The broad scientific objective of this project is to take a major step forward in our understanding of active galactic nuclei (AGN) feedback by performing a multi-phase outflow census in a representative sample of nearby obscured quasars. This will serve to identify the outflow properties/phases that are most relevant to galaxy evolution by confronting them with contemporaneous galaxy properties (e.g. recent star formation, nuclear molecular gas reservoirs) and with the predictions from dedicated hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy formation.

The Quasar Feedback (QSOFEED) sample includes all the type-2 quasars (QSO2s) with L[OIII]>108.5L (Lbol>1045.6 erg/s) and redshifts z<0.14 from the narrow emission line AGN catalogue of Reyes et al. (2008). It comprises 48 QSO2s with 45.6<log Lbol<46.5 erg/s. The host galaxies are massive and show different optical morphologies including early-type galaxies, spirals, and interacting/merger systems. See Ramos Almeida et al. (2022) for details on the sample.

Colour-combined SDSS images of the 7 QSO2s observed with ALMA in Cycle 6 (Ramos Almeida et al. 2022).


QSOFEED observations.


This project represents a major observational effort to characterize the galaxy morphologies and the line-emitting gas kinematics using a multi-wavelength and multi-scale approach. The observations available are the following (PI Ramos Almeida unless otherwise specified):

  • 7 QSO2s observed with ALMA in CO(2-1) at 0.2 arcsec resolution (2018.1.00870.S)
  • 5 QSO2s to be observed with JWST/MIRI/MRS (program 3566, 30 hours)
  • 44 QSO2s observed in the K-band with GTC/EMIR – seeing limited long-slit spectroscopy (GTC77-18A, GTC62-18B, GTCMULTIPLE2G-19A, GTC83-19B, GTC55-20A)
  • 9 QSO2s observed in the K-band with VLT/SINFONI or Gemini/NIFS – seeing limited integral field spectroscopy (ESO and Gemini archives).
  • 5 QSO2s observed in the optical with Keck/KCWI – seeing limited integral field spectroscopy (U052, 4 half nights, PI: Canalizo).
  • 5 QSO2s observed in the optical with GTC/MEGARA – seeing limited integral field spectroscopy (GTC62-20B).
  • 48 QSO2s with SDSS optical spectra.
  • 48 QSO2s observed in the R-band with WFC/INT – seeing limited deep imaging (multiple observing runs, see Pierce et al. 2023).




The QSOFEED team at the IAC. From left to right and from top to bottom: Anelise Audibert, Giovanna Speranza, Pedro Cezar, Patricia Bessiere, Cristina Ramos Almeida, Donaji Esparza Arredondo and José Antonio Acosta Pulido. Credit: I. Jiménez Montalvo, IAC.

QSOFEED collaborators at other institutions:


Almudena Alonso Herrero, Centro de Astrobiología, Madrid/Spain

Manuela Bischetti, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Trieste/Italy

Gabriela Canalizo, University of California, Riverside, California/USA

Claudia Cicone, Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, Oslo/Norway

Chiara Feruglio, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Trieste/Italy

Santiago García Burillo, Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, Madrid/Spain

Omaira González Martín, Instituto de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, Morelia/Mexico

Dipanjan Mukherjee, IUCAA, Pune, India

Moun Meenakshi, IUCAA, Pune, India

Miguel Pereira Santaella, Centro de Astrobiología, Madrid/Spain

Jonnathon Pierce, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire/UK

Clive Tadhunter, University of Sheffield, Sheffield/UK


QSOFEED Publications.


Jet-induced molecular gas excitation and turbulence in the Teacup

Audibert et al. 2023, A&A, 671, L12

The compact radio jet (0.8 kpc) in the center of the Teacup galaxy blows a lateral turbulent wind in the cold dense gas, as predicted by hydrodynamical simulations of jet-gas interactions. Credit: HST/ALMA/VLA/M. Meenakshi/D. Mukherjee/A. Audibert.

