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Sample records for galactic nuclei disks

  1. Accretion disk thermal instability in galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mineshige, S.; Shields, G. A.

    1990-01-01

    The nonlinear evolution and spatial propagation of the thermal instability in accretion disks in galactic nuclei are investigated. Integrations of the vertical structure of the disks are described for different alpha prescriptions, and the thermal stability is examined. Global time-dependent calculations of the unstable disks are performed which show that there are two distinct types of behavior according to the assumed prescription for the viscosity parameter: the 'purr' type and the 'roar' type. The roar type is analyzed in some detail.

  2. Warped circumbinary disks in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Sohn, Bong Won; Jung, Taehyun; Zhao, Guangyao; Okazaki, Atsuo T.; Naito, Tsuguya

    2014-07-20

    We study a warping instability of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating disk surrounding binary supermassive black holes on a circular orbit. Such a circumbinary disk is subject to not only tidal torques due to the binary gravitational potential but also radiative torques due to radiation emitted from an accretion disk around each black hole. We find that a circumbinary disk initially aligned with the binary orbital plane is unstable to radiation-driven warping beyond the marginally stable warping radius, which is sensitive to both the ratio of vertical to horizontal shear viscosities and the mass-to-energy conversion efficiency. As expected, the tidal torques give no contribution to the growth of warping modes but tend to align the circumbinary disk with the orbital plane. Since the tidal torques can suppress the warping modes in the inner part of circumbinary disk, the circumbinary disk starts to be warped at radii larger than the marginally stable warping radius. If the warping radius is of the order of 0.1 pc, a resultant semi-major axis is estimated to be of the order of 10{sup –2} pc to 10{sup –4} pc for 10{sup 7} M{sub ☉} black hole. We also discuss the possibility that the central objects of observed warped maser disks in active galactic nuclei are binary supermassive black holes with a triple disk: two accretion disks around the individual black holes and one circumbinary disk surrounding them.

  3. Warped Circumbinary Disks in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Sohn, Bong Won; Okazaki, Atsuo T.; Jung, Taehyun; Zhao, Guangyao; Naito, Tsuguya

    2014-07-01

    We study a warping instability of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating disk surrounding binary supermassive black holes on a circular orbit. Such a circumbinary disk is subject to not only tidal torques due to the binary gravitational potential but also radiative torques due to radiation emitted from an accretion disk around each black hole. We find that a circumbinary disk initially aligned with the binary orbital plane is unstable to radiation-driven warping beyond the marginally stable warping radius, which is sensitive to both the ratio of vertical to horizontal shear viscosities and the mass-to-energy conversion efficiency. As expected, the tidal torques give no contribution to the growth of warping modes but tend to align the circumbinary disk with the orbital plane. Since the tidal torques can suppress the warping modes in the inner part of circumbinary disk, the circumbinary disk starts to be warped at radii larger than the marginally stable warping radius. If the warping radius is of the order of 0.1 pc, a resultant semi-major axis is estimated to be of the order of 10-2 pc to 10-4 pc for 107 M ⊙ black hole. We also discuss the possibility that the central objects of observed warped maser disks in active galactic nuclei are binary supermassive black holes with a triple disk: two accretion disks around the individual black holes and one circumbinary disk surrounding them.

  4. Elliptical accretion disks in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eracleous, Michael; Livio, Mario; Halpern, Jules P.; Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa

    1995-01-01

    We present a calculation of the profiles of emission lines originating in a relativistic, eccentric disk, and show examples of the resulting model profiles. Our calculations are motivated by the fact that in about one-quarter of the double-peaked emission lines observed in radio-loud active galactic nuclei (and in the mildly active nucleus of NGC 1097), the red peak is stronger than the blue peak, which is contrary to the prediction of relativistic, circular disk models. Using the eccentric disk model we fit some of the observed profiles that cannot be fitted with a circular disk model. We propose two possible scenarios for the formation of an eccentric disk in an active galactic nucleus: (a) tidal perturbation of the disk around a supermassive black hole by a smaller binary companion, and (b) formation of an elliptical disk from the debris resulting from the tidal disruption of a star by the central black hole. In the former case we show that the eccentricity can be long-lived because of the presence of the binary companion. In the latter case, although the inner parts of the disk may circularize quickly, we estimate that the outer parts will maintain their eccentricity for times much longer than the local viscous time. We suggest that it may be possible to detect profile variability on much shorter timescales than those ranging from a decade to several centuries by comparing the evolution of the line profile with detailed model predictions. We argue that line-profile variability may also be the most promising discriminant among competing models for the origin of asymmetric, double-peaked emission lines.

  5. Line-driven disk winds in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proga, D.; Stone, J. M.; Kallman, T. R.

    2001-01-01

    We present the results of axisymmetric time-dependent hydrodynamic calculations of line-driven winds from accretion disks in active galactic nuclei (AGN). We assume the disk is flat, Keplerian, geometrically thin, and optically thick, radiating according to the α-disk prescription. The central engine of the AGN is a source of both ionizing X-rays and wind-driving ultraviolet (UV) photons. To calculate the radiation force, we take into account radiation from the disk and the central engine. The gas temperature and ionization state in the wind are calculated self-consistently from the photoionization and heating rate of the central engine. We find that a disk accreting onto a 10 8 M ⊙ yr -1 black hole at the rate of 1.8 M ⊙ yr -1 can launch a wind at ˜ 10 16 cm from the central engine. The X-rays from the central object are significantly attenuated by the disk atmosphere so they cannot prevent the local disk radiation from pushing matter away from the disk. However in the supersonic portion of the flow high above the disk, the X-rays can overionize the gas and decrease the wind terminal velocity. For a reasonable X-ray opacity, e.g., κ X = 40 g -1 cm 2, the disk wind can be accelerated by the central UV radiation to velocities of up to 15000 km s -1 at a distance of ˜ 10 17 cm from the central engine. The covering factor of the disk wind is ˜ 0.2. The wind is unsteady and consists of an opaque, slow vertical flow near the disk that is bounded on the polar side by a high-velocity, stream. A typical column density through the fast stream is a few 10 23 cm -2 so the stream is optically thin to the UV radiation. This low column density is precisely why gas can be accelerated to high velocities. The fast stream contributes nearly 100% to the total wind mass loss rate of 0.5 M ⊙ yr -1.

  6. Chemistry in the Molecular Disks of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, Nanase; Herbst, Eric

    2010-06-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are the centers of galaxies with supermassive blackholes whose accretion of mass causes very high luminosities of L˜1044-46erg s-1. An accretion disk has a molecular component that extends to hundreds of pc from the central AGN core. The question of how much central illumination affects the disk and how much star formation is present near the core have been astrophysical interests. Rotational lines from these disks at a sub-kpc scale have been observed for molecules such as CO, HCO+, HCN, and HNC. When ALMA becomes fully operational, it will be able to resolve these disks at much higher resolution than currently. Molecular observations at higher resolution may give some hints on the physics in the molecular disk. We modeled the chemical composition of a molecular disk in an AGN on a scale of tens of pc. To do this, we extended our standard gas-phase OSU network to include important processes at much higher temperatures, approaching 1000 K. We used the density model of Thompson et al., and determined the temperature by the blackbody approximation from the luminosity of the AGN core. The ionization by X-rays from the AGN core, by cosmic-rays from the AGN core, supernovae and stellar winds, and by UV-photons from OB stars are considered. We will briefly mention the effects from other factors that may change the molecular abundances such as shock waves and inhomogeneity of the density of the disk. T. Thompson, E. Quataert, and N. Murray, Astrophysical J. 630, 167 (2005)

  7. Accretion disks and periodic outbursts of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, D. N. C.; Shields, G. A.

    1986-01-01

    The local thermal stability of accretion disks around supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei is examined. Such disks are unstable at radii where the surface temperature is several thousand degrees. Supermassive disks therefore should undergo limit-cycle outbursts similar to those believed to occur in dwarf novae. Operating on a time scale of about 10,000 to 10 million yr and at radii of about 10 to the 15th to 10 to the 16th cm, this mechanism will result in alternating periods of higher and lower accretion rate onto the black hole and, consequently, higher and lower luminosity. Quasi-periodic outbursts on this time scale may be recorded in the structure of extended radio sources, a possible example being 4C 29.47. For accretion rates greater than 0.1 solar masses/yr, the situation is complicated by instabilities caused by self-gravitation and by the dominance of radiation pressure and electron scattering opacity.

  8. APPLICATION OF THE DISK EVAPORATION MODEL TO ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, B. F.

    2009-12-10

    The disk corona evaporation model extensively developed for the interpretation of observational features of black hole X-ray binaries (BHXRBs) is applied to active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Since the evaporation of gas in the disk can lead to its truncation for accretion rates less than a maximal evaporation rate, the model can naturally account for the soft spectrum in high-luminosity AGNs and the hard spectrum in low-luminosity AGNs. The existence of two different luminosity levels describing transitions from the soft to hard state and from the hard to soft state in BHXRBs, when applied to AGNs, suggests that AGNs can be in either spectral state within a range of luminosities. For example, at a viscosity parameter, alpha, equal to 0.3, the Eddington ratio from the hard-to-soft transition and from the soft-to-hard transition occurs at 0.027 and 0.005, respectively. The differing Eddington ratios result from the importance of Compton cooling in the latter transition, in which the cooling associated with soft photons emitted by the optically thick inner disk in the soft spectral state inhibits evaporation. When the Eddington ratio of the AGN lies below the critical value corresponding to its evolutionary state, the disk is truncated. With decreasing Eddington ratios, the inner edge of the disk increases to greater distances from the black hole with a concomitant increase in the inner radius of the broad-line region, R {sub BLR}. The absence of an optically thick inner disk at low luminosities (L) gives rise to region in the R {sub BLR}-L plane for which the relation R {sub BLR} propor to L {sup 1/2} inferred at high luminosities is excluded. As a result, a lower limit to the accretion rate is predicted for the observability of broad emission lines, if the broad-line region is associated with an optically thick accretion disk. Thus, true Seyfert 2 galaxies may exist at very low accretion rates/luminosities. The differences between BHXRBs and AGNs in the framework of

  9. Disk-Corona Model of Active Galactic Nuclei with Nonthermal Pairs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsuruta, Sachiko; Kellen, Michael

    1995-01-01

    As a promising model for the X-ray emission from radio-quiet quasars and Seyfert 1 nuclei, we present a nonthermal disk-corona model, where soft photons from a disk are Comptonized by the nonthermal electron-positron pairs in a coronal region above the disk. Various characteristics of our model are qualitatively similar to the homogeneous, spherical, nonthermal pair models previously studied, but the important difference is that in our disk-corona model gamma-ray depletion is far more efficient, and, moreover, the gamma-ray annihilation line is much less prominent. Consequently, this model naturally satisfies the observed constraints on active galactic nuclei.

  10. Evolution of self-gravitating accretion disks in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shlosman, Isaac; Begelman, Mitchell C.

    1989-01-01

    The evolution of self-gravitating gaseous disks in active galactic nuclei on scales of about 10-1000 pc is investigated. Star formation is a plausible outcome of the Jeans instability operating in a disk which violates the criterion for local stability. Even a low efficiency of star formation would deplete the gaseous disk on a short time scale and create a flat stellar system. These systems can evolve (sphericalize) secularly by means of stellar encounters but this process appears to be too slow to be important. Such flattened stellar systems may be common in the circumnuclear regions of disk galaxies. Conventional viscosities are inefficient in building anew the accretion process even in a cosmological time. Strongly self-gravitating disks are unstable to global nonaxisymmetric modes, which can induce radial inflow of gas in a short dynamical time. The latter effect is studied in a separate paper.

  11. Spectropolarimetric test of the relativistic disk model for the broad emission lines of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Kaiyou; Halpern, Jules P.

    1990-01-01

    Previously, it was claimed that the broad emission lines of the radio galaxy Arp 102B can be fitted by the line profile from a simple relativistic Keplerian thin disk. It was argued that the lines originating from the relativistic accretion disk could be polarized due to electron scattering, which is likely to be the dominant opacity in the line-emitting region of Arp 102B. In the present work, the expected polarization properties of these broad emission lines are calculated. The percentage of polarization depends strongly on the inclination angle. For some angles, the red peak of the polarized, double-peaked line profile can be higher than the blue peak. This is in contrast to the total line profile, in which the blue peak is always higher than the red one. Spectropolarimetric observations could, therefore, provide an independent test of the relativistic disk model for the broad emission lines of Arp 102B and other active galactic nuclei.

  12. CO Line Emission from Compact Nuclear Starburst Disks around Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armour, J. N.; Ballantyne, D. R.

    2012-06-01

    There is substantial evidence for a connection between star formation in the nuclear region of a galaxy and growth of the central supermassive black hole. Furthermore, starburst activity in the region around an active galactic nucleus (AGN) may provide the obscuration required by the unified model of AGNs. Molecular line emission is one of the best observational avenues to detect and characterize dense, star-forming gas in galactic nuclei over a range of redshift. This paper presents predictions for the carbon monoxide (CO) line features from models of nuclear starburst disks around AGNs. These small-scale (lsim 100 pc), dense and hot starbursts have CO luminosities similar to scaled-down ultra-luminous infrared galaxies and quasar host galaxies. Nuclear starburst disks that exhibit a pc-scale starburst and could potentially act as the obscuring torus show more efficient CO excitation and higher brightness temperature ratios than those without such a compact starburst. In addition, the compact starburst models predict strong absorption when J Upper >~ 10, a unique observational signature of these objects. These findings allow for the possibility that CO spectral line energy distributions (SLEDs) could be used to determine if starburst disks are responsible for the obscuration in z <~ 1 AGNs. Directly isolating the nuclear CO line emission of such compact regions around AGNs from galactic-scale emission will require high-resolution imaging or selecting AGN host galaxies with weak galactic-scale star formation. Stacking individual CO SLEDs will also be useful in detecting the predicted high-J features.

  13. Alignments Of Black Holes with Their Warped Accretion Disks and Episodic Lifetimes of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yan-Rong; Wang, Jian-Min; Cheng, Cheng; Qiu, Jie

    2015-05-01

    Warped accretion disks have attracted intense attention because of their critical role in shaping the spin of supermassive massive black holes (SMBHs) through the Bardeen-Petterson effect, a general relativistic effect that leads to final alignments or anti-alignments between black holes and warped accretion disks. We study such alignment processes by explicitly taking into account the finite sizes of accretion disks and the episodic lifetimes of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that delineate the duration of gas fueling onto accretion disks. We employ an approximate global model to simulate the evolution of accretion disks, allowing us to determine the gravitomagnetic torque that drives the alignments in a simple way. We then track down the evolutionary paths for mass and spin of black holes both in a single activity episode and over a series of episodes. Given with randomly and isotropically oriented gas fueling over episodes, we calculate the spin evolution with different episodic lifetimes and find that it is quite sensitive to the lifetimes. We therefore propose that the spin distribution of SMBHs can place constraints on the episodic lifetimes of AGNs and vice versa. The applications of our results on the observed spin distributions of SMBHs and the observed episodic lifetimes of AGNs are discussed, although both measurements at present are too ambiguous for us to draw a firm conclusion. Our prescription can be easily incorporated into semi-analytic models for black hole growth and spin evolution.

  14. Dynamics of Line-driven Disk Winds in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proga, Daniel; Stone, James M.; Kallman, Timothy R.

    2000-11-01

    We present the results of axisymmetric time-dependent hydrodynamic calculations of line-driven winds from accretion disks in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We assume the disk is flat, Keplerian, geometrically thin, and optically thick, radiating according to the α-disk prescription. The central engine of the AGN is a source of both ionizing X-rays and wind-driving UV photons. To calculate the radiation force, we take into account radiation from the disk and the central engine. The gas temperature and ionization state in the wind are calculated self-consistently from the photoionization and heating rate of the central engine. We find that a disk accreting onto a 108 Msolar black hole at the rate of 1.8 Msolar yr-1 can launch a wind at ~1016 cm from the central engine. The X-rays from the central object are significantly attenuated by the disk atmosphere so they cannot prevent the local disk radiation from pushing matter away from the disk. However, in the supersonic portion of the flow high above the disk, the X-rays can overionize the gas and decrease the wind terminal velocity. For a reasonable X-ray opacity, e.g., κX=40 g-1 cm2, the disk wind can be accelerated by the central UV radiation to velocities of up to 15,000 km s-1 at a distance of ~1017 cm from the central engine. The covering factor of the disk wind is ~0.2. The wind is unsteady and consists of an opaque, slow vertical flow near the disk that is bounded on the polar side by a high-velocity stream. A typical column density through the fast stream is a few times 1023 cm-2 so the stream is optically thin to the UV radiation. This low column density is precisely why gas can be accelerated to high velocities. The fast stream contributes nearly 100% to the total wind mass-loss rate of 0.5 Msolar yr-1.

  15. Accretion disk models for QSOs and active galactic nuclei - The role of magnetic viscosity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakimoto, P. J.; Coroniti, F. V.

    1981-01-01

    The inner regions of standard accretion disk models are known to be thermally unstable, and when scaled to quasar black hole masses, optically thin. Alternative accretion disk models are constructed under the assumption of a purely magnetic viscosity in the limiting cases of equipartition of gas and magnetic pressures and global flux conservation. The inner regions of these models are considerably denser than the standard model and therefore remain optically thick in all regions. The equipartition model is thermally stable throughout, while flux conservation leads to a localized thermal instability at the gas pressure/radiation pressure boundary and marginal stability as the radial distance approaches zero. The outer regions of quasar scaled accretion disks are strongly self-gravitating, leading to a vertical scale height which is smaller than that found in the inner region. Most of the outer region is gravitationally unstable, implying that the outer parts of galactic nuclei accretion disks are populated by dense self-gravitating gas clouds or possibly by stars.

  16. AN OBSERVED LINK BETWEEN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI AND VIOLENT DISK INSTABILITIES IN HIGH-REDSHIFT GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Bournaud, Frederic; Juneau, Stephanie; Le Floc'h, Emeric; Mullaney, James; Daddi, Emanuele; Duc, Pierre-Alain; Elbaz, David; Salmi, Fadia; Dekel, Avishai; Dickinson, Mark

    2012-09-20

    We provide evidence for a correlation between the presence of giant clumps and the occurrence of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in disk galaxies. Giant clumps of 10{sup 8}-10{sup 9} M{sub Sun} arise from violent gravitational instability in gas-rich galaxies, and it has been proposed that this instability could feed supermassive black holes (BHs). We use emission line diagnostics to compare a sample of 14 clumpy (unstable) disks and a sample of 13 smoother (stable) disks at redshift z {approx} 0.7. The majority of clumpy disks in our sample have a high probability of containing AGNs. Their [O III] {lambda}5007 emission line is strongly excited, inconsistent with low-metallicity star formation (SF) alone. [Ne III] {lambda}3869 excitation is also higher. Stable disks rarely have such properties. Stacking ultra sensitive Chandra observations (4 Ms) reveals an X-ray excess in clumpy galaxies, which confirms the presence of AGNs. The clumpy galaxies in our intermediate-redshift sample have properties typical of gas-rich disk galaxies rather than mergers, being in particular on the main sequence of SF. This suggests that our findings apply to the physically similar and numerous gas-rich unstable disks at z > 1. Using the observed [O III] and X-ray luminosities, we conservatively estimate that AGNs hosted by clumpy disks have typical bolometric luminosities of the order of a few 10{sup 43} erg s{sup -1}, BH growth rates m-dot{sub BH}{approx}10{sup -2} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}, and that these AGNs are substantially obscured in X-rays. This moderate-luminosity mode could provide a large fraction of today's BH mass with a high duty cycle (>10%), accretion bursts with higher luminosities being possible over shorter phases. Violent instabilities at high redshift (giant clumps) are a much more efficient driver of BH growth than the weak instabilities in nearby spirals (bars), and the evolution of disk instabilities with mass and redshift could explain the simultaneous downsizing of

  17. THE DISK EVAPORATION MODEL FOR THE SPECTRAL FEATURES OF LOW-LUMINOSITY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Qiao, Erlin; Liu, B. F.; Panessa, Francesca; Liu, J. Y.

    2013-11-10

    Observations show that the accretion flows in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei probably have a two-component structure with an inner, hot, optically thin, advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) and an outer, truncated, cool, optically thick accretion disk. As shown by Taam et al., the truncation radius as a function of mass accretion rate is strongly affected by including the magnetic field within the framework of disk evaporation model, i.e., an increase in the magnetic field results in a smaller truncation radius of the accretion disk. In this work, we calculate the emergent spectrum of an inner ADAF + an outer truncated accretion disk around a supermassive black hole based on the prediction by Taam et al.. It is found that an increase in the magnetic field from β = 0.8 to β = 0.5 (with magnetic pressure p{sub m} = B {sup 2}/8π = (1 – β)p{sub tot}, p{sub tot} = p{sub gas} + p{sub m}) results in a factor of ∼8.7 increase in the luminosity from the truncated accretion disk. Meanwhile, results of the peak emission of the truncated accretion disk shift toward a a factor of ∼5 higher frequency. We found that the equipartition of gas pressure to magnetic pressure, i.e., β = 0.5, failed to explain the observed anti-correlation between L{sub 2-10{sub keV}}/L{sub Edd} and the bolometric correction κ{sub 2-10{sub keV}} (with κ{sub 2-10{sub keV}} = L{sub bol}/L{sub 2-10{sub keV}}). The emergent spectra for larger values of β = 0.8 or β = 0.95 can explain the observed L{sub 2-10{sub keV}}/L{sub Edd}-κ{sub 2-10{sub keV}} correlation. We argue that in the disk evaporation model, the electrons in the corona are assumed to be heated only by a transfer of energy from the ions to electrons via Coulomb collisions, which is reasonable for accretion with a lower mass accretion rate. Coulomb heating is the dominated heating mechanism for the electrons only if the magnetic field is strongly sub-equipartition, which is roughly consistent with observations.

  18. The Case for Standard Irradiated Accretion Disks in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chelouche, Doron

    2013-07-01

    We analyze the broadband photometric light curves of Seyfert 1 galaxies from the Sergeev et al. sample and find that (1) perturbations propagating across the continuum emitting region are a general phenomenon securely detected in most cases, (2) it is possible to obtain reliable time delays between continuum emission in different wavebands, which are not biased by the contribution of broad emission lines to the signal, and (3) such lags are consistent with the predictions of standard irradiated accretion disk models, given the optical luminosity of the sources. These findings provide new and independent support for standard accretion disks being responsible for the bulk of the (rest) optical emission in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We interpret our lag measurements in individual objects within the framework of this model and estimate the typical mass accretion rate to be <~ 0.1 M ⊙ yr&-1, with little dependence on the black hole mass. Assuming bolometric corrections typical of type I sources, we find tentative evidence for the radiative efficiency of accretion flows being a rising function of the black hole mass. With upcoming surveys that will regularly monitor the sky, we may be able to better quantify possible departures from standard self-similar models, and identify other modes of accretion in AGNs.

  19. Accretion disk winds in active galactic nuclei: X-ray observations, models, and feedback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tombesi, F.

    2016-05-01

    Powerful winds driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN) are often invoked to play a fundamental role in the evolution of both supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies, quenching star formation and explaining the tight SMBH-galaxy relations. A strong support of this ``quasar mode'' feedback came from the recent X-ray observation of a mildly relativistic accretion disk wind in a ultraluminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) and its connection with a large-scale molecular outflow, providing a direct link between the SMBH and the gas out of which stars form. Spectroscopic observations, especially in the X-ray band, show that such accretion disk winds may be common in local AGN and quasars. However, their origin and characteristics are still not fully understood. Detailed theoretical models and simulations focused on radiation, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) or a combination of these two processes to investigate the possible acceleration mechanisms and the dynamics of these winds. Some of these models have been directly compared to X-ray spectra, providing important insights into the wind physics. However, fundamental improvements on these studies will come only from the unprecedented energy resolution and sensitivity of the upcoming X-ray observatories, namely ASTRO-H (launch date early 2016) and Athena (2028).

  20. Disk-driven hydromagnetic winds as a key ingredient of active galactic nuclei unification schemes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konigl, Arieh; Kartje, John F.

    1994-01-01

    Centrifugally driven winds from the surfaces of magnetized accretion disks have been recognized as an attractive mechanism of removing the angular momentum of the accreted matter and of producing the bipolar outflows and jets that are often associated with compact astronomical objects. As previously suggested in the context of young stellar objects, such winds have unique observational manifestations stemming from their highly stratified density and velocity structure and from their exposure to the strong continuum radiation field of the compact object. We have applied this scenario to active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and investigated the properties of hydromagnetic outflows that originate within approximately 10(M(sub 8)) pc of the central 10(exp 8)(M(sub 8)) solar mass black hole. On the basis of our results, we propose that hydromagnetic disk-driven winds may underlie the classification of broad-line and narrow-line AGNs (e.g., the Seyfert 1/Seyfert 2 dichotomy) as well as the apparent dearth of luminous Seyfert 2 galaxies. More generally, we demonstrate that such winds could strongly influence the spectral characteristics of Seyfert galaxies, QSOs, and BL Lac objects (BLOs). In our picture, the torus is identified with the outer regions of the wind where dust uplifted from the disk surfaces by gas-grain collisions is embedded in the outflow. Using an efficient radiative transfer code, we show that the infrared emission of Seyfert galaxies and QSOs can be attributed to the reprocessing of the UV/soft X-ray AGN continuum by the dust in the wind and the disk. We demonstrate that the radiation pressure force flattens the dust distribution in objects with comparatively high (but possibly sub-Eddington) bolometric luminosities, and we propose this as one likely reason for the apparent paucity of narrow-line objects among certain high-luminosity AGNs. Using the XSTAR photoionization code, we show that the inner regions of the wind could naturally account for the warm

  1. Enhanced Accretion Rates of Stars on Supermassive Black Holes by Star-Disk Interactions in Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Just, Andreas; Yurin, Denis; Makukov, Maxim; Berczik, Peter; Omarov, Chingis; Spurzem, Rainer; Vilkoviskij, Emmanuil Y.

    2012-10-01

    We investigate the dynamical interaction of a central star cluster surrounding a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and a central accretion disk (AD). The dissipative force acting on stars in the disk leads to an enhanced mass flow toward the SMBH and to an asymmetry in the phase space distribution due to the rotating AD. The AD is considered as a stationary Keplerian rotating disk, which is vertically extended in order to employ a fully self-consistent treatment of stellar dynamics including the dissipative force originating from star-gas ram pressure effects. The stellar system is treated with a direct high-accuracy N-body integration code. A star-by-star representation, desirable in N-body simulations, cannot be extended to real particle numbers yet. Hence, we carefully discuss the scaling behavior of our model with regard to particle number and tidal accretion radius. The main idea is to find a family of models for which the ratio of two-body relaxation time and dissipation time (for kinetic energy of stellar orbits) is constant, which then allows us to extrapolate our results to real parameters of galactic nuclei. Our model is derived from basic physical principles and as such it provides insight into the role of physical processes in galactic nuclei, but it should be regarded as a first step toward more realistic and more comprehensive simulations. Nevertheless, the following conclusions appear to be robust: the star accretion rate onto the AD and subsequently onto the SMBH is enhanced by a significant factor compared to purely stellar dynamical systems neglecting the disk. This process leads to enhanced fueling of central disks in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and to an enhanced rate of tidal stellar disruptions. Such disruptions may produce electromagnetic counterparts in the form of observable X-ray flares. Our models improve predictions for their rates in quiescent galactic nuclei. We do not yet model direct stellar collisions in the gravitational potential

  2. ENHANCED ACCRETION RATES OF STARS ON SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES BY STAR-DISK INTERACTIONS IN GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Just, Andreas; Yurin, Denis; Makukov, Maxim; Berczik, Peter; Omarov, Chingis; Spurzem, Rainer; Vilkoviskij, Emmanuil Y.

    2012-10-10

    We investigate the dynamical interaction of a central star cluster surrounding a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and a central accretion disk (AD). The dissipative force acting on stars in the disk leads to an enhanced mass flow toward the SMBH and to an asymmetry in the phase space distribution due to the rotating AD. The AD is considered as a stationary Keplerian rotating disk, which is vertically extended in order to employ a fully self-consistent treatment of stellar dynamics including the dissipative force originating from star-gas ram pressure effects. The stellar system is treated with a direct high-accuracy N-body integration code. A star-by-star representation, desirable in N-body simulations, cannot be extended to real particle numbers yet. Hence, we carefully discuss the scaling behavior of our model with regard to particle number and tidal accretion radius. The main idea is to find a family of models for which the ratio of two-body relaxation time and dissipation time (for kinetic energy of stellar orbits) is constant, which then allows us to extrapolate our results to real parameters of galactic nuclei. Our model is derived from basic physical principles and as such it provides insight into the role of physical processes in galactic nuclei, but it should be regarded as a first step toward more realistic and more comprehensive simulations. Nevertheless, the following conclusions appear to be robust: the star accretion rate onto the AD and subsequently onto the SMBH is enhanced by a significant factor compared to purely stellar dynamical systems neglecting the disk. This process leads to enhanced fueling of central disks in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and to an enhanced rate of tidal stellar disruptions. Such disruptions may produce electromagnetic counterparts in the form of observable X-ray flares. Our models improve predictions for their rates in quiescent galactic nuclei. We do not yet model direct stellar collisions in the gravitational potential

  3. DISCOVERY OF CANDIDATE H{sub 2}O DISK MASERS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI AND ESTIMATIONS OF CENTRIPETAL ACCELERATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Greenhill, Lincoln J.; Moran, James M.; Tilak, Avanti; Kondratko, Paul T.

