Investigating the nuclear activity of barred spiral galaxies: The case of NGC1672

L. P. Jenkins, W. N. Brandt, E. J.M. Colbert, B. Koribalski, K. D. Kuntz, A. J. Levan, R. Ojha, T. P. Roberts, M. J. Ward, A. Zezas

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Abstract

We have performed an X-ray study of the nearby barred spiral galaxy NGC1672, primarily to ascertain the effect of the bar on its nuclear activity. We use both Chandra and XMM-Newton observations to investigate its X-ray properties, together with supporting high-resolution optical imaging data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), infrared imaging from the Spitzer Space Telescope, and Australia Telescope Compact Array ground-based radio data. We detect 28 X-ray sources within the D 25 area of the galaxy; many are spatially correlated with star formation in the bar and spiral arms, and two are identified as background galaxies in the HST images. Nine of the X-ray sources are ultraluminous X-ray sources, with the three brightest (LX > 5 × 1039ergs-1) located at the ends of the bar. With the spatial resolution of Chandra, we are able to show for the first time that NGC1672 possesses a hard (Γ ∼ 1.5) nuclear X-ray source with a 2-10keV luminosity of 4 × 1038ergs-1. This is surrounded by an X-ray-bright circumnuclear star-forming ring, comprised of point sources and hot gas, which dominates the 2-10keV emission in the central region of the galaxy. The spatially resolved multiwavelength photometry indicates that the nuclear source is a low-luminosity active galactic nucleus (LLAGN), but with star formation activity close to the central black hole. A high-resolution multiwavelength survey is required to fully assess the impact of both large-scale bars and smaller-scale phenomena such as nuclear bars, rings, and nuclear spirals on the fueling of LLAGN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number33
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume734
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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