The extent of ionization in simulations of radio-loud AGNs impacting kpc gas discs

Moun Meenakshi*, Dipanjan Mukherjee*, Alexander Y. Wagner, Nicole P.H. Nesvadba, Raffaella Morganti, Reinier M.J. Janssen, Geoffrey V. Bicknell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    We use the results of relativistic hydrodynamic simulations of jet-interstellar medium (ISM) interactions in a galaxy with a radio-loud AGN to quantify the extent of ionization in the central few kpcs of the g aseous g alactic disc. We perform post-process radiative transfer of AGN radiation through the simulated gaseous jet-perturbed disc to estimate the extent of photo-ionization by the AGN with an incident luminosity of 10 45 erg s −1 . We also map the gas that is collisionally ionized due to shocks driven by the jet. The analysis was carried out for simulations with similar jet power (10 45 erg s -1 ) but different jet orientations with respect to the gas disc. We find that the shocks from the jets can ionize a significant fraction (up to 33 per cent ) of dense gas ( n > 100 cm -3 ) in the disc, and that the jets clear out the central regions of gas for AGN radiation to penetrate to larger distances in the disc. Jets inclined towards the disc plane couple more strongly with the ISM and ionize a larger fraction of gas in the disc as compared to the vertical jet. Ho we ver, similar to pre vious studies, we find that the AGN radiation is quickly absorbed by the outer layers of dense clouds in the disc, and is not able to substantially ionize the disc on a global scale. Thus, compared to jet-ISM interactions, we expect that photo-ionization by the AGN radiation only weakly affects the star-formation activity in the central regions of the galactic disc ( ≲ 1 kpc), although the jet-induced shocks can spread farther out.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1622-1636
    Number of pages15
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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