Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 540, L5-5 (2012/4-1)
Evidence of nuclear disks in starburst galaxies from their radial distribution of supernovae.
HERRERO-ILLANA R., PEREZ-TORRES M.A. and ALBERDI A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Galaxy-galaxy interactions are expected to be responsible for triggering massive star formation and possibly accretion onto a supermassive black hole, by providing large amounts of dense molecular gas down to the central kiloparsec region. Several scenarios to drive the gas further down to the central ∼100pc, have been proposed, including the formation of a nuclear disk around the black hole, where massive stars would produce supernovae. Here, we probe the radial distribution of supernovae and supernova remnants in the nuclear regions of the starburst galaxies M82, Arp 299-A, and Arp 220, by using high-angular resolution (≲0.1") radio observations published in the literature (for M82 and Arp 220), or obtained by ourselves from the European VLBI Network (Arp 299-A). Our main goal was to characterize the nuclear starbursts in those galaxies and thus test scenarios that propose that nuclear disks of sizes ∼100pc form in the central regions of starburst galaxies. We obtained the radial distribution of supernovae (SNe) in the nuclear starbursts of M82, Arp 299-A, and Arp 220, and derived scale-length values for the putative nuclear disks powering the bursts in those central regions. The scale lengths for the (exponential) disks range from ∼20-30pc for Arp 299-A and Arp 220, up to ∼140pc for M82. The radial distribution of SNe for the nuclear disks in Arp 299-A and Arp 220 is also consistent with a power-law surface density profile of exponent γ= 1, as expected from detailed hydrodynamical simulations of nuclear disks. Our results support scenarios where a nuclear disk of size ∼100pc is formed in (U)LIRGs, and sustained by gas pressure, in which case the accretion onto the black hole could be lowered by supernova feedback.
galaxies: starburst - galaxies: luminosity function, mass function - galaxies: individual: Arp 299-A - supernovae: general - radiation mechanisms: non-thermal - radio continuum: stars
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