An AMUSING look at the host of the periodic nuclear transient ASASSN-14ko reveals a second AGN

M. A. Tucker, B. J. Shappee, J. T. Hinkle, J. M.M. Neustadt, M. Eracleous, C. S. Kochanek, J. L. Prieto, A. V. Payne, L. Galbany, J. P. Anderson, K. Auchettl, C. Auge, Thomas W.S. Holoien

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10 Scopus citations


We present Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral-field spectroscopy of ESO 253-G003, which hosts a known active galactic nucleus (AGN) and the periodic nuclear transient ASASSN-14ko, observed as part of the All-weather MUse Supernova Integral-field of Nearby Galaxies survey. The MUSE observations reveal that the inner region hosts two AGN separated by 1.4 ± 0.1 kpc (≈1.7). The brighter nucleus has asymmetric broad permitted emission-line profiles and is associated with the archival AGN designation. The fainter nucleus does not have a broad emission-line component but exhibits other AGN characteristics, including vFWHM ≈ 700 km s-1 forbidden line emission, log10([O III]/Hβ) ≈ 1.1, and high-excitation potential emission lines, such as [Fe VII] ?6086 and He II λ4686. The host galaxy exhibits a disturbed morphology with large kpc-scale tidal features, potential outflows from both nuclei, and a likely superbubble. A circular relativistic disc model cannot reproduce the asymmetric broad emission-line profiles in the brighter nucleus, but two non-axisymmetric disc models provide good fits to the broad emission-line profiles: An elliptical disc model and a circular disc + spiral arm model. Implications for the periodic nuclear transient ASASSN-14ko are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6014-6028
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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