    2009-12-10

    Based on spectroscopic signatures, about one-third of known H{sub 2}O maser sources in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are believed to arise in highly inclined accretion disks around central engines. These 'disk maser candidates' are of interest primarily because angular structure and rotation curves can be resolved with interferometers, enabling dynamical study. We identify five new disk maser candidates in studies with the Green Bank Telescope, bringing the total number published to 30. We discovered two (NGC 1320, NGC 17) in a survey of 40 inclined active galaxies (v {sub sys} < 20, 000 km s{sup -1}). The remaining three disk maser candidates were identified in monitoring of known sources: NGC 449, NGC 2979, and NGC 3735. We also confirm a previously marginal case in UGC 4203. For the disk maser candidates reported here, inferred rotation speeds are 130-500 km s{sup -1}. Monitoring of three more rapidly rotating candidate disks (CG 211, NGC 6264, VV 340A) has enabled measurement of likely orbital centripetal acceleration, and estimation of central masses ((2-7) x10{sup 7} M {sub sun}) and mean disk radii (0.2-0.4 pc). Accelerations may ultimately permit estimation of distances when combined with interferometer data. This is notable because the three AGNs are relatively distant (10,000 km s{sup -1} disk masers also provide robust orientation references that allow analysis of (mis)alignment between AGNs and surrounding galactic stellar disks, even without extensive interferometric mapping. We find no preference among published disk maser candidates to lie in high-inclination galaxies. This provides independent support for conclusions that in late-type galaxies, central engine accretion disks and galactic plane orientations are not

  4. MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC ACCRETION DISK WINDS AS X-RAY ABSORBERS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Fukumura, Keigo; Kazanas, Demosthenes; Behar, Ehud

    2010-05-20

    We present the two-dimensional ionization structure of self-similar magnetohydrodynamic winds off accretion disks around and irradiated by a central X-ray point source. On the basis of earlier observational clues and theoretical arguments, we focus our attention on a subset of these winds, namely those with radial density dependence n(r) {proportional_to} 1/r (r is the spherical radial coordinate). We employ the photoionization code XSTAR to compute the ionic abundances of a large number of ions of different elements and then compile their line-of-sight (LOS) absorption columns. We focus our attention on the distribution of the column density of the various ions as a function of the ionization parameter {xi} (or equivalently r) and the angle {theta}. Particular attention is paid to the absorption measure distribution (AMD), namely their hydrogen-equivalent column per logarithmic {xi} interval, dN{sub H}/dlog {xi}, which provides a measure of the winds' radial density profiles. For the chosen density profile n(r) {proportional_to} 1/r, the AMD is found to be independent of {xi}, in good agreement with its behavior inferred from the X-ray spectra of several active galactic nuclei (AGNs). For the specific wind structure and X-ray spectrum, we also compute detailed absorption line profiles for a number of ions to obtain their LOS velocities, v {approx} 100-300 km s{sup -1} (at log {xi} {approx} 2-3) for Fe XVII and v {approx} 1000-4000 km s{sup -1} (at log {xi} {approx} 4-5) for Fe XXV, in good agreement with the observation. Our models describe the X-ray absorption properties of these winds with only two parameters, namely the mass-accretion rate m-dot and the LOS angle {theta}. The probability of obscuration of the X-ray ionizing source in these winds decreases with increasing m-dot and increases steeply with the LOS inclination angle {theta}. As such, we concur with previous authors that these wind configurations, viewed globally, incorporate all the requisite

  5. EVOLUTION OF WARPED ACCRETION DISKS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI. I. ROLES OF FEEDING AT THE OUTER BOUNDARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yan-Rong; Wang, Jian-Min; Cheng, Cheng; Qiu, Jie

    2013-02-10

    We investigate the alignment processes of spinning black holes and their surrounding warped accretion disks in a frame of two different types of feeding at the outer boundaries. We consider (1) fixed flows in which gas is continually fed with a preferred angular momentum, and (2) free flows in which there is no gas supply and the disks diffuse freely at their outer edges. As expected, we find that for the cases of fixed flows the black hole disk systems always align on timescales of several 10{sup 6} yr, irrespective of the initial inclinations. If the initial inclination angles are larger than {pi}/2, the black hole accretion transits from retrograde to prograde fashion, and the accreted mass onto the black holes during these two phases is comparable. On the other hand, for the cases of free flows, both alignments and anti-alignments can occur, depending on the initial inclinations and the ratios of the angular momentum of the disks to that of the black holes. In such cases, the disks will be consumed within timescales of 10{sup 6} yr by black holes accreting at the Eddington limit. We propose that there is a close connection between the black hole spin and the lifetime for which the feeding persists, which determines the observable episodic lifetimes of active galactic nuclei. We conclude that careful inclusion of the disk feeding at the outer boundaries is crucial for modeling the evolution of the black hole spin.

  6. Active galactic nuclei

    PubMed Central

    Fabian, Andrew C.

    1999-01-01

    Active galactic nuclei are the most powerful, long-lived objects in the Universe. Recent data confirm the theoretical idea that the power source is accretion into a massive black hole. The common occurrence of obscuration and outflows probably means that the contribution of active galactic nuclei to the power density of the Universe has been generally underestimated. PMID:10220363

  7. EFFECTS OF AN ACCRETION DISK WIND ON THE PROFILE OF THE BALMER EMISSION LINES FROM ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Flohic, Helene M. L. G.; Eracleous, Michael; Bogdanovic, Tamara E-mail: mce@astro.psu.edu

    2012-07-10

    We explore the connection between active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with single- and double-peaked broad Balmer emission lines by using models dealing with radiative transfer effects through a disk wind. Our primary goal is to assess the applicability of the Murray and Chiang model by making an extensive and systematic comparison of the model predictions with data. In the process, we also verify the original derivation and evaluate the importance of general relativistic effects. As the optical depth through the emission layer increases, the peaks of a double-peaked profile move closer and eventually merge, producing a single peak. The properties of the emission line profile depend as sensitively on the geometric parameters of the line-emitting portion of the disk as they do on the disk-wind parameters. Using a parameter range that encompasses the expected characteristics of the broad-line regions in AGNs, we construct a database of model profiles and measure a set of diagnostic properties. Comparisons of the model profiles with emission lines from a subset of Sloan digital Sky Survey quasars show that observed lines are consistent with moderately large optical depth in the disk wind and a range of disk inclinations i {approx}< 45 Degree-Sign . Including relativistic effects is necessary to produce the asymmetries of observed line profiles.

  8. Theory of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shields, G. A.

    1986-01-01

    The involvement of accretion disks around supermassive black holes in the theory of active galactic nuclei (AGN) is discussed. The physics of thin and thick accretion disks is discussed and the partition between thermal and nonthermal energy production in supermassive disks is seen as uncertain. The thermal limit cycle may operate in supermassive disks (Shields, 1985), with accumulation of gas in the disk for periods of 10 to the 4th to 10 to the 7th years, punctuated by briefer outbursts during which the mass is rapidly transferred to smaller radii. An extended X-ray source in AGN is consistent with observations (Tennant and Mushotsky, 1983), and a large wind mass loss rate exceeding the central accretion rate means that only a fraction of the mass entering the disk will reach the central object; the rest being lost to the wind. Controversy in the relationship between the broad lines and the disk is also discussed.

  9. Iron Opacity Bump Changes the Stability and Structure of Accretion Disks in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Yan-Fei; Davis, Shane W.; Stone, James M.

    2016-08-01

    Accretion disks around supermassive black holes have regions where the Rosseland mean opacity can be larger than the electron scattering opacity due to the large number of bound–bound transitions in iron. We study the effects of this iron opacity “bump” on the thermal stability and vertical structure of radiation-pressure-dominated accretion disks, utilizing three-dimensional radiation magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations in the local shearing box approximation. The simulations self-consistently calculate the heating due to MHD turbulence caused by magneto-rotational instability and radiative cooling by using the radiative transfer module based on a variable Eddington tensor in Athena. For a 5 × 108 solar mass black hole with ˜3% of the Eddington luminosity, a model including the iron opacity bump maintains its structure for more than 10 thermal times without showing significant signs of thermal runaway. In contrast, if only electron scattering and free–free opacity are included as in the standard thin disk model, the disk collapses on the thermal timescale. The difference is caused by a combination of (1) an anti-correlation between the total optical depth and the midplane pressure, and (2) enhanced vertical advective energy transport. These results suggest that the iron opacity bump may have a strong impact on the stability and structure of active galactic nucleus (AGN) accretion disks, and may contribute to a dependence of AGN properties on metallicity. Since this opacity is relevant primarily in UV emitting regions of the flow, it may help to explain discrepancies between observation and theory that are unique to AGNs.

  10. Iron Opacity Bump Changes the Stability and Structure of Accretion Disks in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Yan-Fei; Davis, Shane W.; Stone, James M.

    2016-08-01

    Accretion disks around supermassive black holes have regions where the Rosseland mean opacity can be larger than the electron scattering opacity due to the large number of bound–bound transitions in iron. We study the effects of this iron opacity “bump” on the thermal stability and vertical structure of radiation-pressure-dominated accretion disks, utilizing three-dimensional radiation magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations in the local shearing box approximation. The simulations self-consistently calculate the heating due to MHD turbulence caused by magneto-rotational instability and radiative cooling by using the radiative transfer module based on a variable Eddington tensor in Athena. For a 5 × 108 solar mass black hole with ∼3% of the Eddington luminosity, a model including the iron opacity bump maintains its structure for more than 10 thermal times without showing significant signs of thermal runaway. In contrast, if only electron scattering and free–free opacity are included as in the standard thin disk model, the disk collapses on the thermal timescale. The difference is caused by a combination of (1) an anti-correlation between the total optical depth and the midplane pressure, and (2) enhanced vertical advective energy transport. These results suggest that the iron opacity bump may have a strong impact on the stability and structure of active galactic nucleus (AGN) accretion disks, and may contribute to a dependence of AGN properties on metallicity. Since this opacity is relevant primarily in UV emitting regions of the flow, it may help to explain discrepancies between observation and theory that are unique to AGNs.

  11. THE ROLE OF THE ACCRETION DISK, DUST, AND JETS IN THE IR EMISSION OF LOW-LUMINOSITY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, R. E.; Ramos Almeida, C.; Alonso-Herrero, A.

    2013-11-10

    We use recent high-resolution infrared (IR; 1-20 μm) photometry to examine the origin of the IR emission in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGN). The data are compared with published model fits that describe the spectral energy distribution (SED) of LLAGN in terms of an advection-dominated accretion flow, truncated thin accretion disk, and jet. The truncated disk in these models is usually not luminous enough to explain the observed IR emission, and in all cases its spectral shape is much narrower than the broad IR peaks in the data. Synchrotron radiation from the jet appears to be important in very radio-loud nuclei, but the detection of strong silicate emission features in many objects indicates that dust must also contribute. We investigate this point by fitting the IR SED of NGC 3998 using dusty torus and optically thin (τ{sub mid-IR} ∼ 1) dust shell models. While more detailed modeling is necessary, these initial results suggest that dust may account for the nuclear mid-IR emission of many LLAGN.

  12. Line-driven disk winds in active galactic nuclei: The critical importance of ionization and radiative transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Higginbottom, Nick; Knigge, Christian; Matthews, James H.; Proga, Daniel; Long, Knox S.; Sim, Stuart A.

    2014-07-01

    Accretion disk winds are thought to produce many of the characteristic features seen in the spectra of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). These outflows also represent a natural form of feedback between the central supermassive black hole and its host galaxy. The mechanism for driving this mass loss remains unknown, although radiation pressure mediated by spectral lines is a leading candidate. Here, we calculate the ionization state of, and emergent spectra for, the hydrodynamic simulation of a line-driven disk wind previously presented by Proga and Kallman. To achieve this, we carry out a comprehensive Monte Carlo simulation of the radiative transfer through, and energy exchange within, the predicted outflow. We find that the wind is much more ionized than originally estimated. This is in part because it is much more difficult to shield any wind regions effectively when the outflow itself is allowed to reprocess and redirect ionizing photons. As a result, the calculated spectrum that would be observed from this particular outflow solution would not contain the ultraviolet spectral lines that are observed in many AGN/QSOs. Furthermore, the wind is so highly ionized that line driving would not actually be efficient. This does not necessarily mean that line-driven winds are not viable. However, our work does illustrate that in order to arrive at a self-consistent model of line-driven disk winds in AGN/QSO, it will be critical to include a more detailed treatment of radiative transfer and ionization in the next generation of hydrodynamic simulations.

  13. STAR FORMATION IN SELF-GRAVITATING DISKS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI. II. EPISODIC FORMATION OF BROAD-LINE REGIONS

    SciTech Connect

    WangJianmin; Du Pu; Ge Junqiang; Hu Chen; Baldwin, Jack A.; Ferland, Gary J.

    2012-02-20

    This is the second in a series of papers discussing the process and effects of star formation in the self-gravitating disk around the supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We have previously suggested that warm skins are formed above the star-forming (SF) disk through the diffusion of warm gas driven by supernova explosions. Here we study the evolution of the warm skins when they are exposed to the powerful radiation from the inner part of the accretion disk. The skins initially are heated to the Compton temperature, forming a Compton atmosphere (CAS) whose subsequent evolution is divided into four phases. Phase I is the duration of pure accumulation supplied by the SF disk. During phase II clouds begin to form due to line cooling and sink to the SF disk. Phase III is a period of preventing clouds from sinking to the SF disk through dynamic interaction between clouds and the CAS because of the CAS overdensity driven by continuous injection of warm gas from the SF disk. Finally, phase IV is an inevitable collapse of the entire CAS through line cooling. This CAS evolution drives the episodic appearance of broad-line regions (BLRs). We follow the formation of cold clouds through the thermal instability of the CAS during phases II and III, using linear analysis. Since the clouds are produced inside the CAS, the initial spatial distribution of newly formed clouds and angular momentum naturally follow the CAS dynamics, producing a flattened disk of clouds. The number of clouds in phases II and III can be estimated, as well as the filling factor of clouds in the BLR. Since the cooling function depends on the metallicity, the metallicity gradients that originate in the SF disk give rise to different properties of clouds in different radial regions. We find from the instability analysis that clouds have column density N{sub H} {approx}< 10{sup 22} cm{sup -2} in the metal-rich regions whereas they have N{sub H} {approx}> 10{sup 22} cm{sup -2} in the

  14. Structure of line-emitting accretion disks in active galactic nuclei - Arp 102B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Kaiyou; Halpern, Jules P.

    1989-01-01

    The prime objects of the present self-consistent model of a line-emitting accretion disk able to account for the properties observed in a small class of AGNs are Arp 102B and 3C 390.3, whose double-peaked emission lines have been attributed to a Keplerian disk. Improved calculations of the line profile of a relativistic Keplerian disk, generalized to include a variety of emissivity laws as well as local broadening due to electron scattering or turbulence, are noted to fit Arp 102B; analytic and numerical calculations of the solid angle presented by the outer thin disk to an extended isotropic source of illumination demonstrate that the energy budget requirements for line emission from the disk are also satisfied.

  15. Hybrid accretion disks in active galactic nuclei. I - Structure and spectra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wandel, Amri; Liang, Edison P.

    1991-01-01

    A unified treatment is presented of the two distinct states of vertically thin AGN accretion disks: a cool (about 10 to the 6th K) optically thick solution, and a hot (about 10 to the 9th K) optically thin solution. A generalized formalism and a new radiative cooling equation valid in both regimes are introduced. A new luminosity limit is found at which the hot and cool alpha solutions merge into a single solution of intermediate optical depth. Analytic solutions for the disk structure are given, and output spectra are computed numerically. This is used to demonstrate the prospect of fitting AGN broadband spectra containing both the UV bump as well as the hard X-ray and gamma-ray tail, using a single accretion disk model. Such models are found to make definite predictions about the observed spectrum, such as the relation between the hard X-ray spectral index, the UV-to-X-ray luminosity ratio, and a feature of about 1 MeV.

  16. The Disk Wind Model of the Broad Line Regions in Active Galactic Nuclei and Cataclysmic Variables

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begelman, Mitchell

    2002-01-01

    This is the final progress report for our Astrophysics Theory Program (NRA 97-OSS12) grant NAG5-7723. We have made considerable progress on incorporating photoionization calculations with a 2.5D hydrodynamical code to model disk winds in AGNs. Following up on our simultaneous broad band monitoring campaign of the type I Seyfert galaxy NGC 5548, we have investigated the constraints imposed on models of accretion in Seyfert galaxies by their optical, UV, and X-ray spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Using results from thermal Comptonization models that relate the physical properties of the hot inner accretion flow to the thermal reprocessing that occurs in the surrounding colder thin disk, we find that we can constrain the central black hole mass, accretion rate and size scale of the hot central flow. We have applied our model to observations of Seyfert galaxies NGC 3516, NGC 7469 and NGC 5548. Our mass and accretion rate estimates for these objects roughly agree with those found using other methods.

  17. Triggering active galactic nuclei in hierarchical galaxy formation: disk instability vs. interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menci, N.; Gatti, M.; Fiore, F.; Lamastra, A.

    2014-09-01

    Using a state-of-the-art semi analytic model for galaxy formation, we investigated in detail the effects of black hole (BH) accretion triggered by disk instabilities (DI) in isolated galaxies on the evolution of the AGN population. Specifically, we took on, developed, and expanded the Hopkins & Quataert (2011, MNRAS, 411, 1027) model for the mass inflow following disk perturbations, based on a physical description of nuclear inflows and tested against aimed N-body simulations. We compared the evolution of AGN due to such a DI accretion mode with that arising in a scenario where galaxy interactions (IT mode) produce the sudden destabilization of large quantities of gas feeding the AGN; this constitutes the standard AGN feeding mode implemented in the earliest versions of most semi-analytic models. To study the maximal contribution of DI to the evolution of the AGN population, we extended and developed the DI model to assess the effects of changing the assumed disk surface density profile, and to obtain lower limits for the nuclear star formation rates associated to the DI accretion mode. We obtained the following results: i) For AGN with luminosity M1450 ≳ - 26, the DI mode can provide the BH accretion needed to match the observed AGN luminosity functions up to z ≈ 4.5. In such a luminosity range and redshift, it constitutes a viable candidate mechanism to fuel AGN, and can compete with the IT scenario as the main driver of cosmological evolution of the AGN population. ii) The DI scenario cannot provide the observed abundance of high-luminosity QSO with M1450 ≤ -26 AGN, as well as the abundance of high-redhshift z ≳ 4.5 QSO with M1450 ≤ -24. As found in our earliest works, the IT scenario provides an acceptable match to the observed luminosity functions up to z ≈ 6. iii) The dispersion of the distributions of Eddington ratio λ for low- and intermediate-luminosity AGN (bolometric LAGN = 1043-1045 erg s-1) is predicted to be much smaller in the DI

  18. No more active galactic nuclei in clumpy disks than in smooth galaxies at z ∼ 2 in CANDELS/3D-HST

    SciTech Connect

    Trump, Jonathan R.; Luo, Bin; Brandt, W. N.; Barro, Guillermo; Guo, Yicheng; Koo, David C.; Faber, S. M.; Brammer, Gabriel B.; Ferguson, Henry C.; Grogin, Norman A.; Kartaltepe, Jeyhan; Koekemoer, Anton M.; Bell, Eric F.; Dekel, Avishai; Hopkins, Philip F.; Kocevski, Dale D.; McIntosh, Daniel H.; Momcheva, Ivelina; and others

    2014-10-01

    We use CANDELS imaging, 3D-HST spectroscopy, and Chandra X-ray data to investigate if active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are preferentially fueled by violent disk instabilities funneling gas into galaxy centers at 1.3 < z < 2.4. We select galaxies undergoing gravitational instabilities using the number of clumps and degree of patchiness as proxies. The CANDELS visual classification system is used to identify 44 clumpy disk galaxies, along with mass-matched comparison samples of smooth and intermediate morphology galaxies. We note that despite being mass-matched and having similar star formation rates, the smoother galaxies tend to be smaller disks with more prominent bulges compared to the clumpy galaxies. The lack of smooth extended disks is probably a general feature of the z ∼ 2 galaxy population, and means we cannot directly compare with the clumpy and smooth extended disks observed at lower redshift. We find that z ∼ 2 clumpy galaxies have slightly enhanced AGN fractions selected by integrated line ratios (in the mass-excitation method), but the spatially resolved line ratios indicate this is likely due to extended phenomena rather than nuclear AGNs. Meanwhile, the X-ray data show that clumpy, smooth, and intermediate galaxies have nearly indistinguishable AGN fractions derived from both individual detections and stacked non-detections. The data demonstrate that AGN fueling modes at z ∼ 1.85—whether violent disk instabilities or secular processes—are as efficient in smooth galaxies as they are in clumpy galaxies.

  19. On the virialization of disk winds: Implications for the black hole mass estimates in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Kashi, Amit; Proga, Daniel; Nagamine, Kentaro; Greene, Jenny; Barth, Aaron J.

    2013-11-20

    Estimating the mass of a supermassive black hole in an active galactic nucleus usually relies on the assumption that the broad line region (BLR) is virialized. However, this assumption seems to be invalid in BLR models that consist of an accretion disk and its wind. The disk is likely Keplerian and therefore virialized. However, beyond a certain point, the wind material must be dominated by an outward force that is stronger than gravity. Here, we analyze hydrodynamic simulations of four different disk winds: an isothermal wind, a thermal wind from an X-ray-heated disk, and two line-driven winds, one with and the other without X-ray heating and cooling. For each model, we determine whether gravity governs the flow properties by computing and analyzing the volume-integrated quantities that appear in the virial theorem: internal, kinetic, and gravitational energies. We find that in the first two models, the winds are non-virialized, whereas the two line-driven disk winds are virialized up to a relatively large distance. The line-driven winds are virialized because they accelerate slowly so that the rotational velocity is dominant and the wind base is very dense. For the two virialized winds, the so-called projected virial factor scales with inclination angle as 1/sin {sup 2} i. Finally, we demonstrate that an outflow from a Keplerian disk becomes unvirialized more slowly when it conserves the gas specific angular momentum, as in the models considered here, than when it conserves the angular velocity, as in the so-called magneto-centrifugal winds.

  20. BLACK HOLE GROWTH AND ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI OBSCURATION BY INSTABILITY-DRIVEN INFLOWS IN HIGH-REDSHIFT DISK GALAXIES FED BY COLD STREAMS

    SciTech Connect

    Bournaud, Frederic; Teyssier, Romain; Daddi, Emanuele; Dekel, Avishai; Cacciato, Marcello; Juneau, Stephanie; Shankar, Francesco E-mail: dekel@phys.huji.ac.il

    2011-11-10

    Disk galaxies at high redshift have been predicted to maintain high gas surface densities due to continuous feeding by intense cold streams leading to violent gravitational instability, transient features, and giant clumps. Gravitational torques between the perturbations drive angular momentum out and mass in, and the inflow provides the energy for keeping strong turbulence. We use analytic estimates of the inflow for a self-regulated unstable disk at a Toomre stability parameter Q {approx} 1, and isolated galaxy simulations capable of resolving the nuclear inflow down to the central parsec. We predict an average inflow rate {approx}10 M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1} through the disk of a 10{sup 11} M{sub Sun} galaxy, with conditions representative of z {approx} 2 stream-fed disks. The inflow rate scales with disk mass and (1 + z){sup 3/2}. It includes clump migration and inflow of the smoother component, valid even if clumps disrupt. This inflow grows the bulge, while only a fraction of {approx}> 10{sup -3} of it needs to accrete onto a central black hole (BH), in order to obey the observed BH-bulge relation. A galaxy of 10{sup 11} M{sub Sun} at z {approx} 2 is expected to host a BH of {approx}10{sup 8} M{sub Sun }, accreting on average with moderate sub-Eddington luminosity L{sub X} {approx} 10{sup 42}-10{sup 43} erg s{sup -1}, accompanied by brighter episodes when dense clumps coalesce. We note that in rare massive galaxies at z {approx} 6, the same process may feed {approx}10{sup 9} M{sub Sun} BH at the Eddington rate. High central gas column densities can severely obscure active galactic nuclei in high-redshift disks, possibly hindering their detection in deep X-ray surveys.

  1. No More Active Galactic Nuclei in Clumpy Disks Than in Smooth Galaxies at z ~ 2 in CANDELS/3D-HST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trump, Jonathan R.; Barro, Guillermo; Juneau, Stéphanie; Weiner, Benjamin J.; Luo, Bin; Brammer, Gabriel B.; Bell, Eric F.; Brandt, W. N.; Dekel, Avishai; Guo, Yicheng; Hopkins, Philip F.; Koo, David C.; Kocevski, Dale D.; McIntosh, Daniel H.; Momcheva, Ivelina; Faber, S. M.; Ferguson, Henry C.; Grogin, Norman A.; Kartaltepe, Jeyhan; Koekemoer, Anton M.; Lotz, Jennifer; Maseda, Michael; Mozena, Mark; Nandra, Kirpal; Rosario, David J.; Zeimann, Gregory R.

    2014-10-01

    We use CANDELS imaging, 3D-HST spectroscopy, and Chandra X-ray data to investigate if active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are preferentially fueled by violent disk instabilities funneling gas into galaxy centers at 1.3 < z < 2.4. We select galaxies undergoing gravitational instabilities using the number of clumps and degree of patchiness as proxies. The CANDELS visual classification system is used to identify 44 clumpy disk galaxies, along with mass-matched comparison samples of smooth and intermediate morphology galaxies. We note that despite being mass-matched and having similar star formation rates, the smoother galaxies tend to be smaller disks with more prominent bulges compared to the clumpy galaxies. The lack of smooth extended disks is probably a general feature of the z ~ 2 galaxy population, and means we cannot directly compare with the clumpy and smooth extended disks observed at lower redshift. We find that z ~ 2 clumpy galaxies have slightly enhanced AGN fractions selected by integrated line ratios (in the mass-excitation method), but the spatially resolved line ratios indicate this is likely due to extended phenomena rather than nuclear AGNs. Meanwhile, the X-ray data show that clumpy, smooth, and intermediate galaxies have nearly indistinguishable AGN fractions derived from both individual detections and stacked non-detections. The data demonstrate that AGN fueling modes at z ~ 1.85—whether violent disk instabilities or secular processes—are as efficient in smooth galaxies as they are in clumpy galaxies. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA Inc, under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  2. Self-shadowing effects of slim accretion disks in active galactic nuclei: the diverse appearance of the broad-line region

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jian-Min; Qiu, Jie; Du, Pu; Ho, Luis C.

    2014-12-10

    Supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) undergo a wide range of accretion rates, which lead to diversity of appearance. We consider the effects of anisotropic radiation from accretion disks on the broad-line region (BLR) from the Shakura-Sunyaev regime to slim disks with super-Eddington accretion rates. The geometrically thick funnel of the inner region of slim disks produces strong self-shadowing effects that lead to very strong anisotropy of the radiation field. We demonstrate that the degree of anisotropy of the radiation fields grows with increasing accretion rate. As a result of this anisotropy, BLR clouds receive different spectral energy distributions depending on their location relative to the disk, resulting in the diverse observational appearance of the BLR. We show that the self-shadowing of the inner parts of the disk naturally produces two dynamically distinct regions of the BLR, depending on accretion rate. These two regions manifest themselves as kinematically distinct components of the broad Hβ line profile with different line widths and fluxes, which jointly account for the Lorentzian profile generally observed in narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies. In the time domain, these two components are expected to reverberate with different time lags with respect to the varying ionizing continuum, depending on the accretion rate and the viewing angle of the observer. The diverse appearance of the BLR due to the anisotropic ionizing energy source can be tested by reverberation mapping of Hβ and other broad emission lines (e.g., Fe II), providing a new tool to diagnose the structure and dynamics of the BLR. Other observational consequences of our model are also explored.

  3. The fuelling of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shlosman, Isaac; Begelman, Mitchell C.; Frank, Julian

    1990-01-01

    Accretion mechanisms for powering the central engines of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and possible sources of fuel are reviewed. It is a argued that the interstellar matter in the main body of the host galaxy is channeled toward the center, and the problem of angular momentum transport is addressed. Thin accretion disks are not a viable means of delivering fuel to luminous AGN on scales much larger than a parsec because of the long inflow time and effects of self-gravity. There are also serious obstacles to maintaining and regulating geometrically thick, hot accretion flows. The role of nonaxisymmetric perturbations of the gravitational potential on galactic scales and their triggers is emphasized. A unified model is outlined for fueling AGN, in which the inflow on large scales is driven by gravitational torques, and on small scales forms a mildly self-gravitating disk of clouds with inflow driven by magnetic torques or cloud-cloud collisions.

