Very extended cold gas, star formation and outflows in the halo of a bright quasar atz> 6
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Past observations of QSO host galaxies at z >6 have found cold gas and star formation on compact scales of a few kiloparsecs. We present new high sensitivity IRAM PdBI follow-up observations of the [CII] 158micron emission line and FIR continuum in the host galaxy of SDSS J1148+5152, a luminous QSO at redshift 6.4189. We find that a large fraction of the gas traced by [CII] is at high velocities, up to ~1400 km/s relative to the systemic velocity, confirming the presence of a major
... major quasar-driven outflow indicated by previous observations. The outflow has a complex morphology and reaches a maximum projected radius of ~30 kpc. The extreme spatial extent of the outflow allows us, for the first time in an external galaxy, to estimate mass-loss rate, kinetic power and momentum rate of the outflow as a function of the projected distance from the nucleus and the dynamical time-scale. These trends reveal multiple outflow events during the past 100 Myr, although the bulk of the mass, energy and momentum appear to have been released more recently, within the past ~20 Myr. Surprisingly, we discover that also the quiescent gas at systemic velocity is extremely extended. More specifically, we find that, while 30% of the [CII] within v\in(-200, 200) km/s traces a compact component that is not resolved by our observations, 70% of the [CII] emission in this velocity range is extended, with a projected FWHM size of 17.4+-1.4 kpc. We detect FIR continuum emission associated with both the compact and the extended [CII] components, although the extended FIR emission has a FWHM of 11+-3 kpc, thus smaller than the extended [CII] source. Overall, our results indicate that the cold gas traced by [CII] is distributed up to r~30 kpc. A large fraction of extended [CII] is likely associated with star formation on large scales, but the [CII] source extends well beyond the FIR continuum.