GOALS-JWST: Pulling Back the Curtain on the AGN and Star Formation in VV 114

February 2023 • 2023ApJ...944L..50R

Authors • Rich, J. • Aalto, S. • Evans, A. S. • Charmandaris, V. • Privon, G. C. • Lai, T. • Inami, H. • Linden, S. • Armus, L. • Diaz-Santos, T. • Appleton, P. • Barcos-Muñoz, L. • Böker, T. • Larson, K. L. • Law, D. R. • Malkan, M. A. • Medling, A. M. • Song, Y. • U, V. • van der Werf, P. • Bohn, T. • Brown, M. J. I. • Finnerty, L. • Hayward, C. • Howell, J. • Iwasawa, K. • Kemper, F. • Marshall, J. • Mazzarella, J. M. • McKinney, J. • Muller-Sanchez, F. • Murphy, E. J. • Sanders, D. • Soifer, B. T. • Stierwalt, S. • Surace, J.

Abstract • We present results from the James Webb Space Telescope Director's Discretionary Time Early Release Science program 1328 targeting the nearby, luminous infrared galaxy, VV 114. We use the MIRI and NIRSpec instruments to obtain integral-field spectroscopy of the heavily obscured eastern nucleus (V114E) and surrounding regions. The spatially resolved, high-resolution spectra reveal the physical conditions in the gas and dust over a projected area of 2-3 kpc that includes the two brightest IR sources, the NE and SW cores. Our observations show for the first time spectroscopic evidence that the SW core hosts an active galactic nucleus as evidenced by its very low 6.2 μm and 3.3 μm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon equivalent widths (0.12 and 0.017 μm, respectively) and mid- and near-IR colors. Our observations of the NE core show signs of deeply embedded star formation including absorption features due to aliphatic hydrocarbons, large quantities of amorphous silicates, as well as HCN due to cool gas along the line of sight. We detect elevated [Fe II]/Pfα consistent with extended shocks coincident with enhanced emission from warm H2, far from the IR-bright cores and clumps. We also identify broadening and multiple kinematic components in both H2 and fine structure lines caused by outflows and previously identified tidal features.


IPAC Authors


Phil Appleton

Senior Scientist


Lee Armus

Senior Scientist

Joe Mazzarella

Senior Scientist