In order to identify the dominant nuclear outflow mechanisms in Active Galactic Nuclei, we have undertaken deep, high resolution observations of two compact radio sources (PKS 1549-79 and PKS 1345+12) with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. Not only are these targets known to have powerful emission line outflows, but they also contain all the potential drivers for the outflows: relativistic jets, quasar nuclei and starbursts. ACS allows the compact nature (<0.′′15) of these radio sources to be optically resolved for the first time. Through comparison with existing radio maps we have seen consistency in the nuclear position angles of both the optical emission line and radio data. There is no evidence for bi-conical emission line features on the large-scale and there is a divergance in the relative position angles of the optical and radio structure. This enables us to exclude starburst driven outflows. However, we are unable to clearly distinguish between radiative AGN wind driven outflows and outflows powered by relativistic radio jets. The small scale bi-conical features, indicative of such mechanisms could be below the resolution limit of ACS, especially if aligned close to the line of sight. In addition, there may be offsets between the radio and optical nuclei induced by heavy dust obscuration, nebular continuum or scattered light from the AGN.
Department, Program, or Center
School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)
Astrophysical Journal 661 (2007) 70-77
RIT – Main Campus