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What powers the starburst activity of NGC 1068? Star-driven gravitational instabilities caught in the act
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
Number of Authors: 2
2016 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 460, no 3, 2360-2367 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We explore the role that gravitational instability plays in NGC 1068, a nearby Seyfert galaxy that exhibits unusually vigorous starburst activity. For this purpose, we use the Romeo-Falstad disc instability diagnostics and data from the BIMA Survey of Nearby Galaxies, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Spectrographic Areal Unit for Research on Optical Nebulae. Our analysis illustrates that NGC 1068 is a gravitationally unstable 'monster'. Its starburst disc is subject to unusually powerful instabilities. Several processes, including feedback from the active galactic nucleus and starburst activity, try to quench such instabilities from inside out by depressing the surface density of molecular gas across the central kpc, but they do not succeed. Gravitational instability 'wins' because it is driven by the stars via their much higher surface density. In this process, stars and molecular gas are strongly coupled, and it is such a coupling that ultimately triggers local gravitational collapse/fragmentation in the molecular gas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 460, no 3, 2360-2367 p.
Keyword [en]
instabilities, ISM: kinematics and dynamics, galaxies: individual: NGC 1068, galaxies: ISM, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, galaxies: structure
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135115DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw1147ISI: 000381204600006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-135115DiVA: diva2:1044534
Available from: 2016-11-03 Created: 2016-10-31 Last updated: 2016-11-03Bibliographically approved

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