No AGN evidence in NGC 1614 from deep radio VLBI observations

Rubén Herrero-Illana, Antxon Alberdi, Miguel Ángel Pérez-Torres, Almudena Alonso-Herrero, Daniel González-Millán, Miguel Pereira-Santaella. 2017. No AGN evidence in NGC 1614 from deep radio VLBI observations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 470, 1, DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slx085

We present deep dual-band 5.0-and 8.4-GHz European VLBI Network (EVN) observations of NGC 1614, a local luminous infrared galaxy with a powerful circumnuclear starburst ring, and whose nuclear engine origin is still controversial. We aim at detecting and characterizing compact radio structures both in the nuclear region and in the circumnuclear ring. We do not find any compact source in the central 200 pc region, setting a very tight 5 sigma upper limit of 3.7 x 10(36) and 5.8 x 10(36) erg s(-1), at 5.0 and 8.4 GHz, respectively. However, we report a clear detection at both frequencies of a compact structure in the circumnuclear ring, 190 pc to the north of the nucleus, whose luminosity and spectral index are compatible with a core-collapse supernova, giving support to the high star formation rate in the ring. Our result favours the pure starburst scenario, even for the nucleus of NGC 1614, and shows the importance of radio VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) observations when dealing with the obscured environments of dusty galaxies.

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