  4. THE STRUCTURE AND SPECTRAL FEATURES OF A THIN DISK AND EVAPORATION-FED CORONA IN HIGH-LUMINOSITY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, J. Y.; Mineshige, S. E-mail: bfliu@nao.cas.cn

    2012-08-01

    We investigate the accretion process in high-luminosity active galactic nuclei (HLAGNs) in the scenario of the disk evaporation model. Based on this model, the thin disk can extend down to the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) at accretion rates higher than 0.02 M-dot{sub Edd} while the corona is weak since part of the coronal gas is cooled by strong inverse Compton scattering of the disk photons. This implies that the corona cannot produce as strong X-ray radiation as observed in HLAGNs with large Eddington ratio. In addition to the viscous heating, other heating to the corona is necessary to interpret HLAGN. In this paper, we assume that a part of accretion energy released in the disk is transported into the corona, heating up the electrons, and is thereby radiated away. For the first time, we compute the corona structure with additional heating, fully taking into account the mass supply to the corona, and find that the corona could indeed survive at higher accretion rates and that its radiation power increases. The spectra composed of bremsstrahlung and Compton radiation are also calculated. Our calculations show that the Compton-dominated spectrum becomes harder with the increase of energy fraction (f) liberating in the corona, and the photon index for hard X-ray (2-10 keV) is 2.2 < {Gamma} < 2.7. We discuss possible heating mechanisms for the corona. Combining the energy fraction transported to the corona with the accretion rate by magnetic heating, we find that the hard X-ray spectrum becomes steeper at a larger accretion rate and the bolometric correction factor (L{sub bol}/L{sub 2-10keV}) increases with increasing accretion rate for f < 8/35, which is roughly consistent with the observational results.

  5. What is the Nature of Accretion in Active Galactic Nuclei?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krolik, Julian H.

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of this grant was to support theoretical research on the nature of accretion in active galactic nuclei. In the brief time of the award, four papers that appeared in refereed journals were written, as well as two invited reviews in conference proceedings. These papers significantly advanced our understanding of the structure of the most important parts of bright accretion disks around accreting black holes, such as active galactic nuclei.

  6. Research on the Nature of Accretion in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krolik, J. H.

    1999-01-01

    he purpose of this grant was to support theoretical research on the nature of accretion in active galactic nuclei. In the brief time of the award (one year), four papers that appeared in refereed journals were written, as well as two invited reviews in conference proceedings These papers significantly advanced our understanding of the structure of the most important parts of bright accretion disks around accreting black holes, such as active galactic nuclei.

  7. The Bubbling Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churchwell, E.; Povich, M. S.; Allen, D.; Taylor, M. G.; Meade, M. R.; Babler, B. L.; Indebetouw, R.; Watson, C.; Whitney, B. A.; Wolfire, M. G.; Bania, T. M.; Benjamin, R. A.; Clemens, D. P.; Cohen, M.; Cyganowski, C. J.; Jackson, J. M.; Kobulnicky, H. A.; Mathis, J. S.; Mercer, E. P.; Stolovy, S. R.; Uzpen, B.; Watson, D. F.; Wolff, M. J.

    2006-10-01

    A visual examination of the images from the Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) has revealed 322 partial and closed rings that we propose represent partially or fully enclosed three-dimensional bubbles. We argue that the bubbles are primarily formed by hot young stars in massive star formation regions. We have found an average of about 1.5 bubbles per square degree. About 25% of the bubbles coincide with known radio H II regions, and about 13% enclose known star clusters. It appears that B4-B9 stars (too cool to produce detectable radio H II regions) probably produce about three-quarters of the bubbles in our sample, and the remainder are produced by young O-B3 stars that produce detectable radio H II regions. Some of the bubbles may be the outer edges of H II regions where PAH spectral features are excited and may not be dynamically formed by stellar winds. Only three of the bubbles are identified as known SNRs. No bubbles coincide with known planetary nebulae or W-R stars in the GLIMPSE survey area. The bubbles are small. The distribution of angular diameters peaks between 1' and 3' with over 98% having angular diameters less than 10' and 88% less than 4'. Almost 90% have shell thicknesses between 0.2 and 0.4 of their outer radii. Bubble shell thickness increases approximately linearly with shell radius. The eccentricities are rather large, peaking between 0.6 and 0.7; about 65% have eccentricities between 0.55 and 0.85.

  8. STELLAR TRANSITS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Beky, Bence; Kocsis, Bence E-mail: bkocsis@cfa.harvard.edu

    2013-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are typically surrounded by a dense stellar population in galactic nuclei. Stars crossing the line of site in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) produce a characteristic transit light curve, just like extrasolar planets do when they transit their host star. We examine the possibility of finding such AGN transits in deep optical, UV, and X-ray surveys. We calculate transit light curves using the Novikov-Thorne thin accretion disk model, including general relativistic effects. Based on the expected properties of stellar cusps, we find that around 10{sup 6} solar mass SMBHs, transits of red giants are most common for stars on close orbits with transit durations of a few weeks and orbital periods of a few years. We find that detecting AGN transits requires repeated observations of thousands of low-mass AGNs to 1% photometric accuracy in optical, or {approx}10% in UV bands or soft X-ray. It may be possible to identify stellar transits in the Pan-STARRS and LSST optical and the eROSITA X-ray surveys. Such observations could be used to constrain black hole mass, spin, inclination, and accretion rate. Transit rates and durations could give valuable information on the circumnuclear stellar clusters as well. Transit light curves could be used to image accretion disks with unprecedented resolution, allowing us to resolve the SMBH silhouette in distant AGNs.

  9. Stellar Transits in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Béky, Bence; Kocsis, Bence

    2013-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are typically surrounded by a dense stellar population in galactic nuclei. Stars crossing the line of site in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) produce a characteristic transit light curve, just like extrasolar planets do when they transit their host star. We examine the possibility of finding such AGN transits in deep optical, UV, and X-ray surveys. We calculate transit light curves using the Novikov-Thorne thin accretion disk model, including general relativistic effects. Based on the expected properties of stellar cusps, we find that around 106 solar mass SMBHs, transits of red giants are most common for stars on close orbits with transit durations of a few weeks and orbital periods of a few years. We find that detecting AGN transits requires repeated observations of thousands of low-mass AGNs to 1% photometric accuracy in optical, or ~10% in UV bands or soft X-ray. It may be possible to identify stellar transits in the Pan-STARRS and LSST optical and the eROSITA X-ray surveys. Such observations could be used to constrain black hole mass, spin, inclination, and accretion rate. Transit rates and durations could give valuable information on the circumnuclear stellar clusters as well. Transit light curves could be used to image accretion disks with unprecedented resolution, allowing us to resolve the SMBH silhouette in distant AGNs.

  10. Chemical complexity in galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin-Pintado, Jesus

    2007-12-01

    In recent years our knowledge of the chemical complexity in the nuclei of galaxies has dramatically changed. Recent observations of the nucleus of the Milky Way, of the starburst galaxy NGC253 and of the ultraluminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) Arp220 have shown large abundance of complex organic molecules believed to be formed on grains. The Galactic center appears to be the largest repository of complex organic molecule like aldehydes and alcohols in the galaxy. We also measure large abundance of methanol in starburst galaxies and in ULIRGs suggesting that complex organic molecules are also efficiently produced in the central region of galaxies with strong star formation activity. From the systematic observational studies of molecular abundance in regions dominated by different heating processes like shocks, UV radiation, X-rays and cosmic rays in the center of the Milky Way, we are opening the possibility of using chemistry as a diagnostic tool to study the highly obscured regions of galactic centers. The templates found in the nucleus of the Milky Way will be used to establish the main mechanisms driving the heating and the chemistry of the molecular clouds in galaxies with different type of activity. The role of grain chemistry in the chemical complexity observed in the center of galaxies will be also briefly discussed.

  11. Launching of Active Galactic Nuclei Jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchekhovskoy, Alexander

    As black holes accrete gas, they often produce relativistic, collimated outflows, or jets. Jets are expected to form in the vicinity of a black hole, making them powerful probes of strong-field gravity. However, how jet properties (e.g., jet power) connect to those of the accretion flow (e.g., mass accretion rate) and the black hole (e.g., black hole spin) remains an area of active research. This is because what determines a crucial parameter that controls jet properties—the strength of large-scale magnetic flux threading the black hole—remains largely unknown. First-principles computer simulations show that due to this, even if black hole spin and mass accretion rate are held constant, the simulated jet powers span a wide range, with no clear winner. This limits our ability to use jets as a quantitative diagnostic tool of accreting black holes. Recent advances in computer simulations demonstrated that accretion disks can accumulate large-scale magnetic flux on the black hole, until the magnetic flux becomes so strong that it obstructs gas infall and leads to a magnetically-arrested disk (MAD). Recent evidence suggests that central black holes in jetted active galactic nuclei and tidal disruptions are surrounded by MADs. Since in MADs both the black hole magnetic flux and the jet power are at their maximum, well-defined values, this opens up a new vista in the measurements of black hole masses and spins and quantitative tests of accretion and jet theory.

  12. Star formation around active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keel, William C.

    1987-01-01

    Active galactic nuclei (Seyfert nuclei and their relatives) and intense star formation can both deliver substantial amounts of energy to the vicinity of a galactic nucleus. Many luminous nuclei have energetics dominated by one of these mechanisms, but detailed observations show that some have a mixture. Seeing both phenomena at once raises several interesting questions: (1) Is this a general property of some kinds of nuclei? How many AGNs have surround starbursts, and vice versa? (2) As in 1, how many undiscovered AGNs or starbursts are hidden by a more luminous instance of the other? (3) Does one cause the other, and by what means, or do both reflect common influences such as potential well shape or level of gas flow? (4) Can surrounding star formation tell us anything about the central active nuclei, such as lifetimes, kinetic energy output, or mechanical disturbance of the ISM? These are important points in the understanding of activity and star formation in galactic nuclei. Unfortunately, the observational ways of addressing them are as yet not well formulated. Some preliminary studies are reported, aimed at clarifying the issues involved in study of the relationships between stellar and nonstellar excitement in galactic nuclei.

  13. The Structure of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kriss, Gerard A.

    1997-01-01

    We are continuing our systematic investigation of the nuclear structure of nearby active galactic nuclei (AGN). Upon completion, our study will characterize hypothetical constructs such as narrow-line clouds, obscuring tori, nuclear gas disks. and central black holes with physical measurements for a complete sample of nearby AGN. The major scientific goals of our program are: (1) the morphology of the NLR; (2) the physical conditions and dynamics of individual clouds in the NLR; (3) the structure and physical conditions of the warm reflecting gas; (4) the structure of the obscuring torus; (5) the population and morphology of nuclear disks/tori in AGN; (6) the physical conditions in nuclear disks; and (7) the masses of central black holes in AGN. We will use the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to obtain high-resolution images and spatially resolved spectra. Far-UV spectroscopy of emission and absorption in the nuclear regions using HST/FOS and the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) will help establish physical conditions in the absorbing and emitting gas. By correlating the dynamics and physical conditions of the gas with the morphology revealed through our imaging program, we will be able to examine mechanisms for fueling the central engine and transporting angular momentum. The kinematics of the nuclear gas disks may enable us to measure the mass of the central black hole. Contemporaneous X-ray observations using ASCA will further constrain the ionization structure of any absorbing material. Monitoring of variability in the UV and X-ray absorption will be used to determine the location of the absorbing gas, possibly in the outflowing warm reflecting gas, or the broad-line region, or the atmosphere of the obscuring torus. Supporting ground-based observations in the optical, near-IR, imaging polarimetry, and the radio will complete our picture of the nuclear structures. With a comprehensive survey of these characteristics in a complete sample of nearby AGN, our

  14. Rapid and Bright Stellar-mass Binary Black Hole Mergers in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartos, Imre

    2016-06-01

    Galactic nuclei are expected to harbor the densest population of stellar-mass black holes, accounting for as much as ∼ 2% of the mass of the nuclear stellar cluster. A significant fraction (∼ 30%) of these black holes can reside in binaries. We discuss the fate of the black hole binaries in active galactic nuclei, which get trapped in the inner region of the accretion disk around the central supermassive black hole. Binary black holes can migrate into and then rapidly merge within the disk. The binaries also accrete a significant amount of gas from the disk, potentially leading to detectable X-ray or gamma-ray emission.

  15. The age of the galactic disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandage, Allan

    1988-01-01

    The galactic disk is a dissipative structure and must, therefore be younger than the halo if galaxy formation generally proceeds by collapse. Just how much younger the oldest stars in the galactic disk are than the oldest halo stars remains an open question. A fast collapse (on a time scale no longer than the rotation period of the extended protogalaxy) permits an age gap of the order of approximately 10 to the 9th power years. A slow collapse, governed by the cooling rate of the partially pressure supported falling gas that formed into what is now the thick stellar disk, permits a longer age gap, claimed by some to be as long as 6 Gyr. Early methods of age dating the oldest components of the disk contain implicit assumptions concerning the details of the age-metallicity relation for stars in the solar neighborhood. The discovery that this relation for open clusters outside the solar circle is different that in the solar neighborhood (Geisler 1987), complicates the earlier arguments. The oldest stars in the galactic disk are at least as old as NGC 188. The new data by Janes on NGC 6791, shown first at this conference, suggest a disk age of at least 12.5 Gyr, as do data near the main sequence termination point of metal rich, high proper motion stars of low orbital eccentricity. Hence, a case can still be made that the oldest part of the galactic thick disk is similar in age to the halo globular clusters, if their ages are the same as 47 Tuc.

  16. Ambartsumyan's concept of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khachikian, E. Ye.

    2010-01-01

    As Victor Ambartsumyan, himself, noted, the concept of active galactic nuclei occupies a special place among his scientific ideas. It was proposed more than half a century ago and was recognized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as revolutionary, on a copernican scale. However, by no means all of its propositions were accepted at once by large parts of the astronomy community. Nevertheless, as the American astrophysicist A. R. Sandage has written, “today, not one astronomer would deny the mystery surrounding the nuclei of galaxies or that the first to recognize the rich reward held in this treasury was Viktor Ambartsumian.” The purpose of this article is to acquaint the reader with the major stages in the formation and development of the concept of active galactic nuclei and with some of the work on this topic done at the Byurakan and other astrophysical observatories throughout the world.

  17. Dynamical Structures in the Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quillen, Alice C.

    2014-01-01

    Resonances with spiral density waves or the Galactic bar can cause structure in local velocity distributions (also known as phase space). Because resonances are narrow, it is possible to place tight constraints on a pattern speed or the shape of the underlying gravitational potential. Interference between multiple spiral patterns can cause localized bursts of star formation and discontinuities or kinks in the spiral arm morphology. Numerical simulations suggest that boundaries between different dominant patterns in the disk can manifest in local velocity distributions as gaps that are associated with specific orbital periods or angular momentum values. Recent studies have detected age gradients that may be associated with the appearance of spiral features such as armlets and spurs. When patterns grow or vary in speed, resonances can be swept through the disk causing changes in the velocity distributions. Evidence of resonance capture or resonance crossing can be used to place constraints on the past history of patterns in the disk. The X-shaped Galactic bulge may have been caused by stars captured into vertical resonance with the Bar. Disturbances in the Galactic disk, such as from a past merger, can cause an uneven distribution of disk stars in action angles. Subsequently the stellar distribution becomes more tightly wound in phase space. Phase wrapping can cause a series of shell like features in either real space or in a local velocity distribution. The spacing between features is dependent on the time since the disturbance.

  18. Molecular Abundances in the Disk of AN Active Galactic Nucleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, N.; Thompson, T. A.; Herbst, E.

    2011-06-01

    There are galactic nuclei that emit high luminosities L˜1044-46 erg S-1 including luminosity produced by X-rays from high mass accretion onto the central black holes. These nuclei are called active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and they are accompanied by molecular disks. Observations show high abundances of CN and HCN in the disks; the molecules are proposed to be probes of X-ray dominated regions (XDRs) created by the X-rays from AGNs. We have constructed a spatially-dependent chemical-abundance model of the molecular disk in NGC 1068, a typical AGN-dominated galaxy. Recently, new observations of CN and HCN have been made at much higher spatial resolution, and there are also detections of polyatomic molecules such as HC3N, c-C3H2, and C2H. We discuss how these observations and our simulations can help us to better understand the physical conditions, the disk structure, and conditions for star formation within molecular disks, which are still uncertain. We also include a comparison with other types of galaxies such as (ultra-) luminous infrared galaxies. Usero et al.Astronomy and Astrophysics. 419 (897), 2004. Initial results were presented at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy 2010, RF05 Garcia-Burillo et al. Astronomy and Astrophysics. 519 (2), 2010. Garcia-Burillo et al. Journal of Physics Conference Series, 131 (12031), 2008. Costagliola et al. ArXiv e-print arXiv:1101.2122, 2011. Nakajima et al. Astrophysical Journal Letters 728 (L38), 2008.

  19. High-energy neutrinos from active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stecker, F. W.; Done, C.; Salamon, M. H.; Sommers, P.

    1991-01-01

    The spectrum and high-energy neutrino background flux from photomeson production in active galactic nuclei (AGN) is calculated using the recent UV and X-ray observations to define the photon fields and an accretion-disk shock-acceleration model for producing high-energy particles. Collectively, AGN produce the dominant isotropic neutrino background between 10,000 and 10 to the 10th GeV, detectable with current instruments. AGN neutrinos should produce a sphere of stellar disruption which may explain the 'broad-line region' seen in AGN.

  20. Kepler Observations of Rapid Optical Variability in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mushotzky, R. F.; Edelson, R.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Gandhi, P.

    2012-01-01

    Over three quarters in 2010 - 2011, Kepler monitored optical emission from four active galactic nuclei (AGN) with approx 30 min sampling, > 90% duty cycle and approx < 0.1% repeatability. These data determined the AGN optical fluctuation power spectral density functions (PSDs) over a wide range in temporal frequency. Fits to these PSDs yielded power law slopes of -2.6 to -3.3, much steeper than typically seen in the X-rays. We find evidence that individual AGN exhibit intrinsically different PSD slopes. The steep PSD fits are a challenge to recent AGN variability models but seem consistent with first order MRI theoretical calculations of accretion disk fluctuations.

  1. Gamma rays from active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kazanas, Demosthenes

    1990-01-01

    The general properties of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) and quasars are reviewed with emphasis on their continuum spectral emission. Two general classes of models for the continuum are outlined and critically reviewed in view of the impending GRO (Gamma Ray Observatory) launch and observations. The importance of GRO in distinguishing between these models and in general in furthering the understanding of AGN is discussed. The very broad terms the status of the current understanding of AGN are discussed.

  2. MAGNETIC FLUX PARADIGM FOR RADIO LOUDNESS OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Sikora, Marek; Begelman, Mitchell C. E-mail: mitch@jila.colorado.edu

    2013-02-20

    We argue that the magnetic flux threading the black hole (BH), rather than BH spin or Eddington ratio, is the dominant factor in launching powerful jets and thus determining the radio loudness of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Most AGNs are radio quiet because the thin accretion disks that feed them are inefficient in depositing magnetic flux close to the BH. Flux accumulation is more likely to occur during a hot accretion (or thick disk) phase, and we argue that radio-loud quasars and strong emission-line radio galaxies occur only when a massive, cold accretion event follows an episode of hot accretion. Such an event might be triggered by the merger of a giant elliptical galaxy with a disk galaxy. This picture supports the idea that flux accumulation can lead to the formation of a so-called magnetically choked accretion flow. The large observed range in radio loudness reflects not only the magnitude of the flux pressed against the BH, but also the decrease in UV flux from the disk, due to its disruption by the ''magnetosphere'' associated with the accumulated flux. While the strongest jets result from the secular accumulation of flux, moderate jet activity can also be triggered by fluctuations in the magnetic flux deposited by turbulent, hot inner regions of otherwise thin accretion disks, or by the dissipation of turbulent fields in accretion disk coronae. These processes could be responsible for jet production in Seyferts and low-luminosity AGNs, as well as jets associated with X-ray binaries.

  3. Gravitational lensing of active galactic nuclei.

    PubMed Central

    Hewitt, J N

    1995-01-01

    Most of the known cases of strong gravitational lensing involve multiple imaging of an active galactic nucleus. The properties of lensed active galactic nuclei make them promising systems for astrophysical applications of gravitational lensing; in particular, they show structure on scales of milliseconds of arc to tens of seconds of arc, they are variable, and they are polarized. More than 20 cases of strong gravitational lenses are now known, and about half of them are radio sources. High-resolution radio imaging is making possible the development of well-constrained lens models. Variability studies at radio and optical wavelengths are beginning to yield results of astrophysical interest, such as an independent measure of the distance scale and limits on source sizes. PMID:11607613

  4. Reverberation mapping of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, Bradley M.

    1993-01-01

    The broad emission lines in the spectra of active galactic nuclei respond to variations in the luminosity of the central continuum source with a delay due to light-travel time effects within the emission-line region. It is therefore possible through the process of 'reverberation mapping' to determine the geometry and kinematics of the emission-line region by careful monitoring of the continuum variations and the resulting emission-line response. In this review, I will discuss progress in application of the reverberation mapping technique. I will describe the underlying assumptions and limitations of the method, discuss how the results obtained to date are changing our understanding of active nuclei, and outline several new questions that might be addressed through further reverberation mapping programs.

  5. Starbursts in Low Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González Delgado, Rosa M.; Cid Fernandes, Roberto

    2005-05-01

    Low Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei (LLAGN), which comprise low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs) and transition-type objects (TOs), represent the most common type of nuclear activity. Here, we search for spectroscopic signatures of starbursts and post-starbursts in LLAGN, and investigate their relationship to the ionization mechanism in LLAGN. The method used is based on the stellar population synthesis of the circumnuclear optical continuum of these galaxies. We have found that intermediate-age populations (108-109 yr) are very common in weak-[O I] LLAGN, but that very young stars (≤107 yr) contribute very little to the central optical continuum of these objects. However, ˜ 1 Gyr ago these nuclei harboured starbursts of size ˜ 100 pc and masses 107-108 M⊙. Meanwhile, most of the strong-[O I] LLAGN have predominantly old stellar populations.

  6. Observational signatures of galactic winds powered by active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nims, Jesse; Quataert, Eliot; Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André

    2015-03-01

    We predict the observational signatures of galaxy scale outflows powered by active galactic nuclei (AGN). Most of the emission is produced by the forward shock driven into the ambient interstellar medium (ISM) rather than by the reverse shock. AGN-powered galactic winds with energetics suggested by phenomenological feedback arguments should produce spatially extended ˜1-10 keV X-ray emission ˜ 1041-44 erg s- 1, significantly in excess of the spatially extended X-ray emission associated with normal star-forming galaxies. The presence of such emission is a direct test of whether AGN outflows significantly interact with the ISM of their host galaxy. We further show that even radio-quiet quasars should have a radio luminosity comparable to or in excess of the far-infrared-radio correlation of normal star-forming galaxies. This radio emission directly constrains the total kinetic energy flux in AGN-powered galactic winds. Radio emission from AGN wind shocks can also explain the recently highlighted correlations between radio luminosity and the kinematics of AGN narrow-line regions in radio-quiet quasars.

  7. THE EDGE OF THE YOUNG GALACTIC DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Carraro, Giovanni; Vazquez, Ruben A.; Perren, Gabriel; Moitinho, Andre

    2010-08-01

    In this work, we report and discuss the detection of two distant diffuse stellar groups in the third Galactic quadrant. They are composed of young stars, with spectral types ranging from late O to late B, and lie at galactocentric distances between 15 and 20 kpc. These groups are located in the area of two cataloged open clusters (VdB-Hagen 04 and Ruprecht 30), projected toward the Vela-Puppis constellations, and within the core of the Canis Major overdensity. Their reddening and distances have been estimated by analyzing their color-color and color-magnitude diagrams, derived from deep UBV photometry. The existence of young star aggregates at such extreme distances from the Galactic center challenges the commonly accepted scenario in which the Galactic disk has a sharp cutoff at about 14 kpc from the Galactic center and indicates that it extends to much greater distances (as also supported by the recent detection of CO molecular complexes well beyond this distance). While the groups we find in the area of Ruprecht 30 are compatible with the Orion and Norma-Cygnus spiral arms, respectively, the distant group we identify in the region of VdB-Hagen 04 lies in the external regions of the Norma-Cygnus arm, at a galactocentric distance ({approx}20 kpc) where no young stars have been detected so far in the optical.

  8. The Edge of the Young Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carraro, Giovanni; Vázquez, Ruben A.; Costa, Edgardo; Perren, Gabriel; Moitinho, André

    2010-08-01

    In this work, we report and discuss the detection of two distant diffuse stellar groups in the third Galactic quadrant. They are composed of young stars, with spectral types ranging from late O to late B, and lie at galactocentric distances between 15 and 20 kpc. These groups are located in the area of two cataloged open clusters (VdB-Hagen 04 and Ruprecht 30), projected toward the Vela-Puppis constellations, and within the core of the Canis Major overdensity. Their reddening and distances have been estimated by analyzing their color-color and color-magnitude diagrams, derived from deep UBV photometry. The existence of young star aggregates at such extreme distances from the Galactic center challenges the commonly accepted scenario in which the Galactic disk has a sharp cutoff at about 14 kpc from the Galactic center and indicates that it extends to much greater distances (as also supported by the recent detection of CO molecular complexes well beyond this distance). While the groups we find in the area of Ruprecht 30 are compatible with the Orion and Norma-Cygnus spiral arms, respectively, the distant group we identify in the region of VdB-Hagen 04 lies in the external regions of the Norma-Cygnus arm, at a galactocentric distance (~20 kpc) where no young stars have been detected so far in the optical.

  9. X-Ray Reprocessing in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begelman, Mitchell C.

    2004-01-01

    This is the final report for research entitled "X-ray reprocessing in active galactic nuclei," into X-ray absorption and emission in various classes of active galaxy via X-ray spectral signatures. The fundamental goal of the research was to use these signatures as probes of the central engine structure and circumnuclear environment of active galactic nuclei. The most important accomplishment supported by this grant involved the detailed analysis and interpretation of the XMM data for the bright Seyfert 1 galaxy MCG-6-30-15. This work was performed by Drs. Christopher Reynolds and Mitchell Begelman in collaboration with Dr. Jorn Wilms (University of Tubingen, Germany; PI of the XMM observation) and other European scientists. With XMM we obtained medium resolution X-ray spectra of unprecedented quality for this Seyfert galaxy. Modeling the X-ray spectrum within the framework of accretion disk reflection models produced the first evidence for energy extraction from the spin of a black hole. Specifically, we found that the extreme gravitational redshifts required to explain the X-ray spectrum suggests that the bulk of the energy dissipation is concentrated very close to the black hole, in contrast with the expectations of any pure accretion disk model. In a second paper we addressed the low- energy spectral complexity and used RXTE specta to pin down the high-energy spectral index, thus firming up our initial interpretation. Additionally, we carried out detailed spectral and variability analyses of a number of Seyfert and radio galaxies (e.g., NGC 5548 and 3C 111) and developed general techniques that will be useful in performing X-ray reverberation mapping of accretion disks in AGN, once adequate data becomes available. A list of papers supported by this research is included.

  10. Supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kormendy, John; Gebhardt, Karl

    2001-10-01

    We review the motivation and search for supermassive black holes (BHs) in galaxies. Energetic nuclear activity provides indirect but compelling evidence for BH engines. Ground-based dynamical searches for central dark objects are reviewed in Kormendy & Richstone (1995, ARA&A, 33, 581). Here we provide an update of results from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This has greatly accelerated the detection rate. As of 2001 March, dynamical BH detections are available for at least 37 galaxies. The demographics of these objects lead to the following conclusions: (1) BH mass correlates with the luminosity of the bulge component of the host galaxy, albeit with considerable scatter. The median BH mass fraction is 0.13% of the mass of the bulge. (2) BH mass correlates with the mean velocity dispersion of the bulge inside its effective radius, i.e., with how strongly the bulge stars are gravitationally bound to each other. For the best mass determinations, the scatter is consistent with the measurement errors. (3) BH mass correlates with the luminosity of the high-density central component in disk galaxies independent of whether this is a real bulge (a mini-elliptical, believed to form via a merger-induced dissipative collapse and starburst) or a ``pseudobulge'' (believed to form by inward transport of disk material). (4) BH mass does not correlate with the luminosity of galaxy disks. If pure disks contain BHs (and active nuclei imply that some do), then their masses are much smaller than 0.13% of the mass of the disk. We conclude that present observations show no dependence of BH mass on the details of whether BH feeding happens rapidly during a collapse or slowly via secular evolution of the disk. The above results increasingly support the hypothesis that the major events that form a bulge or elliptical galaxy and the main growth phases of its BH-when it shone like a quasar-were the same events. .

