Outflowing galactic winds in post-starburst and active galactic nucleus host galaxies at 0.2 < z < 0.8

Alison L. Coil, Benjamin J. Weiner, Daniel E. Holz, Michael C. Cooper, Renbin Yan, James Aird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


We present Keck/LRIS-B spectra for a sample of 10 AEGIS X-ray active galactic nucleus (AGN) host galaxies and 13 post-starburst galaxies from SDSS and DEEP2 at 0.2 < z < 0.8 in order to investigate the presence, properties, and influence of outflowing galactic winds at intermediate redshifts. We focus on galaxies that either host a low-luminosity AGN or have recently had their star formation quenched to test whether these galaxies have winds of sufficient velocity to potentially clear gas from the galaxy. We find, using absorption features of Fe II, Mg II, and Mg I, that six of the ten (60%) X-ray AGN host galaxies and four of the thirteen (31%) post-starburst galaxies have outflowing galactic winds, with typical velocities of ∼200 km s -1. We additionally find that most of the galaxies in our sample show line emission, possibly from the wind, in either Fe II* or Mg II. A total of 100% of our X-ray AGN host sample (including four red sequence galaxies) and 77% of our post-starburst sample has either blueshifted absorption or line emission. Several K+A galaxies have small amounts of cool gas absorption at the systemic velocity, indicating that not all of the cool gas has been expelled. We conclude that while outflowing galactic winds are common in both X-ray low-luminosity AGN host galaxies and post-starburst galaxies at intermediate redshifts, the winds are likely driven by supernovae (as opposed to AGNs) and do not appear to have sufficiently high velocities to quench star formation in these galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2011


  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: starburst
  • ultraviolet: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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