discy' isophotes.