Evidence of Wind Signatures in the Gas Velocity Profiles of Red Geysers

Namrata Roy, Kevin Bundy, Rebecca Nevin, Francesco Belfiore, Renbin Yan, Stephanie Campbell, Rogemar A. Riffel, Rogerio Riffel, Matthew Bershady, Kyle Westfall, Niv Drory, Kai Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Spatially resolved spectroscopy from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory (MaNGA) survey has revealed a class of quiescent, relatively common early-type galaxies termed "red geysers"that possibly host large-scale active galactic nuclei-driven winds. Given their potential importance in maintaining a low level of star formation at late times, additional evidence confirming that winds are responsible for the red geyser phenomenon is critical. In this work, we present follow-up observations with the Echellette Spectrograph and Imager (ESI) at the Keck telescope of two red geysers (z < 0.1) using multiple long slit positions to sample different regions of each galaxy. Our ESI data with a spectral resolution (R) ∼ 8000 improve upon MaNGA's resolution by a factor of 4, allowing us to resolve the ionized gas velocity profiles along the putative wind cone with an instrumental resolution of σ = 16 km s-1. The line profiles of Hα and [N ii] λ6584 show asymmetric shapes that depend systematically on location: extended blue wings on the redshifted side of the galaxy and red wings on the opposite side. We construct a simple wind model and show that our results are consistent with geometric projections through an outflowing conical wind oriented at an angle toward the line of sight. An alternative hypothesis that assigns the asymmetric pattern to "beam smearing"of a rotating, ionized gas disk does a poor job matching the line asymmetry profiles. While our study features just two sources, it lends further support to the notion that red geysers are the result of galaxy-scale winds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 2021

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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