A MUSE study of the extended reservoirs of cool / warm gas associated with powerful active galaxies at high redshift


  • Call:

    IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2017

  • Academic Year:

    2017 / 2018

  • Domain:


  • Supervisor:

    Andrew Humphrey

  • Co-Supervisor:

    Montserrat Villar Martin

  • Institution:

    Universidade do Porto

  • Host Institution:

    Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

  • Abstract:

    The objective of this project is to gain a panoramic view of the kinematic, morphological and ionization properties of the extended reservoirs of cool / warm gas associated with many powerful active galaxies in the high redshift Universe, principally by exploiting high quality integral field observations from the European Southern Observatory’s powerful MUSE instrument. Previous studies in this area have generally used only long-slit (2D) spectroscopy giving limited spatial information, or else used MUSE 3D data but with a focus on a single object (or a small sample), making this project the first to pull together a substantial volume of MUSE 3D data encompassing several different types of high-z active galaxy. The student will assemble a sample comprising all active galaxies observed by MUSE and whose redshift puts Ly-alpha in the spectral range of the instrument. Key issues to be addressed are: - The relative importance of inflow and outflow of gas in the extended Ly-alpha halos as seen in 3D; where outflows are detected, are they galaxy-wide or confined to areas affected by the AGN activity?; - Characterize and contrast the 3D properties of the Ly-alpha halos of high-z quasars and radio galaxies; what is the impact of radio loudness and radio-mode feedback on the 3D properties of the extended Ly-alpha gas?; - Characterize the 3D properties of the spatially extended, associated Ly-alpha absorption systems associated with some high-z active galaxies; Are their properties correlated with any other parameters, and why?