SMA Research: Molecular gas feeding closest powerful radio-galaxy, Centaurus A (NGC5128)

We have imaged with unprecedented resolution (1 arcsec, 16 pc) the molecular gas along the dust lane of the closest radio-galaxy, Centaurus A, as traced by the CO(2-1) line (green) observed using the Submillimeter Array (SMA). We resolve a large amount of molecular gas in the circumnuclear regions (r < 200 pc) in the form of a disk/torus just perpendicular to the X-ray/radio jet (Chandra/ACIS-I image, red, Kraft et al. 2003). This support a direct connection between the active nucleus and the molecular gas. In addition, a more extended component in molecular gas is seen to be coextensive with the parallelogram structure previously observed in dust emission along P.A. = 120 deg (green, 8um Spitzer/IRAC, Quillen et al. 2006), well reproduced in principle by a highly inclined warped disk . However, a possible contribution of a weak bi-symmetric potential may be present, since the distribution and kinematic maps substantially deviates with respect to the warped disk model.

Science Publication

  • Daniel Espada (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA / IAA-CSIC), et al. Disentangling the Circumnuclear Environs of Centaurus A. I. High-Resolution Molecular Gas Imaging, 2009, ApJ, 695, 116-134 (ADS
  •   Centaurus A(NGC5128)

    Daniel Espada, 2009