  11. The physics of galactic winds driven by active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André; Quataert, Eliot

    2012-09-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) drive fast winds in the interstellar medium of their host galaxies. It is commonly assumed that the high ambient densities and intense radiation fields in galactic nuclei imply short cooling times, thus making the outflows momentum conserving. We show that cooling of high-velocity shocked winds in AGN is in fact inefficient in a wide range of circumstances, including conditions relevant to ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs), resulting in energy-conserving outflows. We further show that fast energy-conserving outflows can tolerate a large amount of mixing with cooler gas before radiative losses become important. For winds with initial velocity vin ≳ 10 000 km s-1, as observed in ultraviolet and X-ray absorption, the shocked wind develops a two-temperature structure. While most of the thermal pressure support is provided by the protons, the cooling processes operate directly only on the electrons. This significantly slows down inverse Compton cooling, while free-free cooling is negligible. Slower winds with vin ˜ 1000 km s-1, such as may be driven by radiation pressure on dust, can also experience energy-conserving phases but under more restrictive conditions. During the energy-conserving phase, the momentum flux of an outflow is boosted by a factor ˜vin/2vs by work done by the hot post-shock gas, where vs is the velocity of the swept-up material. Energy-conserving outflows driven by fast AGN winds (vin ˜ 0.1c) may therefore explain the momentum fluxes Ṗ≫LAGN/c of galaxy-scale outflows recently measured in luminous quasars and ULIRGs. Shocked wind bubbles expanding normal to galactic discs may also explain the large-scale bipolar structures observed in some systems, including around the Galactic Centre, and can produce significant radio, X-ray and γ-ray emission. The analytic solutions presented here will inform implementations of AGN feedback in numerical simulations, which typically do not include all the important

  12. KEPLER OBSERVATIONS OF RAPID OPTICAL VARIABILITY IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Mushotzky, R. F.; Edelson, R.; Baumgartner, W.

    2011-12-10

    Over three quarters in 2010-2011, Kepler monitored optical emission from four active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with {approx}30 minute sampling, >90% duty cycle, and {approx}<0.1% repeatability. These data determined the AGN optical fluctuation power spectral density (PSD) functions over a wide range in temporal frequency. Fits to these PSDs yielded power-law slopes of -2.6 to -3.3, much steeper than typically seen in the X-rays. We find evidence that individual AGNs exhibit intrinsically different PSD slopes. The steep PSD fits are a challenge to recent AGN variability models but seem consistent with first-order magnetorotational instability theoretical calculations of accretion disk fluctuations.

  13. DUST EMISSION FROM UNOBSCURED ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, G. D.; Levenson, N. A.; Uddin, S. A.; Sirocky, M. M.

    2009-05-20

    We use mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy of unobscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to reveal their native dusty environments. We concentrate on Seyfert 1 galaxies, observing a sample of 31 with the Infrared Spectrograph aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope, and compare them with 21 higher luminosity quasar counterparts. Silicate dust reprocessing dominates the MIR spectra, and we generally measure the 10 and 18 {mu}m spectral features weakly in emission in these galaxies. The strengths of the two silicate features together are sensitive to the dust distribution. We present numerical radiative transfer calculations that distinguish between clumpy and smooth geometries, which are applicable to any central heating source, including stars as well as AGNs. In the observations, we detect the obscuring 'torus' of unified AGN schemes, modeling it as compact and clumpy. We also determine that star formation increases with AGN luminosity, although the proportion of the galaxies' bolometric luminosity attributable to stars decreases with AGN luminosity.

  14. Dust Emission from Unobscured Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, G. D.; Levenson, N. A.; Uddin, S. A.; Sirocky, M. M.

    2009-05-01

    We use mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy of unobscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to reveal their native dusty environments. We concentrate on Seyfert 1 galaxies, observing a sample of 31 with the Infrared Spectrograph aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope, and compare them with 21 higher luminosity quasar counterparts. Silicate dust reprocessing dominates the MIR spectra, and we generally measure the 10 and 18 μm spectral features weakly in emission in these galaxies. The strengths of the two silicate features together are sensitive to the dust distribution. We present numerical radiative transfer calculations that distinguish between clumpy and smooth geometries, which are applicable to any central heating source, including stars as well as AGNs. In the observations, we detect the obscuring "torus" of unified AGN schemes, modeling it as compact and clumpy. We also determine that star formation increases with AGN luminosity, although the proportion of the galaxies' bolometric luminosity attributable to stars decreases with AGN luminosity.

  15. Echo Mapping of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, B. M.; Horne, K.

    2004-01-01

    Echo mapping makes use of the intrinsic variability of the continuum source in active galactic nuclei to map out the distribution and kinematics of line-emitting gas from its light travel time-delayed response to continuum changes. Echo mapping experiments have yielded sizes for the broad line-emitting region in about three dozen AGNs. The dynamics of the line-emitting gas seem to be dominated by the gravity of the central black hole, enabling measurement of the black-hole masses in AGNs. We discuss requirements for future echo-mapping experiments that will yield the high quality velocity-delay maps of the broad-line region that are needed to determine its physical nature.

  16. Multiwavelength Monitoring of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, Bradley M.

    2001-01-01

    By intensive monitoring of AGN variability over a large range in wavelength, we can probe the structure and physics of active galactic nuclei on microarcsecond angular scales. For example, multi-wavelength variability data allow us (a) to establish causal relationships between variations in different wavebands, and thus determine which physical processes are primary and which spectral changes are induced by variations at other wavelengths, and (b) through reverberation mapping of the UV/optical emission lines, to determine the structure and kinematics of the line-emitting region, and thus accurately determine the central masses in AGNs. Multiwavelength monitoring is resource-intensive, and is difficult to implement with general-purpose facilities. As a result, virtually all programs undertaken to date have been either sparsely sampled, or short in duration, or both. The potentially high return on this type of investigation, however, argues for dedicated facilities for multiwavelength monitoring programs.

  17. Relativistic neutrons in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sikora, Marek; Begelman, Mitchell C.; Rudak, Bronislaw

    1989-01-01

    The acceleration of protons to relativistic energies in active galactic nuclei leads to the creation of relativistic neutrons which escape from the central engine. The neutrons decay at distances of up to 1-100 pc, depositing their energies and momenta in situ. Energy deposition by decaying neutrons may inhibit spherical accretion and drive a wind, which could be responsible for the velocity fields in emission-line regions and the outflow of broad absorption line systems. Enhanced pressure in the neutron decay region may also help to confine emission line clouds. A fraction of the relativistic proton energy is radiated in gamma-rays with energies which may be as large as about 100,000 GeV.

  18. Spectroastrometry of rotating gas disks for the detection of supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei. III. CRIRES observations of the Circinus galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gnerucci, A.; Marconi, A.; Capetti, A.; Axon, D. J.; Robinson, A.

    2013-01-01

    We present new CRIRES spectroscopic observations of the Brγ emission line in the nuclear region of the Circinus galaxy, obtained with the aim of measuring the black hole (BH) mass with the spectroastrometric technique. The Circinus galaxy is an ideal benchmark for the spectroastrometric technique given its proximity and secure BH measurement obtained with the observation of its nuclear H2O maser disk. The kinematical data have been analyzed both with the classical method based on the analysis of the rotation curves and with the new method developed by us that is based on spectroastrometry. The classical method indicates that the gas disk rotates in a gravitational potential resulting from an extended stellar mass distribution and a spatially unresolved dynamical mass of (1.7 ± 0.2) × 107 M⊙, concentrated within r < 7 pc, corresponding to the seeing-limited resolution of the observations. The new method is capable of probing the gas rotation at scales that are a factor ~3.5 smaller than those probed by the rotation curve analysis, highlighting the potential of spectroastrometry. The dynamical mass, which is spatially unresolved with the spectroastrometric method, is a factor ~2 smaller, 7.9+1.4-1.1 × 106M⊙, indicating that spectroastrometry has been able to spatially resolve the nuclear mass distribution down to 2 pc scales. This unresolved mass is still a factor ~4.5 larger than the BH mass measurement obtained with the H2O maser emission, indicating that even with spectroastrometry, it has not been possible to resolve the sphere of influence of the BH. Based on literature data, this spatially unresolved dynamical mass distribution is likely dominated by warm molecular gas and has been tentatively identified with the circum-nuclear torus that prevents a direct view of the central BH in Circinus. This mass distribution, with a size of ~2 pc, is similar in shape to that of the star cluster of the Milky Way, suggesting that a molecular torus, forming stars at

  19. Unveiling the X-ray/UV properties of disk winds in active galactic nuclei using broad and mini-broad absorption line quasars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giustini, M.

    2016-05-01

    We present the results of the uniform analysis of 46 XMM-Newton observations of six BAL and seven mini-BAL QSOs belonging to the Palomar-Green Quasar catalogue. Moderate-quality X-ray spectroscopy was performed with the EPIC-pn, and allowed to characterise the general source spectral shape to be complex, significantly deviating from a power law emission. A simple power law analysis in different energy bands strongly suggests absorption to be more significant than reflection in shaping the spectra. If allowing for the absorbing gas to be either partially covering the continuum emission source or to be ionised, large column densities of the order of 1022-1024 cm-2 are inferred. When the statistics was high enough, virtually every source was found to vary in spectral shape on various time scales, from years to hours. All in all these observational results are compatible with radiation driven accretion disk winds shaping the spectra of these intriguing cosmic sources.

  20. Particle Acceleration in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, James A.

    1997-01-01

    The high efficiency of energy generation inferred from radio observations of quasars and X-ray observations of Seyfert active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is apparently achieved only by the gravitational conversion of the rest mass energy of accreting matter onto supermassive black holes. Evidence for the acceleration of particles to high energies by a central engine is also inferred from observations of apparent superluminal motion in flat spectrum, core-dominated radio sources. This phenomenon is widely attributed to the ejection of relativistic bulk plasma from the nuclei of active galaxies, and accounts for the existence of large scale radio jets and lobes at large distances from the central regions of radio galaxies. Reports of radio jets and superluminal motion from galactic black hole candidate X-ray sources indicate that similar processes are operating in these sources. Observations of luminous, rapidly variable high-energy radiation from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory show directly that particles are accelerated to high energies in a compact environment. The mechanisms which transform the gravitational potential energy of the infalling matter into nonthermal particle energy in galactic black hole candidates and AGNs are not conclusively identified, although several have been proposed. These include direct acceleration by static electric fields (resulting from, for example, magnetic reconnection), shock acceleration, and energy extraction from the rotational energy of Kerr black holes. The dominant acceleration mechanism(s) operating in the black hole environment can only be determined, of course, by a comparison of model predictions with observations. The purpose of the work proposed for this grant was to investigate stochastic particle acceleration through resonant interactions with plasma waves that populate the magnetosphere surrounding an accreting black hole. Stochastic acceleration has been successfully applied to the

  1. Inhomogeneous chemical evolution of the Galactic disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malinie, Guy; Hartmann, Dieter H.; Clayton, Donald D.; Mathews, Grant J.

    1993-01-01

    We present analytical models for inhomogeneous chemical evolution (ICE) of systems in which the star formation history resembles a series of bursts, localized in space and/or time, with intermittent periods of remixing. The additional parameter of this model is the metallicity increment of bursting subsystems, but this parameter is constrained by the spread in the age-metallicity relation. We apply this model to the solar annulus in the Galactic disk and show that ICE models yield an improved fit to the observed shape of the stellar abundance distribution function (ADF). The G-dwarf problem can be alleviated with ICE models, but infall of metal poor gas and/or some preenrichment of the disk during the epoch of protogalactic evolution is still required to explain the paucity of low-metallicity dwarfs. ICE models also suggest an explanation of the reduced frequency of metal-rich G-dwarfs relative to the predictions of the simple model. It does not seem likely that chemical evolution of the solar annulus proceeded in a medium that was well-mixed at all times.

  2. Production of Lithium in the Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casuso, E.; Beckman, J. E.

    2000-07-01

    The abundance of Li in stars formed within the past 5 Gyr is logN(Li)=3.2(+/-0.2), while the corresponding value for the oldest stars in the Galaxy is logN(Li)=2.2(+/-0.2). The global evidence suggests that the latter represents the full, or the major, part of the primordial abundance, so that the difference of an order of magnitude is due to Li produced in the Galaxy. It is well known that spallation of interstellar CNO by 4He and protons in Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) can produce Li, but models yield a shortfall of almost an order of magnitude compared with the current observed abundance range. Another GCR reaction, α+α fusion, has been invoked to explain some Li production in the early Galaxy, but application of this to the disk yielded too much early Li or too little current Li. These failures led to a search for alternative mechanisms, essentially stellar, at particular phases of evolution: the helium flash phase in asymptotic giant branch stars, in novae, and in supernovae (SNe). Here we stress the importance of the observed upper envelope in the plot of Li versus Fe in stars as a constraint on any mechanism in any model aiming to account for disk Li. We show that a good match can be found assuming that low-energy GCRs produce the Li, with the α+α reaction as the key mechanism, although production in supernovae cannot at this stage be excluded. There is an apparent time delay in the Li production, relative to O and Fe, which if confirmed could be explained by the origin of a low-energy α-particle component in processes associated with stars of intermediate and low mass. The α-flux at a given epoch would then be proportional to the amount of gas expelled by low- and intermediate-mass stars in the Galaxy, though the acceleration of these α-particles could still be linked to more energetic events as supernova explosions. The present scenario appears to account coherently for the closely related observations of the temporal evolution in the Galaxy (halo+disk

  3. Particle Acceleration in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, James A.

    1996-01-01

    The investigation of stochastic particle acceleration through resonant interactions with plasma waves that populate the magnetosphere surrounding an accreting black hole is presented. Stochastic acceleration has been successfully applied to the problem of ion and electron energization in solar flares, and is capable of accounting for a wide range of both neutral and charged particle emissions. It is also a component in diffusive shock acceleration, since pitch-angle scattering (which is necessary for multiple shock crossings) is accompanied by diffusion in momentum space, which in turn yields a net systematic energy gain; however, stochastic energization will dominate the first-order shock process only in certain parameter regimes. Although stochastic acceleration has been applied to particle energization in the lobes of radio galaxies, its application to the central regions of AGNs (active galactic nuclei) has only recently been considered, but not in detail. We proposed to systematically investigate the plasma processes responsible for stochastic particle acceleration in black hole magnetospheres along with the energy-loss processes which impede particle energization. To this end, we calculated acceleration rates and escape time scales for protons and electrons resonating with Alfven waves, and for electrons resonating with whistlers. We also considered the "hot" topic of gamma-ray line emission from the Orion complex. We proposed that the observed gamma-ray lines are produced by energetic ions that are stochastically accelerated by cascading Alfven waves in the accretion plasma near a black hole. Related research papers that were published in journals are listed.

  4. TESTING TESTS ON ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI MICROVARIABILITY

    SciTech Connect

    De Diego, Jose A.

    2010-03-15

    Literature on optical and infrared microvariability in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) reflects a diversity of statistical tests and strategies to detect tiny variations in the light curves of these sources. Comparison between the results obtained using different methodologies is difficult, and the pros and cons of each statistical method are often badly understood or even ignored. Even worse, improperly tested methodologies are becoming more and more common, and biased results may be misleading with regard to the origin of the AGN microvariability. This paper intends to point future research on AGN microvariability toward the use of powerful and well-tested statistical methodologies, providing a reference for choosing the best strategy to obtain unbiased results. Light curves monitoring has been simulated for quasars and for reference and comparison stars. Changes for the quasar light curves include both Gaussian fluctuations and linear variations. Simulated light curves have been analyzed using {chi}{sup 2} tests, F tests for variances, one-way analyses of variance and C-statistics. Statistical Type I and Type II errors, which indicate the robustness and the power of the tests, have been obtained in each case. One-way analyses of variance and {chi}{sup 2} prove to be powerful and robust estimators for microvariations, while the C-statistic is not a reliable methodology and its use should be avoided.

  5. Probing the Physics of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, Bradley M.

    2004-01-01

    As a result of a number of large multiwavelength monitoring campaigns that have taken place since the late 1980s, there are now several very large data sets on bright variable active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that are well-sampled in time and can be used to probe the physics of the AGN continuum source and the broad-line emitting region. Most of these data sets have been underutilized, as the emphasis thus far has been primarily on reverberation-mapping issues alone. Broader attempts at analysis have been made on some of the earlier IUE data sets (e.g., data from the 1989 campaign on NGC5 548) , but much of this analysis needs to be revisited now that improved versions of the data are now available from final archive processing. We propose to use the multiwavelength monitoring data that have been accumulated to undertake more thorough investigations of the AGN continuum and broad emission lines, including a more detailed study of line-profile variability, making use of constraints imposed by the reverberation results.

  6. Dielectronic Recombination In Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lukic, D. V.; Schnell, M.; Savin, D. W.; Altun, Z.; Badnell, N.; Brandau, C.; Schmidt, E. W.; Mueller, A.; Schippers, S.; Sprenger, F.; Lestinsky, M.; Wolf, A.

    2006-01-01

    XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of active galactic nuclei (AGN) show rich spectra of X-ray absorption lines. These observations have detected a broad unresolved transition array (UTA) between approx. 15-17 A. This is attributed to inner-shell photoexcitation of M-shell iron ions. Modeling these UTA features is currently limited by uncertainties in the low-temperature dielectronic recombination (DR) data for M-shell iron. In order to resolve this issue, and to provide reliable iron M-shell DR data for plasma modeling, we are carrying out a series of laboratory measurements using the heavy-ion Test Storage Ring (TSR) at the Max-Plank-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany. Currently, laboratory measurements of low temperature DR can only be performed at storage rings. We use the DR data obtained at TSR, to calculate rate coefficients for plasma modeling and to benchmark theoretical DR calculations. Here we report our recent experimental results for DR of Fe XIV forming Fe XIII.

  7. Reevaluating Active Galactic Nuclei in Rich Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Way, M. J.; Flores, R.; Quintana, H.

    1999-06-01

    We have selected 42 candidate Active Galactic Nuclei in 19 Rich Abell Clusters. The candidates were selected using the criteria of Dressler, Thompson & Shectman (1985; DTS) in their analysis of the statistics of 22 AGN in 14 rich cluster fields, which are based on the equivalent width of [OII]3727Å, H β, and [OIII]5007Å emission. These AGN are then separated from HII galaxies in the manner developed by Veilleux & Osterbrock (1987; VO) using the additional information provided by Hα and [NII]6583Å or Hα and [SII]6716 + 6731Å emission, in order to test the reliability of the selection criteria used by DTS. Our sample is very comparable to that of DTS before we discriminate AGN from HII galaxies, and would lead to similar conclusions. However, we find that their method inevitably mixes HII galaxies with AGN. Over the years many authors have attempted to quantify the relative fraction of cluster to field AGN since the study of DTS (Hill & Oegerle 1993; Biviano et al. 1997) and have reached similar conclusions, but using criteria similar to that of DTS to select AGN (or using the [OIII]5007Å/H β flux ratio test that also mixes HII galaxies with AGN).

  8. Quasi periodic oscillations in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alston, W.; Fabian, A.; Markevičiutė, J.; Parker, M.; Middleton, M.; Kara, E.

    2016-05-01

    Quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) are coherent peaks of variability power observed in the X-ray power spectra (PSDs) of stellar mass X-ray binaries (XRBs). A scale invariance of the accretion process implies they should be present in the active galactic nuclei. The first robust detection was a ∼ 1 h periodicity in the Seyfert galaxy RE J1034+396 from a ∼ 90 ks XMM-Newton observation; however, subsequent observations failed to detect the QPO in the 0.3-10.0 keV band. In this talk we present the recent detection of the ∼ 1 h periodicity in the 1.0-4.0 keV band of 4 further low-flux/spectrally-harder observations of RE J1034+396 (see Alston et al. 2014). We also present recent work on the discovery of a QPO in the Seyfert galaxy, MS 2254.9-3712, which again is only detected in energy bands associated with the primary power-law continuum emission (Alston et al. 2015). We conclude these features are most likely analogous to the high-frequency QPOs observed in XRBs. In both sources, we also see evidence for X-ray reverberation at the QPO frequency, where soft X-ray bands and Iron Kα emission lag the primary X-ray continuum. These time delays may provide another diagnostic for understanding the underlying QPO mechanism observed in accreting black holes.

  9. Unwrapping the X-ray spectra of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, C. S.

    2016-05-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are complex phenomena. At the heart of an AGN is a relativistic accretion disk around a spinning supermassive black hole (SMBH) with an X-ray emitting corona and, sometimes, a relativistic jet. On larger scales, the outer accretion disk and molecular torus act as the reservoirs of gas for the continuing AGN activity. And on all scales from the black hole outwards, powerful winds are seen that probably affect the evolution of the host galaxy as well as regulate the feeding of the AGN itself. In this review article, we discuss how X-ray spectroscopy can be used to study each of these components. We highlight how recent measurements of the high-energy cutoff in the X-ray continuum by NuSTAR are pushing us to conclude that X-ray coronae are radiatively-compact and have electron temperatures regulated by electron-positron pair production. We show that the predominance of rapidly-rotating objects in current surveys of SMBH spin is entirely unsurprising once one accounts for the observational selection bias resulting from the spin-dependence of the radiative efficiency. We review recent progress in our understanding of fast (v˜ (0.1-0.3)c, highly-ionized (mainly visible in Fe XXV and Fe XXVI lines), high-column density winds that may dominate quasar-mode galactic feedback. Finally, we end with a brief look forward to the promise of Astro-H and future X-ray spectropolarimeters.

  10. Studies of Low Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei with Monte Carlo and Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilburn, Guy Louis

    Results from several studies are presented which detail explorations of the physical and spectral properties of low luminosity active galactic nuclei. An initial Sagittarius A* general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulation and Monte Carlo radiation transport model suggests accretion rate changes as the dominant flaring method. A similar study on M87 introduces new methods to the Monte Carlo model for increased consistency in highly energetic sources. Again, accretion rate variation seems most appropriate to explain spectral transients. To more closely resolve the methods of particle energization in active galactic nuclei accretion disks, a series of localized shearing box simulations explores the effect of numerical resolution on the development of current sheets. A particular focus on numerically describing converged current sheet formation will provide new methods for consideration of turbulence in accretion disks.

  11. A NIR Atlas of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Ardila, A.; Riffel, R.; Pastoriza, M. G.

    2006-06-01

    We present the most comprehensive atlas of near-infrared (NIR) mid-resolution (R=1000) spectra of active galactic nuclei (AGN) made to date in the interval 0.8-2.4 μm. The aim of this work is to provide a homogeneous database suitable to study the nuclear NIR properties of AGN in a region poorly studied spectroscopically but that keeps useful constraints to model the AGN physics. The sample is composed of 49 objects, 39 of them with z <0.05, distributed between 7 quasars, 25 Seyfert 1 (classical and narrow-line Seyfert 1) and 17 Seyfert 2 galaxies. A few LINERS and Starburst galaxies are also included for comparative purposes. The spectra are dominated by strong emission lines of H I, He I, He II, [S III] and conspicuous forbidden lines of low and high ionization species, including coronal lines. In addition, rotational/vibrational lines of H_2 are detected in most objects. Overall, the continuum of quasars and Seyfert 1s are rather similar, being essentially flat or slightly steep in the H and K bands. In J, the shape of the continuum is different from object to object, varying from that displaying a steep rise in flux towards shorter wavelengths, from 1.1 μm bluewards, to that remaining flat. In Seyfert 2s, the continuum smoothly decreases in flux with wavelength, from 1.2 μm redwards. Bluewards, the continuum flux steeply rises in some sources while in others it decreases towards shorter wavelengths, suggesting reddening. Independently of the AGN type, stellar absorption features of CO, Si I and Mg I are present in the H and K bands. They are found to be particularly strong in Seyfert 2s. Line identification and remarks on the most important characteristics observed in the sample are given.

  12. Reverberation Mapping Campaign of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharjee, Anirban

    In this dissertation, I present results of black hole mass (M BH) measurements of four active galactic nuclei (AGN). AGN activity plays a key part in galaxy formation and evolution as evidenced by relationships like MBH-sigmastar. Accurate measurements of MBH is thus required to better understand these relationships. Luminosity of AGNs is also related to the radius of the broad line region (BLR). I have used reverberation mapping (RM) to obtain measurements of the radius of BLR and MBH of four AGNs. Reverberation data were collected over a period of 180-day span in 2012. None of these objects have been reverberation mapped before. We have also placed our objects on the Radius-Luminosity relationship and three out of four fall on the relationship. The fourth object lies above the Radius-Luminosity relationship and is a minor outlier. Two of these objects are Radio-Loud, which have orientation information available. This has increased the sample of radio-loud AGNs, which have RM from 5 to 7. We have increased the overall sample size of AGNs that have mass measurements from 62 to 66. We obtain masses for these following objects 3C 382 (MBH)= 30.1 -8.7+12.61 x 107 M O, PG2209+184 (MBH)=14.53-8.7 +5.79 x 107 MO, MARK 1040 (MBH)= 30.1-8.7+12.61 x 107 MO and 1ES0206+52(MBH)= 517.3-280+214 x 107 M O.

  13. The softest Einstein AGN (active galactic nuclei)

    SciTech Connect

    Cordova, F.A.; Kartje, J.; Mason, K.O.; Mittaz, J.P.D.; Chicago Univ., IL; University Coll., London . Mullard Space Science Lab.)

    1989-01-01

    We have undertaken a coarse spectral study to find the softest sources detected with the Imaging Proportional Counter (IPC) on the Einstein Observatory. Of the nearly 7700 IPC sources, 226 have color ratios that make them candidate ultrasoft'' sources; of these, 83 have small enough errors that we can say with confidence that they have a spectral component similar to those of the white dwarfs Sirius and HZ 43, nearby stars such as {alpha} Cen and Procyon, and typical polar'' cataclysmic variables. By means of catalog searches and ground-based optical and radio observations we have thus far identified 96 of the 226 candidate soft sources; 37 of them are active galactic nuclei (AGN). In the more selective subset of 83 sources, 47 have been identified, 12 of them with AGN. The list of 47 identifications is given in Cordova et al. For one QSO in our sample, E0132.8--411, we are able to fit the pulse-height data to a power-law model and obtain a best fit for the energy spectral index of 2. 2{sub {minus}0.4}{sup +0.6}. For the remainder of the AGN in the higher confidence sample we are able to infer on the basis of their x-ray colors that they have a similar spectral component. Two-thirds of the AGN are detected below 0.5 keV only, while the remainder evidence a flatter spectral component in addition to the ultra-soft component. 14 refs., 5 figs.

  14. RELATIVISTIC BROADENING OF IRON EMISSION LINES IN A SAMPLE OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Brenneman, Laura W.; Reynolds, Christopher S.

    2009-09-10

    We present a uniform X-ray spectral analysis of eight type-1 active galactic nuclei that have been previously observed with relativistically broadened iron emission lines. Utilizing data from the XMM-Newton European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC-pn) we carefully model the spectral continuum, taking complex intrinsic absorption and emission into account. We then proceed to model the broad Fe K{alpha} feature in each source with two different accretion disk emission line codes, as well as a self-consistent, ionized accretion disk spectrum convolved with relativistic smearing from the inner disk. Comparing the results, we show that relativistic blurring of the disk emission is required to explain the spectrum in most sources, even when one models the full reflection spectrum from the photoionized disk.

  15. On the origin of power-law X-ray spectra of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schlosman, I.; Shaham, J.; Shaviv, G.

    1984-01-01

    In the present analytical model for a power law X-ray continuum production in active galactic nuclei, the dissipation of turbulent energy flux above the accretion disk forms an optically thin transition layer with an inverted temperature gradient. The emitted thermal radiation has a power law spectrum in the 0.1-100 keV range, with a photon energy spectral index gamma of about 0.4-1.0. Thermal X-ray contribution from the layer is 5-10 percent of the total disk luminosity. The gamma value of 0.75 is suggested as a 'natural' power law index for Seyfert galaxies and QSOs.

  16. Effects of Active galactic nuclei feedback in galaxy population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagos, C.; Cora, S.; Padilla, N.

    We analyze the effects of feedback from Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) on the formation and evolution of galaxies, which is assumed to quench cooling flows in massive halos. With this aim we use an hybrid model that combines a cosmological Lambda CDM simulation with a semi-analytic model of galaxy formation. We consider the semi-analytic model described by Cora (2006) (SAMC06) which has been improved by including AGNs, which are associated with the presence of supermassive black holes (BHs). Modellization of BH includes gas accretion during merger-driven starbursts and black hole mergers (Malbon et al., 2006), accretion during starbursts triggered by disk instabilities (Bower et al. 2006), and accretion of cooling gas from quasi-hydrostatically cooling haloes (Croton et al. 2006); Eddington limit is applied in all accretion processes. It is assumed that feedback from AGNs operates in the later case. We show that this new model can simultaneously explain: (i) the bright-end of the galaxy luminosity function (LF); (ii) the observed older population of stars in massive galaxies, thus reproducing the stellar mass function (SMF); (iii) a star formation rate (SFR) seemingly showing an anti-hierarchical galaxy growth. The success of our model is mainly due to the ability of AGN feedback to suppress further cooling and SF in the most massive structures.

  17. THE NATURE OF OPTICALLY DULL ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN COSMOS

    SciTech Connect

    Trump, Jonathan R.; Impey, Chris D.; Gabor, Jared M.; Taniguchi, Yoshi; Nagao, Tohru; Shioya, Yasuhiro; Brusa, Marcella; Civano, Francesca; Elvis, Martin; Kelly, Brandon C.; Huchra, John P.; Jahnke, Knud; Koekemoer, Anton M.; Salvato, Mara; Capak, Peter; Scoville, Nick Z.; Kartaltepe, Jeyhan S.; Lanzuisi, Giorgio; McCarthy, Patrick J.; Maineri, Vincenzo

    2009-11-20

    We present infrared, optical, and X-ray data of 48 X-ray bright, optically dull active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the COSMOS field. These objects exhibit the X-ray luminosity of an AGN but lack broad and narrow emission lines in their optical spectrum. We show that despite the lack of optical emission lines, most of these optically dull AGNs are not well described by a typical passive red galaxy spectrum: instead they exhibit weak but significant blue emission like an unobscured AGN. Photometric observations over several years additionally show significant variability in the blue emission of four optically dull AGNs. The nature of the blue and infrared emission suggest that the optically inactive appearance of these AGNs cannot be caused by obscuration intrinsic to the AGNs. Instead, up to approx70% of optically dull AGNs are diluted by their hosts, with bright or simply edge-on hosts lying preferentially within the spectroscopic aperture. The remaining approx30% of optically dull AGNs have anomalously high f{sub X} /f{sub O} ratios and are intrinsically weak, not obscured, in the optical. These optically dull AGNs are best described as a weakly accreting AGN with a truncated accretion disk from a radiatively inefficient accretion flow.

