January 2023 • 2023ApJ...942L..37A
Abstract • We present mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of the nucleus of the nearby Seyfert galaxy NGC 7469 taken with the MIRI instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as part of Directors Discretionary Time Early Release Science program 1328. The high-resolution nuclear spectrum contains 19 emission lines covering a wide range of ionization. The high-ionization lines show broad, blueshifted emission reaching velocities up to 1700 km s-1 and FWHM ranging from ~500 to 1100 km s-1. The width of the broad emission and the broad-to-narrow line flux ratios correlate with ionization potential. The results suggest a decelerating, stratified, AGN-driven outflow emerging from the nucleus. The estimated mass outflow rate is 1-2 orders of magnitude larger than the current black hole accretion rate needed to power the AGN. Eight pure rotational H2 emission lines are detected with intrinsic widths ranging from FWHM ~125 to 330 km s-1. We estimate a total mass of warm H2 gas of ~1.2 × 107 M ⊙ in the central 100 pc. The PAH features are extremely weak in the nuclear spectrum, but a 6.2 μm PAH feature with an equivalent width of ~0.07 μm and a flux of 2.7 × 10-17 W m-2 is detected. The spectrum is steeply rising in the mid-infrared, with a silicate strength of ~0.02, significantly smaller than seen in most PG QSOs but comparable to other Seyfert 1s. These early MIRI mid-infrared IFU data highlight the power of JWST to probe the multiphase interstellar media surrounding actively accreting supermassive black holes.