Uncovering the origin of activity in galaxies using Integral Field Spectroscopy


R. F. Pelletier


The conditions driving nuclear activity in galaxies are being addressed, through the analysis of SAURON data dealing with the gaseous kinematics on the 100-parsec scale in a sample of nearby E and S0 galaxies. Comparing Active Galactic Nuclei, AGN, with Inactive Galactic Nuclei, IGN -- isolating the active objects on the basis of high resolution radio data -- significant differences in the ionized gas kinematics are seen: almost uniformly the AGN stand out as harbouring gas which is kinematically decoupled from the stellar potential. It seems that active early-type galaxies can be subdivided into two categories: radio-loud AGNs generally associated with massive round ellipticals in the centers of clusters, and radio-quiet AGNs, objects with fainter AGNs with strong evidence for infall of external gas.