Mapping of the molecular gas inflow towards the Seyfert nucleus of NGC4051 using Gemini NIFS

Riffel, Rogemar A.
Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa
Winge, Claudia
McGregor, Peter J.
Beck, Tracy
Schmitt, Henrique
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We present two-dimensional (2D) stellar and gaseous kinematics of the inner ~130x180 pc^2 of the Narrow Line Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC4051 at a sampling of 4.5 pc, from near-infrared K-band spectroscopic observations obtained with the Gemini's Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS). The turnover of the stellar rotation curve at only ~55 pc from the nucleus, revealing a highly concentrated gravitational potential. The stellar velocity dispersion of the bulge is ~60 km/s -- implying on a nuclear black hole mass of ~10^6 M_sun -- within which patches of lower velocity dispersion suggest the presence of regions of more recent star formation. The Brgamma emission-line shows no rotation as well as no blueshifts or redshifts in excess of 30 km/s, and is thus not restricted to the galaxy plane. The [CaVIII] coronal region is compact but resolved, extending over the inner 75 pc. It shows the highest blueshifts -- of up to -250 km/s, and the highest velocity dispersions, interpreted as due to outflows from the active nucleus, supporting an origin close to the nucleus. Subtraction of the stellar velocity field from the gaseous velocity field has allowed us to isolate non-circular motions observed in the H_2 emitting gas. The most conspicuous kinematic structures are two nuclear spiral arms. We interpret these structures as inflows towards the nucleus, a result similar to those of previous studies in which we have found streaming motions along nuclear spirals in ionized gas using optical IFU observations. We have calculated the mass inflow rate along the nuclear spiral arms, obtaining $\dot{M}_{H_2} ~ 4x10^{-5} M_Sun/yr, value ~100 times smaller than the accretion rate necessary to power the active nucleus.
Comment: paper accepted for publication in MNRAS, 17 pages, 10 figures