Principal Investigator: Francisco Mueller-Sanchez
PI Institution: University of Memphis
Title: AGN Feeding and Feedback in NGC 4151
The discovery of a number of black hole (BH) galaxy relations has shown that the growth of supermassive BHs is closely related to the evolution of galaxies. This evidence has opened a new debate in which the fundamental questions concern the interactions between the central BH and the interstellar medium within the host galaxy, and can be addressed by studying two crucial processes: feeding and feedback. Using archival JWST NIRSpec data, we aim to characterize the circumnuclear region of NGC 4151 to study, with unprecedented detail AGN feeding and feedback. NGC 4151, as one of the nearest AGN and an extremely well-studied Seyfert galaxy, provides an outstanding opportunity to obtain meaningful constraints for models incorporating these processes to regulate BH-host galaxy co-evolution. We will achieve this by: (1) tracing outflows via ionized and coronal gas emission to establish the energetics of the outflowing gas and potential for feedback into the host galaxy, (2) tracing inflows via molecular hydrogen gas emission from which the driving inflow mechanism can be identified and an inflow rate obtained via modeling, (3) using the wide range of available H2 lines in the near-IR to establish their connection with the obscuring torus, and (4) obtaining a molecular gas-based black hole mass estimate. JWST is uniquely capable of advancing our understanding of these processes due to its sensitivity and stable point-spread-function, which facilitates the detection of diagnostic emission lines not available in current ground based data, as well as probing these processes down to unprecedented spatial scales.