  18. Dense Clouds near the Central Engine of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sivron, R.; Tsuruta, S

    1993-01-01

    A model is presented which assumes the existence of cold dense clouds near the central engine of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs). The effects of such clouds on the observed spectrum are explored. It is shown that this model is consistent with the complicated observed spectra and variability behavior of most extensively studied Seyfert nuclei. The results are compared with other proposed models. The existing observational evidence appears to support the "cloud-model."

  19. DOUBLE-PEAKED NARROW-LINE ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI. II. THE CASE OF EQUAL PEAKS

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, K. L.; Shields, G. A.; Salviander, S.; Stevens, A. C.; Rosario, D. J. E-mail: shields@astro.as.utexas.edu E-mail: acs0196@mail.utexas.edu

    2012-06-10

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with double-peaked narrow lines (DPAGNs) may be caused by kiloparsec-scale binary AGNs, bipolar outflows, or rotating gaseous disks. We examine the class of DPAGNs in which the two narrow-line components have closely similar intensity as being especially likely to involve disks or jets. Two spectroscopic indicators support this likelihood. For DPAGNs from Smith et al., the 'equal-peaked' objects (EPAGNs) have [Ne V]/[O III]ratios lower than for a control sample of non-double-peaked AGNs. This is unexpected for a pair of normal AGNs in a galactic merger, but may be consistent with [O III] emission from a rotating ring with relatively little gas at small radii. Also, [O III]/H{beta} ratios of the redshifted and blueshifted systems in the EPAGN are more similar to each other than in a control sample, suggestive of a single ionizing source and inconsistent with the binary interpretation.

  20. Space telescope searches for black holes in galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harms, Richard J.

    1989-01-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) will allow astronomers to obtain luminosity profiles, rotation curves, and velocity dispersions at angular scales that are an order of magnitude superior to those obtained previously. This enhanced spatial resolution will greatly improve the sensitivity for detecting centrally condensed matter in nearby galactic nuclei including, possibly, black holes.

  1. Environment and properties of obscured and unobscured active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taormina, M.; Bornancini, C.

    We analyze the properties of obscured and unobscured active galactic nuclei selected using mid-infrared colors in the redshift range 1 < z < 3. We find that obscured objects are located in a denser local galaxy environment compared to the unobscured sample.

  2. Probing the central regions of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohfink, Anne Maria

    Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are one of the key players in the Universe. Their energy output can strongly affect the growth of their host galaxy and can promote or suppress star formation on galactic scales. Most of the processes that determine the power of an AGN as well as the form in which that power is released take place in the immediate surroundings of its supermassive black hole, a region that is still not entirely understood. A comprehension of these inner regions is, however, crucial to any ultimate understanding of the AGN's vast influence. This dissertation explores these close-in environments of the black hole using two approaches: X-ray spectroscopy and variability studies. We begin by summarizing our current understanding of why AGN play such a significant role in galaxy formation. This is followed by a discussion of why X-ray spectroscopy is one of the best means to investigate them. We point out that, in particular, the X-ray reflection spectrum is interesting as it can directly probe parameters such as the black hole spin or the inclination of the accretion disk. Since the reflection spectrum is a broad band component, that usually only contributes a fraction of the total observed X-ray flux, the entire X-ray spectrum requires careful modeling. To perform such modeling and gain access to the parameters of the reflection spectrum, we first select a target in which the spectral decomposition is simplified by the absence of absorption - the Seyfert 1 galaxy Fairall 9. We apply a multi-epoch fitting method that uses more than one spectrum at a time to get the best possible results on the parameters of the reflection spectrum that are invariant on human timescales. This technique enables us to tightly constrain the reflection parameters and leads us to conclude that Fairall 9 most likely possesses a composite soft X-ray excess, consisting of blurred reflection and a separate component such as Comptonization. The reflection spectrum also provides a way

  3. Implications of Stellar Migration for the Properties of Galactic Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskar, Rok; Debattista, V. P.; Quinn, T. R.; Stinson, G. S.; Wadsley, J.

    2010-01-01

    Recent theoretical work suggests that it may be common for stars in the disks of spiral galaxies to migrate radially across significant distances. Such migrations are a result of spiral corotation resonance scattering and move the guiding centers of the stars while preserving the circularities of their orbits.Migration can therefore efficiently mix stars in all parts of the disk. Therefore, if migration does indeed occur in real disks, it requires that disks be thought of as fully inter-connected structures with a common history rather then a set of autonomous regions. In the extreme, radial migration allows the evolution of the innermost regions to contribute significantly to the outermost parts of the disk. I will discuss the results from a suite of idealized N-body/SPH simulations of disk formation and evolution, spanning a range in the parameter space of galaxy properties. I will focus on the insight we can gain from simulations when interpreting observational data of a full range of stellar systems, including the solar neighborhood, the thick and thin disks of the Galaxy, as well as external disks, in particular their outermost regions. I will demonstrate that radial migration needs to be considered in studies of galactic disk evolution, and discuss some of our recent attempts to do so with observational data from SDSS and HST.

  4. The angular clustering of WISE-selected active galactic nuclei: Different halos for obscured and unobscured active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Donoso, E.; Yan, Lin; Stern, D.; Assef, R. J.

    2014-07-01

    We calculate the angular correlation function for a sample of ∼170,000 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) extracted from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) catalog, selected to have red mid-IR colors (W1 – W2 > 0.8) and 4.6 μm flux densities brighter than 0.14 mJy). The sample is expected to be >90% reliable at identifying AGNs and to have a mean redshift of (z) = 1.1. In total, the angular clustering of WISE AGNs is roughly similar to that of optical AGNs. We cross-match these objects with the photometric Sloan Digital Sky Survey catalog and distinguish obscured sources with r – W2 > 6 from bluer, unobscured AGNs. Obscured sources present a higher clustering signal than unobscured sources. Since the host galaxy morphologies of obscured AGNs are not typical red sequence elliptical galaxies and show disks in many cases, it is unlikely that the increased clustering strength of the obscured population is driven by a host galaxy segregation bias. By using relatively complete redshift distributions from the COSMOS survey, we find that obscured sources at (z) ∼ 0.9 have a bias of b = 2.9 ± 0.6 and are hosted in dark matter halos with a typical mass of log (M/M {sub ☉} h {sup –1}) ∼ 13.5. In contrast, unobscured AGNs at (z) ∼ 1.1 have a bias of b = 1.6 ± 0.6 and inhabit halos of log (M/M {sub ☉} h {sup –1}) ∼ 12.4. These findings suggest that obscured AGNs inhabit denser environments than unobscured AGNs, and they are difficult to reconcile with the simplest AGN unification models, where obscuration is driven solely by orientation.

  5. Active Galactic Nuclei:. Sources for Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biermann, P. L.; Becker, J. K.; Caramete, L.; Gergely, L.; Mariş, I. C.; Meli, A.; de Souza, V.; Stanev, T.

    Ultra high energy cosmic ray events presently show a spectrum, which we interpret here as galactic cosmic rays due to a starburst, in the radio galaxy Cen A which is pushed up in energy by the shock of a relativistic jet. The knee feature and the particles with energy immediately higher in galactic cosmic rays then turn into the bulk of ultra high energy cosmic rays. This entails that all ultra high energy cosmic rays are heavy nuclei. This picture is viable if the majority of the observed ultra high energy events come from the radio galaxy Cen A, and are scattered by intergalactic magnetic fields across much of the sky.

  6. GALACTOSEISMOLOGY: DISCOVERY OF VERTICAL WAVES IN THE GALACTIC DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Widrow, Lawrence M.; Gardner, Susan; Yanny, Brian; Dodelson, Scott; Chen, Hsin-Yu

    2012-05-10

    We present evidence for a Galactic North-South asymmetry in the number density and bulk velocity of solar neighborhood stars. The number density profile, which is derived from main-sequence stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, shows a (North-South)/(North+South) deficit at |z| {approx_equal} 400 pc and an excess at |z| {approx} 800 pc. The bulk velocity profile, which is derived from the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration, shows a gradual trend across the Galactic midplane as well as smaller-scale features. We speculate that the North-South asymmetry, which has the appearance of a wavelike perturbation, is intrinsic to the disk. We explore the physics of this phenomenon through an analysis of the linearized Boltzmann and Poisson equations and through one-dimensional simulations. The perturbation may be excited by the passage of a satellite galaxy or dark matter subhalo through the Galactic disk, in which case we are witnessing a recent disk-heating event.

  7. THE PREVALENCE OF NARROW OPTICAL Fe II EMISSION LINES IN TYPE 1 ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Dong Xiaobo; Wang Jianguo; Wang Tinggui; Wang Huiyuan; Zhou Hongyan; Ho, Luis C.; Fan Xiaohui

    2010-10-01

    From detailed spectral analysis of a large sample of low-redshift active galactic nuclei (AGNs) selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we demonstrate-statistically for the first time-that narrow optical Fe II emission lines, both permitted and forbidden, are prevalent in type 1 AGNs. Remarkably, these optical lines are completely absent in type 2 AGNs, across a wide luminosity range, from Seyfert 2 galaxies to type 2 quasars. We suggest that the narrow Fe II-emitting gas is confined to a disk-like geometry in the innermost regions of the narrow-line region on physical scales smaller than the obscuring torus.

  8. Implosive accretion and outbursts of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lovelace, R. V. E.; Romanova, M. M.; Newman, W. I.

    1994-01-01

    A model and simulation code have been developed for time-dependent axisymmetric disk accretion onto a compact object including for the first time the influence of an ordered magnetic field. The accretion rate and radiative luminosity of the disk are naturally coupled to the rate of outflow of energy and angular momentum in magnetically driven (+/- z) winds. The magnetic field of the wind is treated in a phenomenological way suggested by self-consistent wind solutions. The radial accretion speed u(r, t) of the disk matter is shown to be the sum of the usual viscous contribution and a magnetic contribution proportional to r(exp 3/2)(B(sub p exp 2))/sigma, where B(sub p)(r,t) is the poloidal field threading the disk and sigma(r,t) is the disk's surface mass density. An enhancement or variation in B(sub p) at a large radial distance leads to the formation of a soliton-like structure in the disk density, temperature, and B-field which propagates implosively inward. The implosion gives a burst in the power output in winds or jets and a simultaneous burst in the disk radiation. The model is pertinent to the formation of discrete fast-moving components in jets observed by very long baseline interferometry. These components appear to originate at times of optical outbursts of the active galactic nucleus.

  9. Wobbling The Galactic Disk with Bombardment of Satellite Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Onghia, Elena

    We propose to assess the effect of impacts of large visible satellite galaxies on a disk, as well as the relevance of the continuing bombardment of the Galactic disk by dark matter clumps as predicted by the current cosmological framework that can wobble the disk, heating it and eventually exciting ragged spiral structures. In particular, we make detailed predictions for observable features such as spiral arms, rings and their associated stars in galactic disks and relate them to the physical processes that drive their formation and evolution in our Milky Way galaxy and nearby spirals. To do this, we will combine analytic methods and numerical simulations that allow us to calculate observables, which we will compare to present and forthcoming observations. Our methodology utilizes a combination of state of the art hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy evolution and multi- wavelength radiative transfer simulations. Our primary goals are: (1) To identify the physical processes that are responsible for spiral structure formation observed in our Milky Way and nearby disk galaxies, from the flocculent to grand- designed spiral galaxies and to provide observable signatures to be compared with data on nearby galaxies combining maps of 24 micron emission (Spitzer) and cold gas, CO (Heracles) and HI (THINGS). (2) To explore different morphologies of spiral galaxies: from the multi-armed galaxies to the Milky Way sized galaxies with few arms. (3) For a Milky Way disk we will assess the effect of impacts of substructures passing through the disk to origin the asymmetry in the number density of stars recently discovered from SDSS and SEGUE data and confirmed from RAVE data. We will also investigate the disk heating in the vertical plane due to the formation of vertical oscillations that are produced by the impact and migration of stars in the disk as consequence of the heating as compared to the classical stellar migration mechanism. (4) We will measure the spiral pattern speed

  10. The X-ray spectroscopy of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mushotzky, R.

    1985-01-01

    The scientific goals of X-ray spectroscopy of active galactic nuclei are discussed. The underlying energy source, the regions responsible for the optical emission lines, the different types of active galaxies, and cosmology are considered. The requirements for an X-ray mission of broad band width, large collecting area, modest spatial resolution and good spectral resolution are outlined. It is concluded that the ESA XMM mission meets these requirements.

  11. Active galactic nuclei and galaxy interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso, M. Sol; Lambas, Diego G.; Tissera, Patricia; Coldwell, Georgina

    2007-03-01

    We perform a statistical analysis of active galactic nucleus (AGN) host characteristics and nuclear activity for AGNs in pairs and without companions. Our study concerns a sample of AGNs derived from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4 data by Kauffmann et al. and pair galaxies obtained from the same data set by Alonso et al. An eye-ball classification of images of 1607 close pairs (rp < 25 kpc h-1,ΔV < 350 km s-1) according to the evidence of interaction through distorted morphologies and tidal features provides us with a more confident assessment of galaxy interactions from this sample. We notice that, at a given luminosity or stellar mass content, the fraction of AGNs is larger for pair galaxies exhibiting evidence for strong interaction and tidal features which also show signs of strong star formation activity. Nevertheless, this process accounts only for a ~10per cent increase of the fraction of AGNs. As in previous works, we find AGN hosts to be redder and with a larger concentration morphological index than non-AGN galaxies. This effect does not depend on whether AGN hosts are in pairs or in isolation. The OIII luminosity of AGNs with strong interaction features is found to be significantly larger than that of other AGNs, either in pairs or in isolation. Estimations of the accretion rate, L[OIII]/MBH, show that AGNs in merging pairs are actively feeding their black holes, regardless of their stellar masses. We also find that the luminosity of the companion galaxy seems to be a key parameter in the determination of the black hole activity. At a given host luminosity, both the OIII luminosity and the L[ OIII]/MBH are significantly larger in AGNs with a bright companion (Mr < -20) than otherwise.

  12. The effect of radial migration on galactic disks

    SciTech Connect

    Vera-Ciro, Carlos; D'Onghia, Elena; Navarro, Julio; Abadi, Mario

    2014-10-20

    We study the radial migration of stars driven by recurring multi-arm spiral features in an exponential disk embedded in a dark matter halo. The spiral perturbations redistribute angular momentum within the disk and lead to substantial radial displacements of individual stars, in a manner that largely preserves the circularity of their orbits and that results, after 5 Gyr (∼40 full rotations at the disk scale length), in little radial heating and no appreciable changes to the vertical or radial structure of the disk. Our results clarify a number of issues related to the spatial distribution and kinematics of migrators. In particular, we find that migrators are a heavily biased subset of stars with preferentially low vertical velocity dispersions. This 'provenance bias' for migrators is not surprising in hindsight, for stars with small vertical excursions spend more time near the disk plane, and thus respond more readily to non-axisymmetric perturbations. We also find that the vertical velocity dispersion of outward migrators always decreases, whereas the opposite holds for inward migrators. To first order, newly arrived migrators simply replace stars that have migrated off to other radii, thus inheriting the vertical bias of the latter. Extreme migrators might therefore be recognized, if present, by the unexpectedly small amplitude of their vertical excursions. Our results show that migration, understood as changes in angular momentum that preserve circularity, can strongly affect the thin disk, but cast doubts on models that envision the Galactic thick disk as a relic of radial migration.

  13. Innermost structure and near-infrared radiation of dusty clumpy tori in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawaguchi, Toshihiro

    2012-12-01

    The dusty clumpy torus surrounds the central black hole (BH) and the accretion disk in active galactic nuclei, and governs the growth of super-massive BHs via gas fueling towards the central engine. Near-infrared (NIR) monitoring observations have revealed that the torus inner radius is determined by the dust sublimation process. However, the observed radii are systematically smaller than the theoretical predictions by a factor of three. We take into account the anisotropic illumination by the central accretion disk to the torus, and calculate the innermost structure of the torus and the NIR time variability. We then show that the anisotropy naturally solves the systematic discrepancy and that the viewing angle is the primary source to produce an object-to-object scatter of the NIR time delay. Dynamics of clumps at the innermost region of the torus will be unveiled via future high- resolution X-ray spectroscopy (e.g., Astro-H)

  14. Tomography of Accretion Flows in Binary Stars and Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livio, Mario

    2001-01-01

    Under this project, a variety of accretion problems have been studied, with two in particular. In the first, astrophysical jets are observed in many objects ranging from young stars to Active Galactic Nuclei. A major unsolved problem is how do these jets originate from accretion disks. In a series of works, I have examined the launching of outflows from magnetized disks, the extraction of energy from black holes, and the formation of jets in systems like Cataclysmic Variables and supermassive accreting black holes. The results of these works were published in a number of papers. In the second, I examined the potential role of vortices in accretion disks around Young Stellar Objects, for the formation of planets and for angular momentum transport. I showed that vortices are surprisingly stable, and that they are able to concentrate dust in their cores. I also examined the development of spiral shocks in disks. Finally, I studied the evolution of magnetically layered protoplanetary disks, and showed that they exhibit outbursts which could 'pump' the jets that are observed in Herbig-Haro objects. The results of these works were published in a number of papers as well. Additional information on the published papers is contained in the original abstract.

  15. Interpreting Broad Double-Peaked Emission Lines in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, Jules; Chen, Kaiyou

    1999-01-01

    The principal objectives of this project were to probe the inner regions of active galactic nuclei and to test general relativity in the strong-field limit. The approach takes advantage of broad atomic line emission observed from material deep in the potential well of an active galactic nucleus which contains key information as to the physics of the system. Line profiles in a wide range of wavebands from optical to X-ray have provided compelling evidence of the existence of a relativistic accretion disk around a supermassive black hole in a number of galaxies. The simplest model posits a geometrically thin disk in Keplerian orbit, with general relativistic effects in evidence. This model is the point of departure for the proposed work. We developed a high-performance numerical code to calculate photon trajectories in a Schwarzschild or Kerr metric and implemented it on parallel supercomputers. This code includes a general purpose ray tracer that calculates line profiles, light curves, and other observable quantities for a wide variety of emitter configurations. The versatility comes from the fact that the ray tracing algorithm does not depend on any symmetries regarding emitter locations. The speed comes from parallel implementation which enables us to sample hitherto unattainable volumes of disk model parameter space. During the period 1 March 1997 through 28 February 1998, two papers, supported in whole or in part by this grant, were published in refereed journals. They are reproduced in their entirety in the next two sections of this report.

  16. Cosmic variance in [O/Fe] in the Galactic disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertran de Lis, S.; Allende Prieto, C.; Majewski, S. R.; Schiavon, R. P.; Holtzman, J. A.; Shetrone, M.; Carrera, R.; García Pérez, A. E.; Mészáros, Sz.; Frinchaboy, P. M.; Hearty, F. R.; Nidever, D. L.; Zasowski, G.; Ge, J.

    2016-05-01

    We examine the distribution of the [O/Fe] abundance ratio in stars across the Galactic disk using H-band spectra from the Apache Point Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE). We minimize systematic errors by considering groups of stars with similar atmospheric parameters. The APOGEE measurements in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data release 12 reveal that the square root of the star-to-star cosmic variance in the oxygen-to-iron ratio at a given metallicity is about 0.03-0.04 dex in both the thin and thick disk. This is about twice as high as the spread found for solar twins in the immediate solar neighborhood and the difference is probably associated to the wider range of galactocentric distances spanned by APOGEE stars. We quantify the uncertainties by examining the spread among stars with the same parameters in clusters; these errors are a function of effective temperature and metallicity, ranging between 0.005 dex at 4000 K and solar metallicity, to about 0.03 dex at 4500 K and [Fe/H] ≃ -0.6. We argue that measuring the spread in [O/Fe] and other abundance ratios provides strong constraints for models of Galactic chemical evolution.

  17. Atomic hydrogen properties of active galactic nuclei host galaxies: H I in 16 nuclei of galaxies (NUGA) sources

    SciTech Connect

    Haan, Sebastian; Schinnerer, Eva; Mundell, Carole G.; García-Burillo, Santiago; Combes, Francoise E-mail: schinner@mpia.de E-mail: burillo@oan.es

    2008-01-01

    We present a comprehensive spectroscopic imaging survey of the distribution and kinematics of atomic hydrogen (H I) in 16 nearby spiral galaxies hosting low luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGN), observed with high spectral and spatial resolution (resolution: ∼20'', ∼5 km s{sup –1}) using the NRAO Very Large Array (VLA). The sample contains a range of nuclear types ranging from Seyfert to star-forming nuclei, and was originally selected for the NUclei of GAlaxies project (NUGA)—a spectrally and spatially resolved interferometric survey of gas dynamics in nearby galaxies designed to identify the fueling mechanisms of AGN and the relation to host galaxy evolution. Here we investigate the relationship between the H I properties of these galaxies, their environment, their stellar distribution, and their AGN type. The large-scale H I morphology of each galaxy is classified as ringed, spiral, or centrally concentrated; comparison of the resulting morphological classification with the AGN type reveals that ring structures are significantly more common in low-ionization narrow emission-line regions (LINER) than in Seyfert host galaxies, suggesting a time evolution of the AGN activity together with the redistribution of the neutral gas. Dynamically disturbed H I disks are also more prevalent in LINER host galaxies than in Seyfert host galaxies. While several galaxies are surrounded by companions (some with associated H I emission), there is no correlation between the presence of companions and the AGN type (Seyfert/LINER).

  18. Galactic evolution. II - Disk galaxies with massive halos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ostriker, J. P.; Thuan, T. X.

    1975-01-01

    Models of galactic evolution are computed in which matter shed by dying halo stars accumulates in a smaller, more rapidly rotating disk. The models are simpler and more successful than one-zone (pure disk) models in that (1) the observed absence of low-metal-abundance low-mass dwarfs is expected, not anomalous and (2) the relative birthrate function (or IMF) need not be a strongly variable function of time in agreement with recent interpretations of observed stellar populations and neutral hydrogen in our own and other galaxies. Even a simple 'Salpeter' IMF for both disk and halo will produce an acceptable model. The model with a halo 'Salpeter' IMF, roughly one-quarter of the mass in the secondary disk, and approximately half the metals produced in the halo seems most compatible with observations of the metal abundance in low-mass stars, the deuterium abundance, halo planetary nebulae, and light from Population II stars, as well as with arguments on the stability of the disk.

  19. Black holes in binary stellar systems and galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherepashchuk, A. M.

    2014-04-01

    In the last 40 years, following pioneering papers by Ya B Zeldovich and E E Salpeter, in which a powerful energy release from nonspherical accretion of matter onto a black hole (BH) was predicted, many observational studies of black holes in the Universe have been carried out. To date, the masses of several dozen stellar-mass black holes (M_BH = (4{-}20) M_\\odot) in X-ray binary systems and of several hundred supermassive black holes (M_BH = (10^{6}{-}10^{10}) M_\\odot) in galactic nuclei have been measured. The estimated radii of these massive and compact objects do not exceed several gravitational radii. For about ten stellar-mass black holes and several dozen supermassive black holes, the values of the dimensionless angular momentum a_* have been estimated, which, in agreement with theoretical predictions, do not exceed the limiting value a_* = 0.998. A new field of astrophysics, so-called black hole demography, which studies the birth and growth of black holes and their evolutionary connection to other objects in the Universe, namely stars, galaxies, etc., is rapidly developing. In addition to supermassive black holes, massive stellar clusters are observed in galactic nuclei, and their evolution is distinct from that of supermassive black holes. The evolutionary relations between supermassive black holes in galactic centers and spheroidal stellar components (bulges) of galaxies, as well as dark-matter galactic haloes are brought out. The launch into Earth's orbit of the space radio interferometer RadioAstron opened up the real possibility of finally proving that numerous discovered massive and highly compact objects with properties very similar to those of black holes make up real black holes in the sense of Albert Einstein's General Relativity. Similar proofs of the existence of black holes in the Universe can be obtained by intercontinental radio interferometry at short wavelengths \\lambda \\lesssim 1 mm (the international program, Event Horizon Telescope).

  20. Cosmic ray nuclei from extragalactic and galactic pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Ke

    2013-02-01

    In an extragalactic newly-born pulsar, nuclei striped off the star surface can be accelerated to extreme energies and leave the source through dense supernova surroundings. The escaped ultrahigh energy cosmic rays can explain both UHE energy spectral and atmospheric depth observations. In addition, assuming that Galactic pulsars accelerate cosmic rays with the same injection composition, very high energy cosmic rays from local pulsars can meet the flux measurements from above the knee to the ankle, and at the same time, agree with the detected composition trend.

  1. On the Vertical Equilibrium of the Local Galactic Disk and the Search for Disk Dark Matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez-Salcedo, F. J.; Flynn, Chris; Hidalgo-Gámez, A. M.

    2011-04-01

    Estimates of the dynamical surface mass density at the solar Galactocentric distance are commonly derived assuming that the disk is in vertical equilibrium with the Galactic potential. This assumption has recently been called into question, based on the claim that the ratio between the kinetic and the gravitational energy in such solutions is a factor of three larger than required if virial equilibrium is to hold. Here we show that this ratio between energies was overestimated and that the disk solutions are likely to be in virial equilibrium after all. We additionally demonstrate, using one-dimensional numerical simulations, that the disks are indeed in equilibrium. Hence, given the uncertainties, we find no reason to cast doubt on the steady-state solutions which are traditionally used to measure the matter density of the disk.

  2. ON THE VERTICAL EQUILIBRIUM OF THE LOCAL GALACTIC DISK AND THE SEARCH FOR DISK DARK MATTER

    SciTech Connect

    Sanchez-Salcedo, F. J.; Flynn, Chris; Hidalgo-Gamez, A. M.

    2011-04-20

    Estimates of the dynamical surface mass density at the solar Galactocentric distance are commonly derived assuming that the disk is in vertical equilibrium with the Galactic potential. This assumption has recently been called into question, based on the claim that the ratio between the kinetic and the gravitational energy in such solutions is a factor of three larger than required if virial equilibrium is to hold. Here we show that this ratio between energies was overestimated and that the disk solutions are likely to be in virial equilibrium after all. We additionally demonstrate, using one-dimensional numerical simulations, that the disks are indeed in equilibrium. Hence, given the uncertainties, we find no reason to cast doubt on the steady-state solutions which are traditionally used to measure the matter density of the disk.

  3. Pair Plasmas in the Central Engine of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsuruta, S.; Tritz, B. G.

    1993-01-01

    As the most promising model for the X-ray emission from a class of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) represented by radio-quiet quasars and Seyfert nuclei, here we introduce the non-thermal pair cascade model, where soft photons are Comptonized by non-thermal electron-positron pair plasmas produced by (gamma)-rays. After summarizing the simplest model of this kind, the "homogeneous spherical cascade model", our most recent work on the "surface cascade model" is presented, where a geometrical effect is introduced. Many characteristics of this model are qualitatively similar to the homogeneous cascade model. However, an important difference is that (gamma)-ray depletion is much more efficient in the surface cascade, and consequently this model naturally satisfies the severe observational constraint imposed by the (gamma)-ray background radiation.

  4. X-ray emission from the galactic disk.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bleach, R. D.; Boldt, E. A.; Holt, S. S.; Schwartz, D. A.; Serlemitsos, P. J.

    1972-01-01

    A search was made for a diffuse component of greater than 1.5 keV X rays associated with an interarm region of the Galaxy at galactic longitudes in the vicinity of 60 degrees. A statistically significant excess associated with a narrow disk component was detected. The angular extent of this component has a most probable value of 2 degrees. The best-fit spectrum yields an intensity of 2.9 photons/sq cm per sec per sterad over the 2-10 keV range. The 3-sigma upper limit to any emission in a 1.5 keV band centered at 7 keV from galactic latitudes not greater than 3.5 deg is 0.3 photons/sq cm per sec per sterad. Several possible emission models are evaluated, with the most likely choice being a population of unresolvable low-luminosity sources.

  5. Galactic disks, infall, and the global value of Omega

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toth, G.; Ostriker, J. P.

    1992-01-01

    Stringent limits on the current rate of infall of satellite systems onto spiral galaxies are set on the basis of the thinness and coldness of Galactic disks. For infalling satellites on isotropically oriented circular orbits, it is shown that, due to scattering, the thermal energy gain of the disk exceeds the satellite energy loss from dynamical friction by a factor of 1.6, with 25 percent deposited in z motion and 75 percent in planar motions. It is found that no more than 4 percent of the Galactic mass inside the solar radius can have accreted within the last 5 billion years, or else its scale and its Toomre Q-parameter would exceed observed values. In standard cold-dark-matter-dominated models for the growth of structure with Omega sub tot of 1, the mass accreted in dark matter lumps rises faster than t exp 2/3 and would exceed 28 percent in the last 5 Gyr. It is proposed that heating from satellite infall accounts for a substantial fraction of the increase of velocity dispersion and scale height with age that is observed in the Galaxy.

