A Far-IR View of the Starburst-driven Superwind in NGC 2146

July 2014 • 2014ApJ...790...26K

Authors • Kreckel, K. • Armus, L. • Groves, B. • Lyubenova, M. • Díaz-Santos, T. • Schinnerer, E. • Appleton, P. • Croxall, K. V. • Dale, D. A. • Hunt, L. K. • Beirão, P. • Bolatto, A. D. • Calzetti, D. • Donovan Meyer, J. • Draine, B. T. • Hinz, J. • Kennicutt, R. C. • Meidt, S. • Murphy, E. J. • Smith, J. D. T. • Tabatabaei, F. S. • Walter, F.

Abstract • NGC 2146, a nearby luminous infrared galaxy, presents evidence for outflows along the disk minor axis in all gas phases (ionized, neutral atomic, and molecular). We present an analysis of the multi-phase, starburst-driven superwind in the central 5 kpc as traced in spatially resolved spectral line observations, using far-IR Herschel PACS spectroscopy, to probe the effects on the atomic and ionized gas, and optical integral field spectroscopy to examine the ionized gas through diagnostic line ratios. We observe an increased ~250 km s-1 velocity dispersion in the [O I] 63 μm, [O III] 88 μm, [N II] 122 μm, and [C II] 158 μm fine-structure lines that is spatially coincident with high excitation gas above and below the disk. We model this with a slow ~200 km s-1 shock and trace the superwind to the edge of our field of view 2.5 kpc above the disk. We present new SOFIA 37 μm observations to explore the warm dust distribution, and detect no clear dust entrainment in the outflow. The stellar kinematics appear decoupled from the regular disk rotation seen in all gas phases, consistent with a recent merger event disrupting the system. We consider the role of the superwind in the evolution of NGC 2146 and speculate on the evolutionary future of the system. Our observations of NGC 2146 in the far-IR allow an unobscured view of the wind, crucial for tracing the superwind to the launching region at the disk center, and provide a local analog for future ALMA observations of outflows in high-redshift systems.


IPAC Authors


Phil Appleton

Senior Scientist


Lee Armus

Senior Scientist