NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

ERS Program 1335

Q-3D: Imaging Spectroscopy of Quasar Hosts with JWST Analyzed with a Powerful New PSF Decomposition and Spectral Analysis Package

PI: Dominika Wylezalek (European Southern Observatory - Germany)
Co-PIs: Sylvain Veilleux (University of Maryland) and Nadia L. Zakamska (Johns Hopkins University)

Science Category Massive Black Holes and Their Host Galaxies icon
Keywords AGN Host Galaxies, Emission Lines, Feedback, High-Luminosity AGN/Quasars, Winds and Outflows
Investigators Jorge Karolt Barrera-Ballesteros (The Johns Hopkins University)
Nora Luetzgendorf (Space Telescope Science Institute, ESA)
Nicole Nesvadba (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale)
David Rupke (Rhodes College)
Ai-Lei Sun (The Johns Hopkins University)

In the last few years, optical and near-IR IFU observations from the ground have revolutionized extragalactic astronomy. The unprecedented infrared sensitivity, spatial resolution, and spectral coverage of the JWST IFUs will ensure high demand from the community. For a wide range of extragalactic phenomena (e.g. quasars, starbursts, supernovae, gamma ray bursts, tidal disruption events) and beyond (e.g. nebulae, debris disks around bright stars), PSF contamination will be an issue when studying the underlying extended emission. We propose to provide the community with a PSF decomposition and spectral analysis package for high dynamic range JWST IFU observations allowing the user to create science-ready maps of relevant spectral features. Luminous quasars, with their bright central source (quasar) and extended emission (host galaxy), are excellent test cases for this software. Quasars are also of high scientific interest in their own right as they are widely considered to be the main driver in regulating massive galaxy growth. JWST will revolutionize our understanding of black hole-galaxy co-evolution by allowing us to probe the stellar, gas, and dust components of nearby and distant galaxies, spatially and spectrally. We propose to use the IFU capabilities of NIRSpec and MIRI to study the impact of three carefully selected luminous quasars on their hosts.

Our program will provide a:

  1. Scientific dataset of broad interest that will serve as a pathfinder for JWST science investigations in IFU mode; and
  2. Powerful new data analysis tool that will enable frontier science for a wide swath of astrophysical research.
Instrument and Mode MIRI: Medium Resolution Spectroscopy
NIRSpec: IFU Spectroscopy
What does the program enable for the user community?
  • Multi-line mapping of multi-phase AGN-driven outflows and the ISM in powerful high-z quasars
  • PSF decomposition and spectral analysis package for high dynamic range JWST IFU observations (IFSFIT; Rupke+17)
How will you engage the user community?
  • Inform the community on project status, updates, and software products through the dedicated Q3D project website
  • Participation in town halls (i.e. AAS, EWASS) and ERS community briefings
  • Regular talks and seminars reporting on the progress of the science enabling data products and project status
Team website URL