  6. Rotational Velocities of B Stars in the Outer Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garmany, Catharine D.; Glaspey, J. W.; Bensby, T.; Daflon, S.; Cunha, K.; Oey, M. S.; Wolff, S. C.

    2010-01-01

    Metallicity gradients in the Milky Way disk are important constraints to models of chemical evolution and galaxy formation. As part of a long term project to better constrain the galactic metallicity gradient (Daflon & Cunha) we have obtained spectra of early B stars in the outer disk with the Magellan 6.5m (Clay) and MIKE double echelle spectrograph. We present herein a preliminary analysis of the projected rotational velocities (v sin i), for 150 early B stars in the third galactic quadrant. The stars were selected from the Case-Hamburg Catalog of Luminous Stars (Reed, 2005). Distances have been computed from the reddening-free Q parameter and published Mv values. We use the spectral type information in the catalog to further refine distances of the non-main sequence B stars in our sample. We have followed the method described by Daflon et al (2007) to estimate v sin i for these stars from their He I lines. These stars are primarily field B stars, with galactocentric distances between 8 and 16 kpc, and most of them lie outside dense clusters and associations. Our analysis will address two questions: 1) Is there any evidence for a difference in mean rotation rate as a function of galactocentric distance and/or metallicity; and 2) Do these stars have on average low rotation rates, as seem to characterize stars in the field and in expanding associations near the Sun (Wolff, et al. 2007).

  7. Chemical Abundances of Compact Planetary Nebulae in the Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Ting-Hui; Shaw, R. A.; Stanghellini, L.

    2014-01-01

    We present preliminary results from an optical spectroscopic survey of compact planetary nebulae (PNe) in the Galactic disk. This is an ongoing optical+infrared spectral survey of 150 compact PNe to build a complete sample of PN chemical abundances in the Galactic disk. The optical spectra will be combined with Spitzer spectra of IR collisional lines to improve abundance constraints. Our targets are mostly young PNe, which are well suited for studying the impact of metallicity and dust on PN morphology. Our main objectives are: (1) to constrain stellar evolution models, particularly the metallicity-dependent onset of hot-bottom burning; (2) to quantify the contribution of low- to intermediate-mass stars to chemical enrichment; and (3) to improve the ionization correction factors for Ne, O, S, and Ar that we have observed in the IR. We will also compare these findings to our optical+IR Magellanic Cloud PN abundances to better understand the influence of environment metallicity on stellar chemical yields.

  8. Oxygen isotopic ratios toward molecular clouds in the Galactic disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hai-Kun; Zhang, Jiang-Shui; Liu, Zhi-Wei; Lu, Deng-Rong; Wang, Min; Wang, Jin

    2016-03-01

    We present our observations of the J = 1 - 0 rotation transitions in molecular isotopes C18O and C17O toward a sample of molecular clouds with different galactocentric distances, using the Delingha 13.7m (DLH 13.7 m) telescope, administered by Purple Mountain Observatory, and its 9-beam SIS receiver. Complementary observations toward several sources with large galactocentric distance are obtained with the IRAM 30m and Mopra 22m telescopes. C18O/C17O abundance ratios reflecting the 18O/17O isotope ratios are obtained from integrated intensity ratios of C18O and C17O. We derived the ratio value for 13 sources covering a galactocentric distance range of 3kpc to 16kpc. In combination with our mapping results that provide a ratio value of 3.01±0.14 in the Galactic center region, it shows that the abundance ratio tends to increase with galactocentric distance, i.e., it supports a radial gradient along the Galactic disk for the abundance ratio. This is consistent with the inside-out formation scenario of our Galaxy. However, our results may suffer from small samples with large galactocentric distance. Combining our data with multi-transition lines of C18O and C17O will be helpful for constraining opacities and abundances and further confirming the Galactic radial gradient shown by the isotope ratio 18O/17O.

  9. New active galactic nuclei among the INTEGRAL and SWIFT X-ray sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burenin, R. A.; Mescheryakov, A. V.; Revnivtsev, M. G.; Sazonov, S. Yu.; Bikmaev, I. F.; Pavlinsky, M. N.; Sunyaev, R. A.

    2008-06-01

    We present the results of our optical identifications of a set of X-ray sources from the INTEGRAL and SWIFT all-sky surveys. The optical data have been obtained with the 1.5-m Russian-Turkish Telescope (RTT-150). Nine X-ray sources have been identified with active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Two of them are located in the nearby spiral galaxies MCG-01-05-047 and NGC 973 seen almost edge-on. One source, IGR J16562-3301, is probably a BL Lac object (blazar). The remaining AGNs are observed as the starlike nuclei of spiral galaxies whose spectra exhibit broad emission lines. The relation between the hard X-ray (17-60 keV) luminosity and the [O III] 5007 line luminosity, log L x/ L [O III] ≈ 2.1, holds good for most of the AGNs detected in hard X rays. However, the luminosities of some AGNs deviate from this relation. The fraction of such objects can reach ˜20%. In particular, the [O III] line flux is lower for two nearby edge-on spiral galaxies. This can be explained by the effect of absorption in the galactic disks.

  10. NEAR-INFRARED REVERBERATION BY DUSTY CLUMPY TORI IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Kawaguchi, Toshihiro; Mori, Masao

    2011-08-20

    According to recent models, the accretion disk and black hole in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are surrounded by a clumpy torus. We investigate the NIR flux variation of the torus in response to a UV flash for various geometries. Anisotropic illumination by the disk and the torus self-occultation contrast our study with earlier works. Both the waning effect of each clump and the torus self-occultation selectively reduce the emission from the region with a short delay. Therefore, the NIR delay depends on the viewing angle (where a more inclined angle leads to a longer delay), and the time response shows an asymmetric profile with negative skewness, opposing the results for optically thin tori. The range of the computed delay coincides with the observed one, suggesting that the viewing angle is primarily responsible for the scatter of the observed delay. We also propose that the red NIR-to-optical color of type 1.8/1.9 objects is caused not only by the dust extinction but also the intrinsically red color. Compared with the modest torus thickness, both a thick and a thin tori display weaker NIR emission. A selection bias is thus expected such that NIR-selected AGNs tend to possess moderately thick tori. A thicker torus shows a narrower and more heavily skewed time profile, while a thin torus produces a rapid response. A super-Eddington accretion rate leads to much weaker NIR emission due to the disk self-occultation and the disk truncation by self-gravity. A long delay is expected from an optically thin and/or a largely misaligned torus. Very weak NIR emission, such as in hot-dust-poor active nuclei, can arise from a geometrically thin torus, a super-Eddington accretion rate, or a slightly misaligned torus.

  11. The effects of the local environment on active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Manzer, L. H.; De Robertis, M. M. E-mail: mmdr@yorku.ca

    2014-06-20

    There continues to be significant controversy regarding the mechanism(s) responsible for the initiation and maintenance of activity in galactic nuclei. In this paper we will investigate possible environmental triggers of nuclear activity through a statistical analysis of a large sample of galaxy groups. The focus of this paper is to identify active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and other emission-line galaxies in these groups and to compare their frequency with a sample of over 260,000 isolated galaxies from the same catalog. The galaxy groups are taken from the catalog of Yang et al., in which over 20,000 virialized groups of galaxies (2 ≤ N ≤ 20) with redshifts between 0.01 and 0.20 are from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We first investigate the completeness of our data set and find, though biases are a concern particularly at higher redshift, that our data provide a fair representation of the local universe. After correcting emission-line equivalent widths for extinction and underlying Balmer stellar absorption, we classify galaxies in the sample using traditional emission-line ratios, while incorporating measurement uncertainties. We find a significantly higher fraction of AGNs in groups compared with the isolated sample. Likewise, a significantly higher fraction of absorption-line galaxies are found in groups, while a higher fraction of star-forming galaxies prefer isolated environments. Within grouped environments, AGNs and star-forming galaxies are found more frequently in small- to medium-richness groups, while absorption-line galaxies prefer groups with larger richnesses. Groups containing only emission-line galaxies have smaller virial radii, velocity dispersions, and masses compared with those containing only absorption-line galaxies. Furthermore, the AGN fraction increases with decreasing distance to the group centroid, independent of galaxy morphology. Using properties obtained from Galaxy Zoo, there is an increased fraction of AGNs within merging systems

  12. Stability of Gas Clouds in Galactic Nuclei: An Extended Virial Theorem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xian; Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Cuadra, Jorge

    2016-03-01

    Cold gas entering the central 1-102 pc of a galaxy fragments and condenses into clouds. The stability of the clouds determines whether they will be turned into stars or can be delivered to the central supermassive black hole (SMBH) to turn on an active galactic nucleus (AGN). The conventional criteria to assess the stability of these clouds, such as the Jeans criterion and Roche (or tidal) limit, are insufficient here, because they assume the dominance of self-gravity in binding a cloud, and neglect external agents, such as pressure and tidal forces, which are common in galactic nuclei. We formulate a new scheme for judging this stability. We first revisit the conventional Virial theorem, taking into account an external pressure, to identify the correct range of masses that lead to stable clouds. We then extend the theorem to further include an external tidal field, which is equally crucial for the stability in the region of our interest—in dense star clusters, around SMBHs. We apply our extended Virial theorem to find new solutions to controversial problems, namely, the stability of the gas clumps in AGN tori, the circum-nuclear disk in the Galactic Center, and the central molecular zone of the Milky Way. The masses we derive for these structures are orders of magnitude smaller than the commonly used Virial masses (equivalent to the Jeans mass). Moreover, we prove that these clumps are stable, contrary to what one would naively deduce from the Roche (tidal) limit.

  13. The Stellar Population Structure of the Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bovy, Jo; Rix, Hans-Walter; Schlafly, Edward F.; Nidever, David L.; Holtzman, Jon A.; Shetrone, Matthew; Beers, Timothy C.

    2016-05-01

    The spatial structure of stellar populations with different chemical abundances in the Milky Way (MW) contains a wealth of information on Galactic evolution over cosmic time. We use data on 14,699 red-clump stars from the APOGEE survey, covering 4 {kpc}≲ R≲ 15 {kpc}, to determine the structure of mono-abundance populations (MAPs)—stars in narrow bins in [α /{Fe}] and [{Fe}/{{H}}]—accounting for the complex effects of the APOGEE selection function and the spatially variable dust obscuration. We determine that all MAPs with enhanced [α /{Fe}] are centrally concentrated and are well-described as exponentials with a scale length of 2.2+/- 0.2 {kpc} over the whole radial range of the disk. We discover that the surface-density profiles of low-[α /{Fe}] MAPs are complex: they do not monotonically decrease outwards, but rather display a peak radius ranging from ≈ 5 to ≈ 13 {kpc} at low [{Fe}/{{H}}]. The extensive radial coverage of the data allows us to measure radial trends in the thickness of each MAP. While high-[α /{Fe}] MAPs have constant scale heights, low-[α /{Fe}] MAPs flare. We confirm, now with high-precision abundances, previous results that each MAP contains only a single vertical scale height and that low-[{Fe}/{{H}}], low-[α /{Fe}] and high-[{Fe}/{{H}}], high-[α /{Fe}] MAPs have intermediate ({h}Z≈ 300{--}600 {pc}) scale heights that smoothly bridge the traditional thin- and thick-disk divide. That the high-[α /{Fe}], thick disk components do not flare is strong evidence against their thickness being caused by radial migration. The correspondence between the radial structure and chemical-enrichment age of stellar populations is clear confirmation of the inside-out growth of galactic disks. The details of these relations will constrain the variety of physical conditions under which stars form throughout the MW disk.

  14. GALACTIC SPIRAL SHOCKS WITH THERMAL INSTABILITY IN VERTICALLY STRATIFIED GALACTIC DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Chang-Goo; Kim, Woong-Tae; Ostriker, Eve C. E-mail: wkim@astro.snu.ac.k

    2010-09-10

    Galactic spiral shocks are dominant morphological features and believed to be responsible for substructure formation within spiral arms in disk galaxies. They can also contribute a substantial amount of kinetic energy to the interstellar gas by tapping the (differential) rotational motion. We use numerical hydrodynamic simulations to investigate dynamics and structure of spiral shocks with thermal instability (TI) in vertically stratified galactic disks, focusing on environmental conditions (of heating and the galactic potential) similar to the Solar neighborhood. We initially consider an isothermal disk in vertical hydrostatic equilibrium and let it evolve subject to interstellar cooling and heating as well as a stellar spiral potential. Due to TI, a disk with surface density {Sigma}{sub 0} {>=} 6.7 M{sub sun} pc{sup -2} rapidly turns to a thin dense slab near the midplane sandwiched between layers of rarefied gas. The imposed spiral potential leads to a vertically curved shock that exhibits strong flapping motions in the plane perpendicular to the arm. The overall flow structure at saturation is comprised of the arm, postshock expansion zone, and interarm regions that occupy typically 10%, 20%, and 70% of the arm-to-arm distance, in which the gas resides for 15%, 30%, and 55% of the arm-to-arm crossing time, respectively. The flows are characterized by transitions from rarefied to dense phases at the shock and from dense to rarefied phases in the postshock expansion zone, although gas with too-large postshock-density does not undergo this return phase transition, instead forming dense condensations. If self-gravity is omitted, the shock flapping drives random motions in the gas, but only up to {approx}2-3 km s{sup -1} in the in-plane direction and less than 2 km s{sup -1} in the vertical direction. Time-averaged shock profiles show that the spiral arms in stratified disks are broader and less dense compared to those in unstratified models, and that the vertical

  15. Galactic Spiral Shocks with Thermal Instability in Vertically Stratified Galactic Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Chang-Goo; Kim, Woong-Tae; Ostriker, Eve C.

    2010-09-01

    Galactic spiral shocks are dominant morphological features and believed to be responsible for substructure formation within spiral arms in disk galaxies. They can also contribute a substantial amount of kinetic energy to the interstellar gas by tapping the (differential) rotational motion. We use numerical hydrodynamic simulations to investigate dynamics and structure of spiral shocks with thermal instability (TI) in vertically stratified galactic disks, focusing on environmental conditions (of heating and the galactic potential) similar to the Solar neighborhood. We initially consider an isothermal disk in vertical hydrostatic equilibrium and let it evolve subject to interstellar cooling and heating as well as a stellar spiral potential. Due to TI, a disk with surface density Σ0 >= 6.7 M sun pc-2 rapidly turns to a thin dense slab near the midplane sandwiched between layers of rarefied gas. The imposed spiral potential leads to a vertically curved shock that exhibits strong flapping motions in the plane perpendicular to the arm. The overall flow structure at saturation is comprised of the arm, postshock expansion zone, and interarm regions that occupy typically 10%, 20%, and 70% of the arm-to-arm distance, in which the gas resides for 15%, 30%, and 55% of the arm-to-arm crossing time, respectively. The flows are characterized by transitions from rarefied to dense phases at the shock and from dense to rarefied phases in the postshock expansion zone, although gas with too-large postshock-density does not undergo this return phase transition, instead forming dense condensations. If self-gravity is omitted, the shock flapping drives random motions in the gas, but only up to ~2-3 km s-1 in the in-plane direction and less than 2 km s-1 in the vertical direction. Time-averaged shock profiles show that the spiral arms in stratified disks are broader and less dense compared to those in unstratified models, and that the vertical density distribution is overall consistent

  16. Kinematical and Chemical Vertical Structure of the Galactic Thick Disk. I. Thick Disk Kinematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moni Bidin, C.; Carraro, G.; Méndez, R. A.

    2012-03-01

    The variation of the kinematical properties of the Galactic thick disk with Galactic height Z is studied by means of 412 red giants observed in the direction of the south Galactic pole up to 4.5 kpc from the plane. We confirm the non-null mean radial motion toward the Galactic anticenter found by other authors, but we find that it changes sign at |Z| = 3 kpc, and the proposed inward motion of the local standard of rest alone cannot explain these observations. The rotational velocity decreases with |Z| by -30 km s-1 kpc-1, but the data are better represented by a power law with index 1.25, similar to that proposed from the analysis of Sloan Digital Sky Survey data. All the velocity dispersions increase with |Z|, but the vertical gradients are small. The dispersions grow proportionally, with no significant variation of the anisotropy. The ratio σU/σW = 2 suggests that the thick disk could have formed from a low-latitude merging event. The vertex deviation increases with Galactic height, reaching ~20° at |Z| = 3.5 kpc. The tilt angle also increases, and the orientation of the ellipsoid in the radial-vertical plane is constantly intermediate between the alignment with the cylindrical and the spherical coordinate systems. The tilt angle at |Z| = 2 kpc coincides with the expectations of MOdified Newtonian Dynamics, but an extension of the calculations to higher |Z| is required to perform a conclusive test. Finally, between 2.5 and 3.5 kpc we detect deviations from the linear trend of many kinematical quantities, suggesting that some kinematical substructure could be present. Based on observations collected at the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile (proposal IDs 075.B-0459(A), 077.B-0348(A)). This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan and the duPont Telescopes, located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  17. Neutrinos in IceCube from active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Kalashev, O.; Semikoz, D.; Tkachev, I.

    2015-03-15

    Recently, the IceCube collaboration reported first evidence for the astrophysical neutrinos. Observation corresponds to the total astrophysical neutrino flux of the order of 3 × 10{sup −8} GeV cm{sup −2} s{sup −1} sr{sup −1} in a PeV energy range [1]. Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are natural candidate sources for such neutrinos. To model the neutrino creation in AGNs, we study photopion production processes on the radiation field of the Shakura-Sunyaev accretion discs in the black hole vicinity. We show that this model can explain the detected neutrino flux and at the same time avoids the existing constraints from the gamma-ray and cosmic-ray observations.

  18. DISCOVERY OF 5000 ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI BEHIND THE MAGELLANIC CLOUDS

    SciTech Connect

    Kozlowski, Szymon; Kochanek, Christopher S. E-mail: ckochanek@astronomy.ohio-state.edu

    2009-08-10

    We show that using mid-IR color selection to find active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is as effective in dense stellar fields such as the Magellanic Clouds as it is in extragalactic fields with low stellar densities using comparisons between the Spitzer Deep Wide Field Survey data for the NOAO Deep Wide Field Survey Boeotes region and the SAGE Survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud. We use this to build high-purity catalogs of {approx}5000 AGN candidates behind the Magellanic Clouds. Once confirmed, these quasars will expand the available astrometric reference sources for the Clouds and the numbers of quasars with densely sampled, long-term (>decade) monitoring light curves by well over an order of magnitude and potentially identify sufficiently bright quasars for absorption line studies of the interstellar medium of the Clouds.

  19. Time Delay Evolution of Five Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovačević, A.; Popović, L. Č.; Shapovalova, A. I.; Ilić, D.; Burenkov, A. N.; Chavushyan, V. H.

    2015-12-01

    Here we investigate light curves of the continuum and emission lines of five type 1 active galactic nuclei (AGN) from our monitoring campaign, to test time-evolution of their time delays. Using both modeled and observed AGN light curves, we apply Gaussian kernel-based estimator to capture variation of local patterns of their time evolving delays. The largest variations of time delays of all objects occur in the period when continuum or emission lines luminosity is the highest. However, Gaussian kernel-based method shows instability in the case of NGC 5548, 3C 390.3, E1821 + 643 and NGC 4051 possibly due to numerical discrepancies between damped random walk (DRW) time scale of light curves and sliding time windows of the method. The temporal variations of time lags of Arp 102B can correspond to the real nature of the time lag evolution.

  20. A NEW COSMOLOGICAL DISTANCE MEASURE USING ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, D.; Denney, K. D.; Vestergaard, M.; Davis, T. M.

    2011-10-20

    Accurate distances to celestial objects are key to establishing the age and energy density of the universe and the nature of dark energy. A distance measure using active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has been sought for more than 40 years, as they are extremely luminous and can be observed at very large distances. We report here the discovery of an accurate luminosity distance measure using AGNs. We use the tight relationship between the luminosity of an AGN and the radius of its broad-line region established via reverberation mapping to determine the luminosity distances to a sample of 38 AGNs. All reliable distance measures up to now have been limited to moderate redshift-AGNs will, for the first time, allow distances to be estimated to z {approx} 4, where variations of dark energy and alternate gravity theories can be probed.

  1. X-ray emission from active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mushotzky, R.

    1985-01-01

    It is often held that the X-ray emission from active galactic nuclei (AGN) arises from a region close to the central energy source. Thus X-ray observations may provide the best constraints on the central engine. In particular, the shape of the X-ray continuum gives information about the mechanism for photon generation, X-ray time variability data can constrain the size and mass of the continuum source, and X-ray occultation data give constraints on the relative sizes of the continuum source and the intervening absorbing material (often assumed to be the broad line clouds). In addition, since a fair fraction of the total energy of an AGN is emitted at X-ray wavelengths, direct measurement of the amount and spectral form of this radiation is important for modeling of the optically emitting clouds.

  2. THE INVARIANT TWIST OF MAGNETIC FIELDS IN THE RELATIVISTIC JETS OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Contopoulos, Ioannis; Christodoulou, Dimitris M.; Kazanas, Demosthenes E-mail: dimitris_christodoulou@uml.edu E-mail: gabuzda@physics.ucc.ie

    2009-09-10

    The origin of cosmic magnetic (B) fields remains an open question. It is generally believed that very weak primordial B fields are amplified by dynamo processes, but it appears unlikely that the amplification proceeds fast enough to account for the fields presently observed in galaxies and galaxy clusters. In an alternative scenario, cosmic B fields are generated near the inner edges of accretion disks in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) by azimuthal electric currents due to the difference between the plasma electron and ion velocities that arises when the electrons are retarded by interactions with photons. While dynamo processes show no preference for the polarity of the (presumably random) seed field that they amplify, this alternative mechanism uniquely relates the polarity of the poloidal B field to the angular velocity of the accretion disk, resulting in a unique direction for the toroidal B field induced by disk rotation. Observations of the toroidal fields of 29 AGN jets revealed by parsec-scale Faraday rotation measurements show a clear asymmetry that is consistent with this model, with the probability that this asymmetry came about by chance being less than 1%. This lends support to the hypothesis that the universe is seeded by B fields that are generated in AGNs via this mechanism and subsequently injected into intergalactic space by the jet outflows.

  3. DETERMINING INCLINATIONS OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI VIA THEIR NARROW-LINE REGION KINEMATICS. I. OBSERVATIONAL RESULTS

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, T. C.; Crenshaw, D. M.; Kraemer, S. B.; Schmitt, H. R.

    2013-11-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are axisymmetric systems to first order; their observed properties are likely strong functions of inclination with respect to our line of sight (LOS). However, except for a few special cases, the specific inclinations of individual AGNs are unknown. We have developed a promising technique for determining the inclinations of nearby AGNs by mapping the kinematics of their narrow-line regions (NLRs), which are often easily resolved with Hubble Space Telescope [O III] imaging and long-slit spectra from the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. Our studies indicate that NLR kinematics dominated by radial outflow can be fit with simple biconical outflow models that can be used to determine the inclination of the bicone axis, and hence the obscuring torus, with respect to our LOS. We present NLR analysis of 53 Seyfert galaxies and the resulting inclinations from models of 17 individual AGNs with clear signatures of biconical outflows. Our model results agree with the unified model in that Seyfert 1 AGNs have NLRs inclined further toward our LOS than Seyfert 2 AGNs. Knowing the inclinations of these AGN NLRs, and thus their accretion disk and/or torus axes, will allow us to determine how their observed properties vary as a function of polar angle. We find no correlation between the inclinations of the AGN NLRs and the disks of their host galaxies, indicating that the orientation of the gas in the torus is independent of that of the host disk.

  4. ORIENTATION EFFECTS ON THE INNER REGION OF DUSTY TORUS OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Kawaguchi, Toshihiro; Mori, Masao

    2010-12-01

    A sublimation process governs the innermost region of the dusty torus of active galactic nuclei. However, the observed inner radius of the torus is systematically smaller than the expected radius by a factor of {approx}1/3. We show that the anisotropy of the emission from accretion disks resolves this conflict naturally and quantitatively. An accretion disk emits lesser radiation in the direction closer to its equatorial plane (i.e., to the torus). We find that the anisotropy makes the torus inner region closer to the central black hole and concave. Moreover, the innermost edge of the torus may connect with the outermost edge of the disk continuously. Considering the anisotropic emission of each clump in the torus, we calculate the near-infrared flux variation in response to a UV flash. For an observer at the polar angle {theta}{sub obs} = 25{sup 0}, the centroid of the time delay is found to be 37% of the delay expected in the case of isotropic illumination, which explains the observed systematic deviation.

  5. The Invariant Twist of Magnetic Fields in the Relativistic Jets of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Contopoulos, Ioannis; Christodoulou, Dimitris M.; Kazanas, Demosthenes; Gabuzda, Denise C.

    2009-01-01

    The origin of cosmic magnetic (B) fields remains an open question. It is generally believed that very weak primordial B fields are amplified by dynamo processes, but it appears unlikely that the amplification proceeds fast enough to account for the fields presently observed in galaxies and galaxy clusters. In an alternative scenario, cosmic B fields are generated near the inner edges of accretion disks in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) by azimuthal electric currents due to the difference between the plasma electron and ion velocities that arises when the electrons are retarded by interactions with photons. While dynamo processes show no preference for the polarity of the (presumably random) seed field that they amplify, this alternative mechanism uniquely relates the polarity of the poloidal B field to the angular velocity of the accretion disk, resulting in a unique direction for the toroidal B field induced by disk rotation. Observations of the toroidal fields of 29 AGN jets revealed by parsec-scale Faraday rotation measurements show a clear asymmetry that is consistent with this model, with the probability that this asymmetry came about by chance being less than 1 %. This lends support to the hypothesis that the Universe is seeded by B fields that are generated in AGN via this mechanism

  6. Spectral-luminosity evolution of active galactic nuclei and the cosmic X- and gamma ray background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leiter, Darryl; Boldt, Elihu

    1992-01-01

    Coherent electromagnetic dynamo acceleration processes, which act on charge particles within the context of black hole accretion disk scenarios, are generally regarded as the underlying central power source for active galactic nuclei (AGN). If the precursor active galaxies (PAG) for such AGN are formed at high redshift and contain initial seed black holes with mass approximately equal to 10(exp 4) solar masses, then the Eddington limited X-ray radiation emitted during their lifetime will undergo the phenomenon of 'spectral-luminosity evolution'. When accretion disks are first formed at the onset of galaxy formation the accretion rate occurs at very high values of luminosity/size compactness parameter L/R greater than 10(exp 30) erg/cm-sec. In the absence of extended structure, such high values of L/R generate dynamic constraints which suppress coherent, black hole/accretion disk dynamo particle acceleration processes. This inhibits nonthermal radiation processes and causes the spectrum of X-radiation emitted by PAG to be predominantly thermal. A superposition of PAG sources at z is greater than or equal to 6 can account for the residual cosmic X-ray background (CXB) obtained from the total CXB after subtraction of foreground AGN sources associated with present epoch Seyfert galaxies. The manner in which the PAG undergo spectral-luminosity evolution into Seyfert galaxies is investigated.

  7. Physical conditions in photodissociation regions - Application to galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolfire, Mark G.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Hollenbach, David

    1990-01-01

    A procedure is outlined which determines the physical characteristics of the neutral interstellar medium in the nuclei of luminous galaxies. The method uses millimeter and IR observations to find the mass and density of the molecular and atomic gas components as well as the UV flux incident on clouds. The area and volume filling factors and approximate number of clouds and cloud radii are also found. For the Galactic center, about 100 clouds of radius about 0.4 pc and density about 100,000/cu cm are found within about 5 pc. The atomic gas temperature is about 700 K and the FUV field on clouds is about 100,000 times the local Galactic FUV field. The flux is consistent with a central source of luminosity of 2-3 x 10 to the 7th solar. Roughly 100,000 clouds of radius roughly 0.4 pc are found within the roughly 330 pc nuclear region of M82. The large number of clouds produces a projected area filling factor approaching unity. Cloud heating may be dominated by an intense interstellar UV flux.

  8. Steps Toward Unveiling the True Population of Active Galactic Nuclei: Photometric Characterization of Active Galactic Nuclei in COSMOS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Evan E.; Impey, Christopher D.; Trump, Jonathan R.; Salvato, Mara

    2013-04-01

    Using a physically motivated, model-based active galactic nucleus (AGN) characterization technique, we fit a large sample of X-ray-selected AGNs with known spectroscopic redshifts from the Cosmic Evolution Survey field. We identify accretion disks in the spectral energy distributions of broad- and narrow-line AGNs, and infer the presence or absence of host galaxy light in the SEDs. Based on infrared and UV excess AGN selection techniques, our method involves fitting a given SED with a model consisting of three components: infrared power-law emission, optical-UV accretion disk emission, and host galaxy emission. Each component can be varied in relative contribution, and a reduced chi-square minimization routine is used to determine the optimum parameters for each object. Using this technique, both broad- and narrow-line AGNs fall within well-defined and plausible bounds on the physical parameters of the model, allowing trends with luminosity and redshift to be determined. In particular, based on our sample of spectroscopically confirmed AGNs, we find that approximately 95% of the broad-line AGNs and 50% of the narrow-line AGNs in our sample show evidence of an accretion disk, with maximum disk temperatures ranging from 1 to 10 eV. Because this fitting technique relies only on photometry, we hope to apply it in future work to the characterization and eventually the selection of fainter AGNs than are accessible in wide-field spectroscopic surveys, and thus probe a population of less luminous and/or higher redshift objects without prior redshift or X-ray data. With the abundant availability of photometric data from large surveys, the ultimate goal is to use this technique to create large samples that will complement and complete AGN catalogs selected by X-ray emission alone.

