Observational evidence for a multiphase outflow in quasar FIRST J1044+3656

John Everett*, Arieh Königl, Nahum Arav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Spectral absorption features in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) have traditionally been attributed to outflowing photoionized gas located at a distance of order a parsec from the central continuum source. However, recent observations of quasi-stellar object FIRST J104459.6+365605 by de Kool and coworkers, when interpreted in the context of a single-phase gas model, imply that the absorption occurs much farther (≈700 pc) from the center. We reinterpret these observations in terms of a shielded, multiphase gas, which we represent as a continuous low-density wind with embedded high-density clouds. Our model satisfies all the observational constraints with an absorbing gas that extends only out to ∼4 pc from the central source. The different density components in this model coexist in the same region of space and have similar velocities, which makes it possible to account for the detection in this source of absorption features that correspond to different ionization parameters but have a similar velocity structure. This model also implies that only a small fraction of the gas along the line of sight to the center is outflowing at the observed speeds and that the clouds are dusty, whereas the uniform gas component is dust-free. We suggest that a similar picture may apply to other sources and discuss additional possible clues to the existence of multiphase outflows in AGNs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-675
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Apr 20 2002


  • Galaxies: Seyfert
  • Galaxies: active
  • MHD
  • Quasars: absorption lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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