Storm in a Teacup: X-Ray View of an Obscured Quasar and Superbubble

George B. Lansbury, Miranda E. Jarvis, Chris M. Harrison, David M. Alexander, Agnese Del Moro, Alastair C. Edge, James R. Mullaney, Alasdair P. Thomson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    142 Downloads (Pure)


    We present the X-ray properties of the "Teacup AGN" (SDSS J1430+1339), a z = 0.085 type 2 quasar that is interacting dramatically with its host galaxy. Spectral modeling of the central quasar reveals a powerful, highly obscured active galactic nucleus (AGN) with a column density of N H = (4.2-6.5) ×1023 cm-2 and an intrinsic luminosity of L 2-10 keV = (0.8-1.4) ×1044 erg s-1. The current high bolometric luminosity inferred (L bol ≈1045-1046 erg s-1) has ramifications for previous interpretations of the Teacup as a fading/dying quasar. High-resolution Chandra imaging data reveal a ≈10 kpc loop of X-ray emission, cospatial with the "eastern bubble" previously identified in luminous radio and ionized gas (e.g., [O iii] line) emission. The X-ray emission from this structure is in good agreement with a shocked thermal gas, with T = (4-8) ×106 K, and there is evidence for an additional hot component with T3 ×107 K. Although the Teacup is a radiatively dominated AGN, the estimated ratio between the bubble power and the X-ray luminosity is in remarkable agreement with observations of ellipticals, groups, and clusters of galaxies undergoing AGN feedback.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberL1
    JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
    Issue number1
    Early online date19 Mar 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • galaxies: active
    • galaxies: evolution
    • galaxies: individual (Teacup AGN)
    • quasars: general
    • X-rays: galaxies


    Dive into the research topics of 'Storm in a Teacup: X-Ray View of an Obscured Quasar and Superbubble'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this