  9. STEPS TOWARD UNVEILING THE TRUE POPULATION OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI: PHOTOMETRIC CHARACTERIZATION OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN COSMOS

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, Evan E.; Impey, Christopher D.; Trump, Jonathan R.

    2013-04-01

    Using a physically motivated, model-based active galactic nucleus (AGN) characterization technique, we fit a large sample of X-ray-selected AGNs with known spectroscopic redshifts from the Cosmic Evolution Survey field. We identify accretion disks in the spectral energy distributions of broad- and narrow-line AGNs, and infer the presence or absence of host galaxy light in the SEDs. Based on infrared and UV excess AGN selection techniques, our method involves fitting a given SED with a model consisting of three components: infrared power-law emission, optical-UV accretion disk emission, and host galaxy emission. Each component can be varied in relative contribution, and a reduced chi-square minimization routine is used to determine the optimum parameters for each object. Using this technique, both broad- and narrow-line AGNs fall within well-defined and plausible bounds on the physical parameters of the model, allowing trends with luminosity and redshift to be determined. In particular, based on our sample of spectroscopically confirmed AGNs, we find that approximately 95% of the broad-line AGNs and 50% of the narrow-line AGNs in our sample show evidence of an accretion disk, with maximum disk temperatures ranging from 1 to 10 eV. Because this fitting technique relies only on photometry, we hope to apply it in future work to the characterization and eventually the selection of fainter AGNs than are accessible in wide-field spectroscopic surveys, and thus probe a population of less luminous and/or higher redshift objects without prior redshift or X-ray data. With the abundant availability of photometric data from large surveys, the ultimate goal is to use this technique to create large samples that will complement and complete AGN catalogs selected by X-ray emission alone.

  10. What obscures low-X-ray-scattering active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hönig, S. F.; Gandhi, P.; Asmus, D.; Mushotzky, R. F.; Antonucci, R.; Ueda, Y.; Ichikawa, K.

    2014-02-01

    X-ray surveys have revealed a new class of active galactic nuclei (AGN) with a very low observed fraction of scattered soft X-rays, fscat <0.5 per cent. Based on X-ray modelling, these `X-ray new-type', or low observed X-ray-scattering (hereafter, `low-scattering') sources have been interpreted as deeply buried AGN with a high covering factor of gas. In this paper, we address the questions whether the host galaxies of low-scattering AGN may contribute to the observed X-ray properties, and whether we can find any direct evidence for high covering factors from the infrared (IR) emission. We find that X-ray low-scattering AGN are preferentially hosted by highly inclined galaxies or merger systems as compared to other Seyfert galaxies, increasing the likelihood that the line of sight towards the AGN intersects with high columns of host-galactic gas and dust. Moreover, while a detailed analysis of the IR emission of low-scattering AGN ESO 103-G35 remains inconclusive, we do not find any indication of systematically higher dust covering factors in a sample of low-scattering AGN based on their IR emission. For ESO 103-G35, we constrained the temperature, mass and location of the IR emitting dust which is consistent with expectations for the dusty torus. However, a deep silicate absorption feature probably from much cooler dust suggests an additional screen absorber on larger scales within the host galaxy. Taking these findings together, we propose that the low fscat observed in low-scattering AGN is not necessarily the result of circumnuclear dust but could originate from interference of host-galactic gas with a column density of the order of 1022 cm-2 with the line of sight. We discuss implications of this hypothesis for X-ray models, high-ionization emission lines and observed star formation activity in these objects.

  11. [CII] synthetic emission maps of simulated galactic disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franeck, A.; Walch, S.; Glover, S. C. O.; Seifried, D.; Girichidis, P.; Naab, T.; Klessen, R.; Peters, T.; Wünsch, R.; Gatto, A.; Clark, P. C.

    2016-05-01

    We carry out radiative transfer simulations for the [CII] emission of simulated galactic disks from the SILCC project.6 Here we present the integrated [CII] intensity map of a typical simulation which assumes solar neighbourhood conditions with ΣGAS = 10 M⊙/pc2 and a supernova rate of 15 SN/Myr with randomly distributed supernovae (SNe) at t = 50 Myr. We analyse the intensity profile which reveals different components. These are clearly distinguishable and trace cold, molecular as well as warm, outflowing gas. We find that [CII] is a promising tool to analyse the multi-phase structure of the ISM. SILCC: Simulating the LIfe Cycle of molecular Clouds: hera.ph1.uni-koeln.de/˜silcc/

  12. DISCOVERY OF FOUR kpc-SCALE BINARY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Xin; Greene, Jenny E.; Strauss, Michael A.; Shen Yue

    2010-05-20

    We report the discovery of four kpc-scale binary active galactic nuclei (AGNs). These objects were originally selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey based on double-peaked [O III] {lambda}{lambda}4959, 5007 emission lines in their fiber spectra. The double peaks could result from pairing active supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in a galaxy merger or could be due to bulk motions of narrow-line region gas around a single SMBH. Deep near-infrared (NIR) images and optical slit spectra obtained from the Magellan 6.5 m and the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 m telescopes strongly support the binary SMBH scenario for the four objects. In each system, the NIR images reveal tidal features and double stellar components with a projected separation of several kpc, while optical slit spectra show two Seyfert 2 nuclei spatially coincident with the stellar components, with line-of-sight velocity offsets of a few hundred km s{sup -1}. These objects were drawn from a sample of only 43 objects, demonstrating the efficiency of this technique to find kpc-scale binary AGNs.

  13. Numerical modeling of the interstellar medium in galactic disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosen, A.; Bregman, J. N.; Norman, Michael L.

    1993-01-01

    We have been developing detailed hydrodynamic models of the global interstellar medium in the hope of understanding the mass and volume occupied by various phases, as well as their structure and kinematics. In our model, the gas is modeled by one fluid while representative Pop 1 stars are modeled by a second fluid. The two fluids are coupled in that the gas forms into stars at a rate given by a Schmidt law while stellar mass loss returns matter into the gas phase (on a time scale of 100 Myr). Also, the stars heat the gas through stellar winds and the gas cools through optically thin radiation. The time behavior of these two fluids is studied in two spatial dimensions with the Eulerian finite difference numerical hydrodynamic code Zen. The two spatial dimensions are along the plane of a disk (x, total length of 2 kpc) and perpendicular to the disk (z, total height of +/- 15 kpc) and a galactic gravitational field in the z direction, typical of that at the solar circle, is imposed upon the simulation; self-gravity and rotation are absent. For the boundary conditions, outflow is permitted at the top and bottom of the grid (z = +/- 15 kpc) while periodic boundary conditions are imposed upon left and right sides of the grid. As initial conditions, we assumed a gaseous distribution like that seen for the H1 by earlier researchers, although the results are insensitive to the initial conditions. We have run simulations in which the heating due to stars, parameterized as a stellar wind velocity, a, is varied from low (a = 150 km/s), to intermediate (a = 300 km/s), to high (a = 600 km/s). Since the intermediate case is roughly equivalent to the Galactic energy injection rate from supernovae, this summary will concentrate on results from this simulation.

  14. X-ray emission from the galactic disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bleach, R. D.; Boldt, E. A.; Holt, S. S.; Schwartz, D. A.; Serlemitsos, P. J.

    1972-01-01

    A search was made of a diffuse component of X-rays 1.5 keV associated with an interarm region of the galaxy at galactic longitudes in the vicinity of 60 deg. A statistically significant excess associated with a narrow disk component was detected. The angular extent of this component has a most probable value of 2 deg and may be as large as 7 deg at 90% confidence. The best fit spectrum yields an intensity of 2.9 photons 1/(cm2-sec-ster) over the 2 to 10 keV range. The 3 sigma upper limit to any emission (e.g. iron line) in a 1.5 keV band centered at 7 keV from galactic latitudes h or = 3.5 deg is .3 photons 1/(cm2-sec-ster). Several possible emission models are discussed, with the most likely candidate being a population of unresolvable low luminosity discrete sources.

  15. ON THE GALACTIC SPIN OF BARRED DISK GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Cervantes-Sodi, Bernardo; Li, Cheng; Wang, Lixin; Park, Changbom

    2013-09-20

    We present a study of the connection between the galactic spin parameter (λ{sub d}) and the bar fraction in a volume-limited sample of 10,674 disk galaxies drawn from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7. The galaxies in our sample are visually classified into one of three groups: non-barred galaxies and galaxies hosting long or short bars, respectively. We find that the spin distributions of these three classes are statistically different, with galaxies hosting long bars having the lowest λ{sub d} values, followed by non-barred galaxies, while galaxies with short bars present typically high spin parameters. The bar fraction presents its maximum at low to intermediate λ{sub d} values for the case of long bars, while the maximum for short bars is at high λ{sub d}. This bimodality is in good agreement with previous studies finding longer bars hosted by luminous, massive, red galaxies with a low content of cold gas, while short bars were found in low luminosity, low mass, blue galaxies that were typically gas rich. In addition, the rise and fall of the bar fraction as a function of λ{sub d}, within the long-bar sample shown in our results, can be explained as a result of two competing factors: the self-gravity of the disk that enhances bar instabilities and the support by random motions, instead of ordered rotational motion, that prevents the formation/growth of bars.

  16. On the Galactic Spin of Barred Disk Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cervantes-Sodi, Bernardo; Li, Cheng; Park, Changbom; Wang, Lixin

    2013-09-01

    We present a study of the connection between the galactic spin parameter (λ d ) and the bar fraction in a volume-limited sample of 10,674 disk galaxies drawn from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7. The galaxies in our sample are visually classified into one of three groups: non-barred galaxies and galaxies hosting long or short bars, respectively. We find that the spin distributions of these three classes are statistically different, with galaxies hosting long bars having the lowest λ d values, followed by non-barred galaxies, while galaxies with short bars present typically high spin parameters. The bar fraction presents its maximum at low to intermediate λ d values for the case of long bars, while the maximum for short bars is at high λ d . This bimodality is in good agreement with previous studies finding longer bars hosted by luminous, massive, red galaxies with a low content of cold gas, while short bars were found in low luminosity, low mass, blue galaxies that were typically gas rich. In addition, the rise and fall of the bar fraction as a function of λ d , within the long-bar sample shown in our results, can be explained as a result of two competing factors: the self-gravity of the disk that enhances bar instabilities and the support by random motions, instead of ordered rotational motion, that prevents the formation/growth of bars.

  17. White dwarf stars and the age of the Galactic disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, M. A.

    1990-01-01

    The history of the Galaxy is written in its oldest stars, the white dwarf (WD) stars. Significant limits can be placed on both the Galactic age and star formation history. A wide range of input WD model sequences is used to derive the current limits to the age estimates suggested by fitting to the observed falloff in the WD luminosity function. The results suggest that the star formation rate over the history of the Galaxy has been relatively constant, and that the disk age lies in the range 6-12 billion years, depending upon the assumed structure of WD stars, and in particular on the core composition and surface helium layer mass. Using plausible mixed C/O core input models, the estimates for the disk age range from 8-10.5 Gyr, i.e.,sustantially younger than most age estimates for the halo globular clusters. After speculating on the significance of the results, expected observational and theoretical refinements which will further enhance the reliability of the method are discussed.

  18. Fueling active galactic nuclei. II. Spatially resolved molecular inflows and outflows

    SciTech Connect

    Davies, R. I.; Erwin, P.; Burtscher, L.; Lin, M.; Orban de Xivry, G.; Rosario, D. J.; Schnorr-Müller, A.; Maciejewski, W.; Hicks, E. K. S.; Emsellem, E.; Dumas, G.; Malkan, M. A.; Müller-Sánchez, F.; Tran, A.

    2014-09-10

    We analyze the two-dimensional distribution and kinematics of the stars as well as molecular and ionized gas in the central few hundred parsecs of five active and five matched inactive galaxies. The equivalent widths of the Brγ line indicate that there is no ongoing star formation in their nuclei, although recent (terminated) starbursts are possible in the active galaxies. The stellar velocity fields show no signs of non-circular motions, while the 1-0 S(1) H{sub 2} kinematics exhibit significant deviations from simple circular rotation. In the active galaxies the H{sub 2} kinematics reveal inflow and outflow superimposed on disk rotation. Steady-state circumnuclear inflow is seen in three active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and hydrodynamical models indicate it can be driven by a large-scale bar. In three of the five AGNs, molecular outflows are spatially resolved. The outflows are oriented such that they intersect, or have an edge close to, the disk, which may be the source of molecular gas in the outflow. The relatively low speeds imply the gas will fall back onto the disk, and with moderate outflow rates, they will have only a local impact on the host galaxy. H{sub 2} was detected in two inactive galaxies. These exhibit chaotic circumnuclear dust morphologies and have molecular structures that are counter-rotating with respect to the main gas component, which could lead to gas inflow in the near future. In our sample, all four galaxies with chaotic dust morphology in the circumnuclear region exist in moderately dense groups with 10-15 members where accretion of stripped gas can easily occur.

  19. A High Fraction of Double-peaked Narrow Emission Lines in Powerful Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyu, Yang; Liu, Xin

    2016-08-01

    One percent of redshift z ˜ 0.1 Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) show velocity splitting of a few hundred km s-1 in the narrow emission lines in spatially integrated spectra. Such line profiles have been found to arise from the bulk motion of ionized gas clouds associated with galactic-scale outflows, merging pairs of galaxies each harboring a supermassive black hole (SMBH), and/or galactic-scale disk rotation. It remains unclear, however, how the frequency of narrow-line velocity splitting may depend on AGN luminosity. Here we study the correlation between the fraction of Type 2 AGNs with double-peaked narrow emission lines and AGN luminosity as indicated by [O III]λ5007 emission-line luminosity L[O III]. We combine the sample of Liu et al. (2010a) at z ˜ 0.1 with a new sample of 178 Type 2 AGNs with double-peaked [O III] emission lines at z ˜ 0.5. We select the new sample from a parent sample of 2089 Type 2 AGNs from the SDSS-III/Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. We find a statistically significant (˜4.2σ) correlation between L[O III] and the fraction of objects that exhibit double-peaked narrow emission lines among all Type 2 AGNs, corrected for selection bias and incompleteness due to [O III] line width, equivalent width, splitting velocity, and/or equivalent width ratio between the two velocity components. Our result suggests that galactic-scale outflows and/or merging pairs of SMBHs are more prevalent in more powerful AGNs, although spatially resolved follow up observations are needed to resolve the origin(s) for the narrow-line velocity splitting for individual AGNs.

  20. Active Galactic Nuclei Probed by QSO Absorption Lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misawa, Toru

    2007-07-01

    Quasars are the extremely bright nuclei found in about 10% of galaxies. A variety of absorption features (known collectively as quasar absorption lines) are detected in the rest-frame UV spectra of these objects. While absorption lines that have very broad widths originate in gas that is probably physocally related to the quasars, narrow absorption lines (NALs) were thought to arise in galaxies and/or in the intter-alacttic medium between the quasars and us. Using high-resolution spectra of quasars, it is found that a substantial fraction of NALs arise in gas in the immediate vicinity of the quasars. A dramatically variable, moderately-broad absorption line in the spectrum of the quasar HS 1603+3820l is also found. The variability of this line is monitored in a campaign with Subaru telescope. These observational results are compared to models for outflows from the quasars, specifically, models for accretion disk winds and evaporating obscuring tori. It is quite important to determine the mechanism of outflow because of its cosmological implications. The outflow could expel angular momentum from the accretion disk and enable quasars to accrete and shine. In addition, the outflow may also regulate star formation in the early stages of the assembly of the host galaxy and enrich the interstellar and intergalactic medium with metals.

  1. Co-evolution of galactic nuclei and globular cluster systems

    SciTech Connect

    Gnedin, Oleg Y.; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.; Tremaine, Scott

    2014-04-10

    We revisit the hypothesis that dense galactic nuclei are formed from inspiraling globular clusters. Recent advances in the understanding of the continuous formation of globular clusters over cosmic time and the concurrent evolution of the galaxy stellar distribution allow us to construct a simple model that matches the observed spatial and mass distributions of clusters in the Galaxy and the giant elliptical galaxy M87. In order to compare with observations, we model the effects of dynamical friction and dynamical evolution, including stellar mass loss, tidal stripping of stars, and tidal disruption of clusters by the growing galactic nucleus. We find that inspiraling globular clusters form a dense central structure, with mass and radius comparable to the typical values in observed nuclear star clusters (NSCs) in late-type and low-mass early-type galaxies. The density contrast associated with the NSC is less pronounced in giant elliptical galaxies. Our results indicate that the NSC mass as a fraction of mass of the galaxy stellar spheroid scales as M{sub NSC}/M{sub ∗}≈0.0025 M{sub ∗,11}{sup −0.5}. Thus disrupted globular clusters could contribute most of the mass of NSCs in galaxies with stellar mass below 10{sup 11} M {sub ☉}. The inner part of the accumulated cluster may seed the growth of a central black hole via stellar dynamical core collapse, thereby relieving the problem of how to form luminous quasars at high redshift. The seed black hole may reach ∼10{sup 5} M {sub ☉} within ≲ 1 Gyr of the beginning of globular cluster formation.

  2. Active galactic nuclei at gamma-ray energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dermer, Charles Dennison; Giebels, Berrie

    2016-06-01

    Active Galactic Nuclei can be copious extragalactic emitters of MeV-GeV-TeV γ rays, a phenomenon linked to the presence of relativistic jets powered by a super-massive black hole in the center of the host galaxy. Most of γ-ray emitting active galactic nuclei, with more than 1500 known at GeV energies, and more than 60 at TeV energies, are called "blazars". The standard blazar paradigm features a jet of relativistic magnetized plasma ejected from the neighborhood of a spinning and accreting super-massive black hole, close to the observer direction. Two classes of blazars are distinguished from observations: the flat-spectrum radio-quasar class (FSRQ) is characterized by strong external radiation fields, emission of broad optical lines, and dust tori. The BL Lac class (from the name of one of its members, BL Lacertae) corresponds to weaker advection-dominated flows with γ-ray spectra dominated by the inverse Compton effect on synchrotron photons. This paradigm has been very successful for modeling the broadband spectral energy distributions of blazars. However, many fundamental issues remain, including the role of hadronic processes and the rapid variability of a few FSRQs and several BL Lac objects whose synchrotron spectrum peaks at UV or X-ray frequencies. A class of γ-ray-emitting radio galaxies, which are thought to be the misaligned counterparts of blazars, has emerged from the results of the Fermi-Large Area Telescope and of ground-based Cherenkov telescopes. Soft γ-ray emission has been detected from a few nearby Seyfert galaxies, though it is not clear whether those γ rays originate from the nucleus. Blazars and their misaligned counterparts make up most of the ≳100 MeV extragalactic γ-ray background (EGB), and are suspected of being the sources of ultra-high energy cosmic rays. The future "Cherenkov Telescope Array", in synergy with the Fermi-Large Area Telescope and a wide range of telescopes in space and on the ground, will write the next chapter

  3. ENSEMBLE VARIABILITY OF NEAR-INFRARED-SELECTED ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Kouzuma, S.; Yamaoka, H. E-mail: yamaoka@phys.kyushu-u.ac.jp

    2012-03-01

    We present the properties of the ensemble variability V for nearly 5000 near-infrared active galactic nuclei (AGNs) selected from the catalog of Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei (13th Edition) and the SDSS-DR7 quasar catalog. From three near-infrared point source catalogs, namely, Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), Deep Near Infrared Survey (DENIS), and UKIDSS/LAS catalogs, we extract 2MASS-DENIS and 2MASS-UKIDSS counterparts for cataloged AGNs by cross-identification between catalogs. We further select variable AGNs based on an optimal criterion for selecting the variable sources. The sample objects are divided into subsets according to whether near-infrared light originates by optical emission or by near-infrared emission in the rest frame; and we examine the correlations of the ensemble variability with the rest-frame wavelength, redshift, luminosity, and rest-frame time lag. In addition, we also examine the correlations of variability amplitude with optical variability, radio intensity, and radio-to-optical flux ratio. The rest-frame optical variability of our samples shows negative correlations with luminosity and positive correlations with rest-frame time lag (i.e., the structure function, SF), and this result is consistent with previous analyses. However, no well-known negative correlation exists between the rest-frame wavelength and optical variability. This inconsistency might be due to a biased sampling of high-redshift AGNs. Near-infrared variability in the rest frame is anticorrelated with the rest-frame wavelength, which is consistent with previous suggestions. However, correlations of near-infrared variability with luminosity and rest-frame time lag are the opposite of these correlations of the optical variability; that is, the near-infrared variability is positively correlated with luminosity but negatively correlated with the rest-frame time lag. Because these trends are qualitatively consistent with the properties of radio-loud quasars reported

  4. Correlation of the highest-energy cosmic rays with the positions of nearby active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Collaboration, The Pierre auger

    2007-12-01

    Data collected by the Pierre Auger Observatory provide evidence for anisotropy in the arrival directions of the cosmic rays with the highest energies, which are correlated with the positions of relatively nearby active galactic nuclei (AGN) [1]. The correlation has maximum significance for cosmic rays with energy greater than {approx} 6 x 10{sup 19} eV and AGN at a distance less than {approx} 75 Mpc. We have confirmed the anisotropy at a confidence level of more than 99% through a test with parameters specified a priori, using an independent data set. The observed correlation is compatible with the hypothesis that cosmic rays with the highest energies originate from extra-galactic sources close enough so that their flux is not significantly attenuated by interaction with the cosmic background radiation (the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin effect). The angular scale of the correlation observed is a few degrees, which suggests a predominantly light composition unless the magnetic fields are very weak outside the thin disk of our galaxy. Our present data do not identify AGN as the sources of cosmic rays unambiguously, and other candidate sources which are distributed as nearby AGN are not ruled out. We discuss the prospect of unequivocal identification of individual sources of the highest-energy cosmic rays within a few years of continued operation of the Pierre Auger Observatory.

  5. PREFACE: Astronomy at High Angular Resolution 2011: The central kiloparsec in galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iserlohe, Christof; Karas, Vladimir; Krips, Melanie; Eckart, Andreas; Britzen, Silke; Fischer, Sebastian

    2012-07-01

    We are pleased to present the proceedings from the Astronomy at High Angular Resolution 2011: The central kiloparsec in galactic nuclei conference. The conference took place in the Physikzentrum of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), Bad Honnef, Germany, from 28 August to 2 September 2011. It was the second conference of this kind, following the Astronomy at High Angular Resolution conference held in Bad Honnef, three years earlier in 2008. The main objective of the conference was to frame the discussion of the broad range of physical processes that occur in the central 100pc of galactic nuclei. In most cases, this domain is difficult to probe through observations. This is mainly because of the lack of angular resolution, the brightness of the central engine and possible obscurations through dust and gas, which play together in the central regions of host galaxies of galactic nuclei within a broad range of activity. The presence of large amounts of molecular and atomic (both neutral and ionized) gas, dust and central engines with outflows and jets implies that the conditions for star formation in these regions are very special, and probably different from those in the disks of host galaxies. Numerous presentations covering a broad range of topics, both theoretical and experimental, those related to research on Active Galactic Nuclei and on a wide range of observed wavelengths were submitted to the Scientific Organizing Committee. Presentations have been grouped into six sessions: The nuclei of active galaxies The Galactic Center The immediate environment of Super Massive Black Holes The physics of nuclear jets and the interaction of the interstellar medium The central 100pc of the nuclear environment Star formation in that region The editors thank all participants of the AHAR 2011 conference for their enthusiasm and their numerous and vivid contributions to this conference. We would especially like to thank John Hugh Seiradakis from the Aristotle

  6. Stellar Nuclei and Inner Polar Disks in Lenticular Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sil’chenko, Olga K.

    2016-09-01

    I analyze statistics of the stellar population properties for stellar nuclei and bulges of nearby lenticular galaxies in different environments by using panoramic spectral data of the integral-field spectrograph SAURON retrieved from the open archive of the Isaac Newton Group. I also estimate the fraction of nearby lenticular galaxies having inner polar gaseous disks by exploring the volume-limited sample of early-type galaxies of the ATLAS-3D survey. By inspecting the two-dimensional velocity fields of the stellar and gaseous components with the running tilted-ring technique, I have found seven new cases of inner polar disks. Together with those, the frequency of inner polar disks in nearby S0 galaxies reaches 10%, which is much higher than the frequency of large-scale polar rings. Interestingly, the properties of the nuclear stellar populations in the inner polar ring hosts are statistically the same as those in the whole S0 sample, implying similar histories of multiple gas-accretion events from various directions.

  7. Variable stars in the Bochum Galactic Disk Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaderhandt, L.; Barr Domínguez, A.; Chini, R.; Hackstein, M.; Haas, M.; Pozo Nuñez, F.; Murphy, M.

    2015-09-01

    We present a first overview of variable stars in the Bochum Galactic Disk Survey (GDS) with emphasis on eclipsing binaries (EBs). This ongoing survey is performed by a robotic twin refractor at the Universitätssternwarte Bochum located near Cerro Armazones in Chile. It comprises a mosaic of 268 fields in a stripe of {Δ b = ± 3o} along the Galactic plane observed once per month simultaneously in the Sloan r and i filters with a detection limit of {r_s ˜ 16} mag and {i_s ˜ 15} mag. The data from the first three years until the end of February 2014 yields a total of 41 718 variable stars with variability amplitudes between 0.1-6 mag. A cross-match with SIMBAD identified 11 465 of these variables unambiguously, while 2184 had multiple matches; most of the remaining stars could be matched with 2MASS objects. Among the SIMBAD-listed objects with single matches, only 1982 turned out as known variables while a further 256 are suspected of variability. That leaves a total of 39 480 potentially new variables. The group of known variables comprises 419 stars (21 %) that are classified as EBs while 443 (22 %) are of other types; for the remaining 1120 catalogued variables (57 %) the type is unknown. Investigating variability as a function of spectral type, we find that SIMBAD provides spectral types for 2811 (25 %) of the identified stars. Spectral classes B (26 %), A (20 %), and M (25%) contain the most numerous variables, while all other classes contribute less than 10 % each. More than half of the B (55 %) and A (56 %) stars are designated as EBs, suggesting that hundreds of new B- and A-type EBs may be contained in the GDS archive. In contrast, among the numerous M stars no EBs are known.

  8. HOT-DUST-POOR TYPE 1 ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN THE COSMOS SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Hao Heng; Elvis, Martin; Civano, Francesca; Lanzuisi, Giorgio; Brusa, Marcella; Bongiorno, Angela; Lusso, Elisabeta; Zamorani, Gianni; Comastri, Andrea; Impey, Chris D.; Trump, Jonathan R.; Koekemoer, Anton M.; Le Floc'h, Emeric; Sanders, David; Salvato, Mara; Vignali, Cristian E-mail: elvis@cfa.harvard.ed

    2010-11-20

    We report a sizable class of type 1 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with unusually weak near-infrared (1-3 {mu}m) emission in the XMM-COSMOS type 1 AGN sample. The fraction of these 'hot-dust-poor' AGNs increases with redshift from 6% at low redshift (z < 2) to 20% at moderate high redshift (2 < z < 3.5). There is no clear trend of the fraction with other parameters: bolometric luminosity, Eddington ratio, black hole mass, and X-ray luminosity. The 3 {mu}m emission relative to the 1 {mu}m emission is a factor of 2-4 smaller than the typical Elvis et al. AGN spectral energy distribution (SED), which indicates a 'torus' covering factor of 2%-29%, a factor of 3-40 smaller than required by unified models. The weak hot dust emission seems to expose an extension of the accretion disk continuum in some of the source SEDs. We estimate the outer edge of their accretion disks to lie at (0.3-2.0) x 10{sup 4} Schwarzschild radii, {approx}10-23 times the gravitational stability radii. Formation scenarios for these sources are discussed.

  9. FULL SPECTRAL SURVEY OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN THE ROSSI X-RAY TIMING EXPLORER ARCHIVE

    SciTech Connect

    Rivers, Elizabeth; Markowitz, Alex; Rothschild, Richard

    2013-08-01

    We have analyzed spectra for all active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer archive. We present long-term average values of absorption, Fe line equivalent width (EW), Compton reflection, and photon index, and calculate fluxes and luminosities in the 2-10 keV band for 100 AGN with sufficient brightness and overall observation time to yield high-quality spectral results. We compare these parameters across the different classifications of Seyferts and blazars. Our distributions of photon indices for Seyfert 1s and 2s are consistent with the idea that Seyferts share a common central engine; however, our distributions of Compton reflection hump strengths do not support the classical picture of absorption by a torus and reflection off a Compton-thick disk with type depending only on inclination angle. We conclude that a more complex reflecting geometry such as a combined disk and torus or clumpy torus is likely a more accurate picture of the Compton-thick material. We find that Compton reflection is present in {approx}85% of Seyferts and by comparing Fe line EW's to Compton reflection hump strengths we have found that on average 40% of the Fe line arises in Compton thick material; however, this ratio was not consistent from object to object and did not seem to be dependent on optical classification.

