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

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

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


George B. Lansbury

Miranda E. Jarvis

Chris M. Harrison

Agnese Del Moro

James R. Mullaney

Alasdair P. Thomson


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 T gsim 3 × 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.


Lansbury, G. B., Jarvis, M. E., Harrison, C. M., Alexander, D. M., Moro, A. D., Edge, A. C., …Thomson, A. P. (2018). Storm in a Teacup: X-Ray View of an Obscured Quasar and Superbubble. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 856(1), Article L1.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 27, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 19, 2018
Publication Date Mar 19, 2018
Deposit Date Mar 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 29, 2018
Journal Astrophysical Journal Letters
Print ISSN 2041-8205
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 856
Issue 1
Article Number L1
Public URL
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Published Journal Article (889 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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