Absence of nuclear polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission from a compact starburst: The case of the type-2 quasar Mrk 477

Ramos Almeida et al. 2023, A&A, 669, L5

UV and optical HST images of Mrk 477. The FOC F275W image of the central 3.5″×3.5″ of the galaxy is shown in the left panel, which includes an inset of the central 1″×1″ region. The WFPC2 F606W image of the central 9.5″×8.6″ is shown in the right panel. The CanariCam and IRS SL slits are shown as solid cyan and pink lines.

GTC/CanariCam nuclear spectrum of Mrk 477 (0.5″ ∼ 400 pc; solid black line). Weak silicate absorption and [S IV]λ10.51 μm emission are the only spectral features detected. The solid red line corresponds to the IRS spectrum (3.6″ ∼ 2.7 kpc), which, in addition to the ionized and warm molecular hydrogen emission lines, shows clear PAH emission bands at 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 μm.

Warm molecular and ionized gas kinematics in theType-2 quasar J0945+1737. 

Speranza et al. 2022, A&A, 665, A55

Flux map of the Paα emission between − 700 and − 300 km/s with fitted ellipses. The one used to measure the outflow extent in red and others in white. Black contours correspond to 3, 15, 30, 60 σ of the radio VLA 6 GHz high resolution data (∼0.25” beam).

Ionized mass outflow rates versus bolometric luminosities compiled from the literature by Fiore et al. (2017) for a sample of AGN with z<0.5 (black points), and by Musiimenta et al. (in prep.) for AGN at z>0.5 (grey points). The red and blue stars correspond to the outflow rates calculated for J0945 using electron densities of 662 cm−3 and 200 cm−3.

Spatially resolved evidence of the impact of quasar driven outflows on recent star formation : The case of Mrk 34.

Bessiere & Ramos Almeida, 2022, MNRAS, 512, L54-L59

YSP distribution overlaid with contours of V02 (blue) with contour levels −950, −850, and −750 km/s and V98 (red) with contour levels 750, 850, 950, and 1050 km/s (left panel). The right-hand panel shows the same but with contours of W80 overlaid with levels 600, 700, 800, and 900 km/s.

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The diverse cold molecular gas contents, morphologies, and kinematics of type-2 quasars as seen by ALMA.

Ramos Almeida et al. 2022, A&A, 658, A155

CO(2-1) moment 0 maps of the QSO2s with 1.3 mm continuum contours in pink.

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Do AGN triggering mechanisms vary with radio power? II. The importance of mergers as a function of radio power and optical luminosity.

Pierce et al. 2022, MNRAS, 510, 1163-1183

Proportions of QSO2s and control sample galaxies classed as disturbed, not disturbed or uncertain.



A near-infrared study of the multiphase outflow in the type-2 quasar J1509+0434.

Ramos Almeida et al. 2019, MNRAS, 487, L18-L23

Examples of emission line profiles extracted from GTC/EMIR near-infrared spectra showing a blueshifted broad component. The shaded areas indicate the wavelength ranges employed in the determination of the outflow sizes.

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An infrared view of AGN feedback in a type-2 quasar: the case of the Teacup galaxy.

Ramos Almeida et al. 2017, MNRAS, 470, 964-976

Flux, velocity and velocity dispersion maps of the narrow Paα emission of J1430+1339 (The Teacup) obtained from VLT/SINFONI observations.



The various aspects of the QSOFEED research project are funded by:

  1. The European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860744 (BiD4BESt).
  2. The project “Feeding and feedback in active galaxies”, with reference PID2019-106027GB-C42, funded by MICINN-AEI/10.13039/501100011033.
  3. The MICIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and the European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR under project “Quantifying the impact of quasar feedback on galaxy evolution”, with reference EUR2020-112266.
  4. The Consejería de Economía, Conocimiento y Empleo del Gobierno de Canarias and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under grant “Quasar feedback and molecular gas reservoirs”, with reference ProID2020010105, ACCISI/FEDER, UE.