Star formation and AGN fuelling

R. Maiolino, A. Alonso Herrero, S. Anders, A. Quillen, G. H. Rieke, L. E. Tacconi-Garman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We present new observational data that tackle the issues of the star formation in Seyfert galaxies, the obscuration and fuelling mechanisms of active galactic nuclei, and the connection between these phenomena. New ISOCAM mid-IR images of nearby Seyfert 2 galaxies confirm that these systems are characterized by enhanced star forming activity. In barred systems the star forming activity occurs preferentially along the bar, indicating that these bars have formed recently and are still in the process of transporting gas towards the center. New X-ray data indicate that the gaseous column density absorbing Sy2 nuclei is a function of the bar strength, therefore indicating that stellar bars play an important role in obscuring AGNs. We speculate that non-axisymmetric disturbances (interaction/bars) both enhance the star forming activity in host galaxy and drive gas into the nuclear region to obscure the AGN, thus making the observed starburst-Sy2 connection. On smaller scales (10-100 pc), we report the discovery of a nuclear gaseous bar in the nearby Sy2 Circinus galaxy. The molecular gas kinematics indicates that this bar causes the gas to flow into the nuclear 10 pc. In the nuclear 10 pc we detect a young nuclear stellar cluster. We show that the post-main-sequence mass loss of this young nuclear stellar population could account for the fuelling of the active nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-880
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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