  10. The standard model and some new directions. [for scientific theory of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blandford, R. D.; Rees, M. J.

    1992-01-01

    A 'standard' model of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), based upon a massive black hole surrounded by a thin accretion disk, is defined. It is argued that, although there is good evidence for the presence of black holes and orbiting gas, most of the details of this model are either inadequate or controversial. Magnetic field may be responsible for the confinement of continuum and line-emitting gas, for the dynamical evolution of accretion disks and for the formation of jets. It is further argued that gaseous fuel is supplied in molecular form and that this is responsible for thermal re-radiation, equatorial obscuration and, perhaps, the broad line gas clouds. Stars may also supply gas close to the black hole, especially in low power AGN and they may be observable in discrete orbits as probes of the gravitational field. Recent observations suggest that magnetic field, stars, dusty molecular gas and orientation effects must be essential components of a complete description of AGN. The discovery of quasars with redshifts approaching 5 is an important clue to the mechanism of galaxy formation.

  11. Spectral evolution of active galactic nuclei: A unified description of the X-ray and gamma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leiter, D.; Boldt, E.

    1982-01-01

    A model for spectral evolution is presented whereby active galactic nuclei (AGN) of the type observed individually emerge from an earlier stage at z approx = 4 in which they are the thermal X-ray sources responsible for most of the cosmic X-ray background (CXB). The conjecture is pursued that these precursor objects are initially supermassive Schwarzschild black holes with accretion disks radiating near the Eddington luminosity limit. It is noted that after approx. 10 to the 8th power years these central black holes are spun-up to a canonical Kerr equilibrium state (A/M = 0.998; Thorne 1974) and shown how they then can lead to spectral evolution involving non-thermal emission extending to gamma rays, at the expense of reduced thermal disk radiation. That major portion of the CXB remaining after the contribution of usual AGN are considered, while a superposition of AGN sources at z 1 can account for the gamma ray background. Extensive X-ray measurements carried out with the HEAO 1 and 2 missions as well as gamma ray and optical data are shown to compare favorably with principal features of this model.

  12. Penrose pair production as a power source of quasars and active galactic nuclei. [black hole mechanisms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kafatos, M.; Leiter, D.

    1979-01-01

    Penrose pair production in massive canonical Kerr black holes (those with a/M equal to 0.998) is proposed as a way to explain the nature of the vast fluctuating energy production associated with active galactic nuclei and quasars. It is assumed that a Kerr black hole with a mass of the order of 100 million solar masses lies at the center of an active nucleus and that an accretion disk is formed. Penrose pair production in the inner ergosphere of such a massive canonical Kerr black hole is analyzed. The results indicate that: (1) particle pairs are ejected within a 40 deg angle relative to the equator; (2) the particle energy is of the order of 1 GeV per pair; (3) the pressure of the electron-positron relativistic gas is proportional to the electron-positron number density; (4) pair production may occur in bursts; and (5) the overall lifetime of an active nucleus would depend on the time required to exhaust the disk of its matter content. A test of the theory is suggested which involves observation of the 0.5-MeV pair-annihilation gamma rays that would be generated by annihilating particle pairs.

  13. A note on periodicity of long-term variations of optical continuum in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Kai-Xing; Li, Yan-Rong; Bi, Shao-Lan; Wang, Jian-Min

    2016-04-01

    Graham et al. found a sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and quasars from the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS) that have long-term periodic variations in optical continuum, the nature of the periodicity remains uncertain. We investigate the periodic variability characteristics of the sample by testing the relations of the observed variability periods with AGN optical luminosity, black hole mass and accretion rates, and find no significant correlations. We also test the observed periods in several different aspects related to accretion disks surrounding single black holes, such as the Keplerian rotational periods of 5100 Å photon-emission regions and self-gravity dominated regions and the precessing period of warped disks. These tests shed new lights on understanding AGN variability in general. Under the assumption that the periodic behavior is associated with SMBHB systems in particular, we compare the separations (D_{bullet }) against characteristic radii of broad-line regions (RBLR) of the binaries and find D_{bullet }≈ 0.05R_{BLR}. This interestingly implies that these binaries have only circumbinary BLRs.

  14. Diffuse γ-ray emission from misaligned active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Di Mauro, M.; Donato, F.; Calore, F.; Ajello, M.; Latronico, L.

    2014-01-10

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with jets seen at small viewing angles are the most luminous and abundant objects in the γ-ray sky. AGNs with jets misaligned along the line of sight appear fainter in the sky but are more numerous than the brighter blazars. We calculate the diffuse γ-ray emission due to the population of misaligned AGNs (MAGNs) unresolved by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi). A correlation between the γ-ray luminosity and the radio-core luminosity is established and demonstrated to be physical by statistical tests, as well as compatible with upper limits based on Fermi-LAT data for a large sample of radio-loud MAGNs. We constrain the derived γ-ray luminosity function by means of the source-count distribution of the radio galaxies detected by the Fermi-LAT. We finally calculate the diffuse γ-ray flux due to the whole MAGN population. Our results demonstrate that MAGNs can contribute from 10% up to nearly the entire measured isotropic gamma-ray background. We evaluate a theoretical uncertainty on the flux of almost an order of magnitude.

  15. The suppression of star formation by powerful active galactic nuclei.

    PubMed

    Page, M J; Symeonidis, M; Vieira, J D; Altieri, B; Amblard, A; Arumugam, V; Aussel, H; Babbedge, T; Blain, A; Bock, J; Boselli, A; Buat, V; Castro-Rodríguez, N; Cava, A; Chanial, P; Clements, D L; Conley, A; Conversi, L; Cooray, A; Dowell, C D; Dubois, E N; Dunlop, J S; Dwek, E; Dye, S; Eales, S; Elbaz, D; Farrah, D; Fox, M; Franceschini, A; Gear, W; Glenn, J; Griffin, M; Halpern, M; Hatziminaoglou, E; Ibar, E; Isaak, K; Ivison, R J; Lagache, G; Levenson, L; Lu, N; Madden, S; Maffei, B; Mainetti, G; Marchetti, L; Nguyen, H T; O'Halloran, B; Oliver, S J; Omont, A; Panuzzo, P; Papageorgiou, A; Pearson, C P; Pérez-Fournon, I; Pohlen, M; Rawlings, J I; Rigopoulou, D; Riguccini, L; Rizzo, D; Rodighiero, G; Roseboom, I G; Rowan-Robinson, M; Sánchez Portal, M; Schulz, B; Scott, D; Seymour, N; Shupe, D L; Smith, A J; Stevens, J A; Trichas, M; Tugwell, K E; Vaccari, M; Valtchanov, I; Viero, M; Vigroux, L; Wang, L; Ward, R; Wright, G; Xu, C K; Zemcov, M

    2012-05-10

    The old, red stars that constitute the bulges of galaxies, and the massive black holes at their centres, are the relics of a period in cosmic history when galaxies formed stars at remarkable rates and active galactic nuclei (AGN) shone brightly as a result of accretion onto black holes. It is widely suspected, but unproved, that the tight correlation between the mass of the black hole and the mass of the stellar bulge results from the AGN quenching the surrounding star formation as it approaches its peak luminosity. X-rays trace emission from AGN unambiguously, whereas powerful star-forming galaxies are usually dust-obscured and are brightest at infrared and submillimetre wavelengths. Here we report submillimetre and X-ray observations that show that rapid star formation was common in the host galaxies of AGN when the Universe was 2-6 billion years old, but that the most vigorous star formation is not observed around black holes above an X-ray luminosity of 10(44) ergs per second. This suppression of star formation in the host galaxy of a powerful AGN is a key prediction of models in which the AGN drives an outflow, expelling the interstellar medium of its host and transforming the galaxy's properties in a brief period of cosmic time. PMID:22575961

  16. DUAL ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI: DEPROJECTING THE BINARY CORES

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, X.-W.; Zhou, H.-Y.

    2012-10-01

    Dual active galactic nuclei (AGNs) as a population in a special phase during the evolution of merging galaxies have been found largely from candidates selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). In this paper, we develop a simple model of dual AGNs, which are composed of two optically thin spheres emitting narrow lines and co-rotating governed by gravity between them. In order to show how profiles are sensitive to the orientation angles of the orbiting plane and phase angles, we make detailed calculations of profiles for a large space of the two angles. The dual AGNs observationally appear as ones with double-peaked profiles of emission lines, but there are still quite large ranges of orientation and phase angles where they appear only with a single-peaked profile. This implies a large fraction of dual AGN candidate missed by selecting AGNs with double-peaked profiles. We show that the highly sensitive dependence of profiles on orientation and phase angles makes them robust to deproject dual AGN systems. Deprojection by the present model has potential implications for discussion of the triggering mechanism of black hole activity in light of the deprojected distance. We apply the present model to two dual AGN, SDSS J095207.6+255257 and J171544.05+600835.7, for deprojection of the binary cores.

  17. Compact radio cores in radio-quiet active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maini, A.; Prandoni, I.; Norris, R. P.; Giovannini, G.; Spitler, L. R.

    2016-04-01

    Context. The mechanism of radio emission in radio-quiet (RQ) active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is still debated and might arise from the central AGN, from star formation activity in the host, or from either of these sources. A direct detection of compact and bright radio cores embedded in sources that are classified as RQ can unambiguously determine whether a central AGN significantly contributes to the radio emission. Aims: We search for compact, high-surface-brightness radio cores in RQ AGNs that are caused unambiguously by AGN activity. Methods: We used the Australian Long Baseline Array to search for compact radio cores in four RQ AGNs located in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South (ECDFS). We also targeted four radio-loud (RL) AGNs as a control sample. Results: We detected compact and bright radio cores in two AGNs that are classified as RQ and in one that is classified as RL. Two RL AGNs were not imaged because the quality of the observations was too poor. Conclusions: We report on a first direct evidence of radio cores in RQ AGNs at cosmological redshifts. Our detections show that some of the sources that are classified as RQ contain an active AGN that can contribute significantly (~50% or more) to the total radio emission.

  18. Variability in Active Galactic Nuclei from Propagating Turbulent Relativistic Jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollack, Maxwell; Pauls, David; Wiita, Paul J.

    2016-03-01

    We use the Athena hydrodynamics code to model propagating two-dimensional relativistic jets as approximations to the growth of radio-loud active galactic nuclei for various input jet velocities and jet-to-ambient matter density ratios. Using results from these simulations we estimate the changing synchrotron emission by summing the fluxes from a vertical strip of zones behind the reconfinement shock, which is nearly stationary, and from which a substantial portion of the flux variability should arise. We explore a wide range of timescales by considering two light curves from each simulation; one uses a relativistic turbulence code with bulk velocities taken from our simulations as input, while the other uses the bulk velocity data to compute fluctuations caused by variations in the Doppler boosting due to changes in the direction and the speed of the flow through all zones in the strip. We then calculate power spectral densities (PSDs) from the light curves for both turbulent and bulk velocity origins for variability. The range of the power-law slopes of the PSDs for the turbulence induced variations is -1.8 to -2.3, while for the bulk velocity produced variations this range is -2.1 to -2.9 these are in agreement with most observations. When superimposed, these power spectra span a very large range in frequency (about five decades), with the turbulent fluctuations yielding most of the shorter timescale variations and the bulk flow changes dominating the longer periods.

  19. OBSERVABILITY OF DUAL ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN MERGING GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Van Wassenhove, Sandor; Volonteri, Marta; Bellovary, Jillian; Mayer, Lucio; Callegari, Simone; Dotti, Massimo

    2012-03-20

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) have been detected in the centers of most nearby massive galaxies. Galaxies today are not only the products of billions of years of galaxy mergers, but also billions of years of SMBH activity as active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that is connected to galaxy mergers. In this context, detection of AGN pairs should be relatively common. Observationally, however, dual AGNs are scant, being just a few percent of all AGNs. In this Letter, we investigate the triggering of AGN activity in merging galaxies via a suite of high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations. We follow the dynamics and accretion onto the SMBHs as they move from separations of tens of kiloparsecs to tens of parsecs. Our resolution, cooling, and star formation implementation produce an inhomogeneous, multi-phase interstellar medium, allowing us to accurately trace star formation and accretion onto the SMBHs. We study the impact of gas content, morphology, and mass ratio, focusing on AGN activity and dynamics across a wide range of relevant conditions. We test when the two AGNs are simultaneously detectable, for how long and at which separations. We find that strong dual AGN activity occurs during the late phases of the mergers, at small separations (<1-10 kpc) below the resolution limit of most surveys. Much of the SMBH accretion is not simultaneous, limiting the dual AGN fraction detectable through imaging and spectroscopy to a few percent, in agreement with observational samples.

  20. Continuum radiation from active galactic nuclei: A statistical study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Isobe, T.; Feigelson, E. D.; Singh, K. P.; Kembhavi, A.

    1986-01-01

    The physics of the continuum spectrum of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) was examined using a large data set and rigorous statistical methods. A data base was constructed for 469 objects which include radio selected quasars, optically selected quasars, X-ray selected AGNs, BL Lac objects, and optically unidentified compact radio sources. Each object has measurements of its radio, optical, X-ray core continuum luminosity, though many of them are upper limits. Since many radio sources have extended components, the core component were carefully selected out from the total radio luminosity. With survival analysis statistical methods, which can treat upper limits correctly, these data can yield better statistical results than those previously obtained. A variety of statistical tests are performed, such as the comparison of the luminosity functions in different subsamples, and linear regressions of luminosities in different bands. Interpretation of the results leads to the following tentative conclusions: the main emission mechanism of optically selected quasars and X-ray selected AGNs is thermal, while that of BL Lac objects is synchrotron; radio selected quasars may have two different emission mechanisms in the X-ray band; BL Lac objects appear to be special cases of the radio selected quasars; some compact radio sources show the possibility of synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) in the optical band; and the spectral index between the optical and the X-ray bands depends on the optical luminosity.

  1. Radiation-pressure-supported obscuring tori around active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pier, Edward A.; Krolik, Julian H.

    1992-01-01

    Radiation pressure acting on dust grains can support the vertical thickness of the obscuring tori believed to exist in active galactic nuclei. Using the results of 2D radiation transfer calculations, we evaluate the radiation force acting on these tori. We find that on the inner edge of the torus the radiation force is about 350 l(E) times the gravitational force of the nucleus, where l(E) is the Eddington ratio. Beyond a few torus heights from the inner edge, the radiation force is negligible with respect to gravity. However, between these two extremes lies a region of considerable size where the ratio of radiation force to gravity is nearly constant and can be of order unity for l(E) about 0.1. If the distribution of material within the torus is sufficiently lumpy, there is a significant time-varying component to the radiation force. This drives the random motions of the constituent clouds, thickening the torus at lower values of l(E).

  2. Detection of small-amplitude optical variability in galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeil, Stephen R.

    2004-10-01

    A new photometry technique is developed for the detection of small-amplitude optical variability in galactic nuclei. This technique utilizes the surface brightness profiles of galaxies and checks for nuclear variations by matching up the bulge profiles (assumed to be constant). With this method optical variability is measured down to two hundredths of a magnitude. The method is tested on the following six galaxies using a B-Johnson and an R- Cousins filter: M51, M101, M81, M94, NGC4395, and NGC3982. These galaxies constitute a sampling of normal, LINER, and Seyfert galaxies. Although normal and LINER galaxies are thought to have no optical variability in their nucleus, our study concludes that most galaxies show some optical variability over the timescales of months and years. A study on deconvolution is also carried out as a possible way to improve the new technique. However, none of the tested algorithms improved the ability to detect small-amplitude nuclear variations down to hundredths of a magnitude.

  3. Microvariabilty in Active Galactic Nuclei at Centimeter Wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwood, James W.; Pannuti, T. G.

    2007-12-01

    Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) are some of the most distant objects known in the universe. Quasars, Blazars, and Seyfert galaxies are all categorized as AGNs. One of the interesting characteristics of AGNs is that they vary in brightness over a variety of time scales, ranging from long term (years or decades), to intraday (days or weeks), to extremely short (hours or minutes). Using the Morehead State University 21m Space Tracking Antenna we can measure short term variations (microvariability) of the radio frequency radiation of these distant objects. By monitoring variability we may be able to determine if this observed phenomenon originates from the internal processes of these objects or due to the intervening medium, and to provide insight into the nature and process associated with the AGN central engines. Initial observations of a set of target AGNs have been undertaken. Additional observations of these target objects will be made at 1.4, 2.4, and 12GHz to measure microvariability and to produce data points for broadband SEDs of these AGNs. Few observations have been made in the 12GHz region for these objects. These data sets will be correlated with simultaneous optical (Bell observatory) and The Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) observations to produce broad band, multiwavelength observations of a selected target set of AGNs. An additional goal of this project is to become a node in the NASA GLAST network.

  4. The Suppression of Star Formation by Powerful Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, E.

    2012-01-01

    The old, red stars that constitute the bulges of galaxies, and the massive black holes at their centres, are the relics of a period in cosmic history when galaxies formed stars at remarkable rates and active galactic nuclei (AGN) shone brightly as a result of accretion onto black holes. It is widely suspected, but unproved, that the tight corre1ation between the mass of the black hole and the mas. of the stellar bulge results from the AGN quenching the surrounding star formation as it approaches its peak luminosity. X-rays trace emission from AGN unambiguously, whereas powerful star-forming ga1axies are usually dust-obscured and are brightest at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths. Here we report submillimetre and X-ray observations that show that rapid star formation was common in the host galaxies of AGN when the Universe was 2-6 billion years old, but that the most vigorous star formation is not observed around black holes above an X-ray luminosity of 10(exp 44) ergs per second. This suppression of star formation in the host galaxy of a powerful AGN is a key prediction of models in which the AGN drives an outflow, expe11ing the interstellar medium of its host and transforming the galaxy's properties in a brief period of cosmic time.

  5. The star formation rates of active galactic nuclei host galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellison, Sara L.; Teimoorinia, Hossen; Rosario, David J.; Mendel, J. Trevor

    2016-05-01

    Using artificial neural network predictions of total infrared luminosities (LIR), we compare the host galaxy star formation rates (SFRs) of ˜21 000 optically selected active galactic nuclei (AGN), 466 low-excitation radio galaxies (LERGs) and 721 mid-IR-selected AGN. SFR offsets (ΔSFR) relative to a sample of star-forming `main-sequence' galaxies (matched in M⋆, z and local environment) are computed for the AGN hosts. Optically selected AGN exhibit a wide range of ΔSFR, with a distribution skewed to low SFRs and a median ΔSFR = -0.06 dex. The LERGs have SFRs that are shifted to even lower values with a median ΔSFR = -0.5 dex. In contrast, mid-IR-selected AGN have, on average, SFRs enhanced by a factor of ˜1.5. We interpret the different distributions of ΔSFR amongst the different AGN classes in the context of the relative contribution of triggering by galaxy mergers. Whereas the LERGs are predominantly fuelled through low accretion rate secular processes which are not accompanied by enhancements in SFR, mergers, which can simultaneously boost SFRs, most frequently lead to powerful, obscured AGN.

  6. On the efficient acceleration of clouds in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waters, Tim; Proga, Daniel

    2016-07-01

    In the broad line region of active galactic nuclei (AGN), acceleration occurs naturally when a cloud condenses out of the hot confining medium due to the increase in line opacity as the cloud cools. However, acceleration by radiation pressure is not very efficient when the flux is time-independent, unless the flow is 1D. Here, we explore how acceleration is affected by a time-varying flux, as AGN are known to be highly variable. If the period of flux oscillations is longer than the thermal time-scale, we expect the gas to cool during the low flux state, and therefore line opacity should quickly increase. The cloud will receive a small kick due to the increased radiation force. We perform hydrodynamical simulations using ATHENA to confirm this effect and quantify its importance. We find that despite the flow becoming turbulent in 2D due to hydrodynamic instabilities, a 20 per cent modulation of the flux leads to a net increase in acceleration - by more than a factor of 2 - in both 1D and 2D. We show that this acceleration is sufficient to produce the observed line widths, although we only consider optically thin clouds. We discuss the implications of our results for photoionization modelling and reverberation mapping.

  7. Fermi Observations of TeV-Selected Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdo, A. A.; Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.; Atwood, W. B.; Axelsson, M.; Baldini, L.; Ballet, J.; Barbiellini, G.; Baring, M. G.; Bastieri, D.; Bechtol, K.; Bellazzini, R.; Berenji, B.; Bloom, E. D.; Bonamente, E.; Borgland, A. W.; Bregeon, J.; Brez, A.; Brigida, M.; Bruel, P.; Burnett, T. H.; Caliandro, G. A.; Cameron, R. A.; Caraveo, P. A.; Casandjian, J. M.; Cavazzuti, E.; Cecchi, C.; Çelik, Ö.; Chekhtman, A.; Cheung, C. C.; Chiang, J.; Ciprini, S.; Claus, R.; Cohen-Tanugi, J.; Cominsky, L. R.; Conrad, J.; Cutini, S.; de Angelis, A.; de Palma, F.; Di Bernardo, G.; Silva, E. do Couto e.; Drell, P. S.; Drlica-Wagner, A.; Dubois, R.; Dumora, D.; Farnier, C.; Favuzzi, C.; Fegan, S. J.; Finke, J.; Focke, W. B.; Fortin, P.; Foschini, L.; Frailis, M.; Fukazawa, Y.; Funk, S.; Fusco, P.; Gargano, F.; Gasparrini, D.; Gehrels, N.; Germani, S.; Giavitto, G.; Giebels, B.; Giglietto, N.; Giommi, P.; Giordano, F.; Glanzman, T.; Godfrey, G.; Grenier, I. A.; Grondin, M.-H.; Grove, J. E.; Guillemot, L.; Guiriec, S.; Hanabata, Y.; Hayashida, M.; Hays, E.; Horan, D.; Hughes, R. E.; Jackson, M. S.; Jóhannesson, G.; Johnson, A. S.; Johnson, R. P.; Johnson, W. N.; Kamae, T.; Katagiri, H.; Kataoka, J.; Kawai, N.; Kerr, M.; Knödlseder, J.; Kocian, M. L.; Kuss, M.; Lande, J.; Latronico, L.; Lemoine-Goumard, M.; Longo, F.; Loparco, F.; Lott, B.; Lovellette, M. N.; Lubrano, P.; Madejski, G. M.; Makeev, A.; Mazziotta, M. N.; McConville, W.; McEnery, J. E.; Meurer, C.; Michelson, P. F.; Mitthumsiri, W.; Mizuno, T.; Moiseev, A. A.; Monte, C.; Monzani, M. E.; Morselli, A.; Moskalenko, I. V.; Murgia, S.; Nolan, P. L.; Norris, J. P.; Nuss, E.; Ohsugi, T.; Omodei, N.; Orlando, E.; Ormes, J. F.; Ozaki, M.; Paneque, D.; Panetta, J. H.; Parent, D.; Pelassa, V.; Pepe, M.; Pesce-Rollins, M.; Piron, F.; Porter, T. A.; Rainò, S.; Rando, R.; Razzano, M.; Reimer, A.; Reimer, O.; Reposeur, T.; Reyes, L. C.; Ritz, S.; Rochester, L. S.; Rodriguez, A. Y.; Roth, M.; Ryde, F.; Sadrozinski, H. F.-W.; Sanchez, D.; Sander, A.; Saz Parkinson, P. M.; Scargle, J. D.; Schalk, T. L.; Sellerholm, A.; Sgrò, C.; Shaw, M. S.; Siskind, E. J.; Smith, D. A.; Smith, P. D.; Spandre, G.; Spinelli, P.; Strickman, M. S.; Suson, D. J.; Tajima, H.; Takahashi, H.; Takahashi, T.; Tanaka, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Thayer, J. B.; Thayer, J. G.; Thompson, D. J.; Tibaldo, L.; Torres, D. F.; Tosti, G.; Tramacere, A.; Uchiyama, Y.; Usher, T. L.; Vasileiou, V.; Vilchez, N.; Vitale, V.; Waite, A. P.; Wang, P.; Winer, B. L.; Wood, K. S.; Ylinen, T.; Ziegler, M.

    2009-12-01

    We report on observations of TeV-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) made during the first 5.5 months of observations with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on-board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi). In total, 96 AGNs were selected for study, each being either (1) a source detected at TeV energies (28 sources) or (2) an object that has been studied with TeV instruments and for which an upper limit has been reported (68 objects). The Fermi observations show clear detections of 38 of these TeV-selected objects, of which 21 are joint GeV-TeV sources, and 29 were not in the third EGRET catalog. For each of the 38 Fermi-detected sources, spectra and light curves are presented. Most can be described with a power law of spectral index harder than 2.0, with a spectral break generally required to accommodate the TeV measurements. Based on an extrapolation of the Fermi spectrum, we identify sources, not previously detected at TeV energies, which are promising targets for TeV instruments. Evidence for systematic evolution of the γ-ray spectrum with redshift is presented and discussed in the context of interaction with the extragalactic background light.

  8. Diffuse γ-Ray Emission from Misaligned Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Mauro, M.; Calore, F.; Donato, F.; Ajello, M.; Latronico, L.

    2014-01-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with jets seen at small viewing angles are the most luminous and abundant objects in the γ-ray sky. AGNs with jets misaligned along the line of sight appear fainter in the sky but are more numerous than the brighter blazars. We calculate the diffuse γ-ray emission due to the population of misaligned AGNs (MAGNs) unresolved by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi). A correlation between the γ-ray luminosity and the radio-core luminosity is established and demonstrated to be physical by statistical tests, as well as compatible with upper limits based on Fermi-LAT data for a large sample of radio-loud MAGNs. We constrain the derived γ-ray luminosity function by means of the source-count distribution of the radio galaxies detected by the Fermi-LAT. We finally calculate the diffuse γ-ray flux due to the whole MAGN population. Our results demonstrate that MAGNs can contribute from 10% up to nearly the entire measured isotropic gamma-ray background. We evaluate a theoretical uncertainty on the flux of almost an order of magnitude.

  9. Highlights from the VERITAS Active Galactic Nuclei Observing Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortson, Lucy; VERITAS Collaboration

    2016-01-01

    The VERITAS Observatory, located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory near Tucson, Arizona is one of the world's most sensitive detectors of very-high-energy (VHE; E>100GeV) gamma rays. With an array of four 12-m telescopes, VERITAS detects the Cherenkov light emitted from air showers initiated by astrophysical gamma rays. A sequence of upgrades completed in 2012 aimed at lowering the energy threshold resulted in the instrument being sensitive to gamma rays between 85 GeV and 30 TeV. Fully operational since 2007, VERITAS has so far detected 54 VHE gamma-ray objects in eight different source classes. The active galactic nuclei (AGN) class comprises the majority of these detections, with 34 sources that include several radio galaxies but are predominantly blazars (AGN with relativistic jets pointing towards Earth). The scientific importance of VHE detections of AGN includes studying the details of emission mechanisms in blazars and elucidating whether they are sources of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and astrophysical neutrinos. Additionally VHE gamma-ray observations can be used to gain cosmological insights such as placing limits on the intergalactic magnetic field (IGMF) and the extragalactic background light (EBL), which comprises all the diffuse starlight in the universe. This presentation will summarize the VERITAS AGN observing program and highlight a few recent results.

  10. Physical conditions in photodissociation regions: Application to galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolfire, M. G.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Hollenbach, David J.

    1990-01-01

    Infrared and sub-millimeter observations are used in a simple procedure to determine average physical properties of the neutral interstellar medium in Galactic photodissociation regions as well as in ensembles of clouds which exist in the nuclei of luminous infrared galaxies. The relevant observations include the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) infrared continuum measurements, infrared spectroscopy of the fine-structure lines of SiII 35 microns, OI 63 microns, and CII 158 microns, and the 2.6 mm CO (J=1-0) rotational transition. The diagnostic capabilities of the OI 145 microns line is also addressed. Researchers attribute these emission lines as well as the continuum to the atomic/molecular photodissociation region on the surfaces of molecular clouds which are illuminated by strong ultraviolet fields. They use the theoretical photodissociation region models of Tielens and Hollenbach (1985, Ap. J., 291, 722) to construct simple diagrams which utilize line ratios and line to continuum ratios to determine the average gas density n, the average incident far-ultraviolet flux G sub o, and the temperature of the atomic gas T.

  11. SIMULATIONS OF DISK GALAXIES WITH COSMIC RAY DRIVEN GALACTIC WINDS

    SciTech Connect

    Booth, C. M.; Agertz, Oscar; Kravtsov, Andrey V.; Gnedin, Nickolay Y.

    2013-11-01

    We present results from high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations of isolated Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC)- and Milky-Way-sized galaxies that include a model for feedback from galactic cosmic rays (CRs). We find that CRs are naturally able to drive winds with mass loading factors of up to ∼10 in dwarf systems. The scaling of the mass loading factor with circular velocity between the two simulated systems is consistent with η∝v{sub circ}{sup 1-2} required to reproduce the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function. In addition, simulations with CR feedback reproduce both the normalization and the slope of the observed trend of wind velocity with galaxy circular velocity. We find that winds in simulations with CR feedback exhibit qualitatively different properties compared to supernova-driven winds, where most of acceleration happens violently in situ near star forming sites. The CR-driven winds are accelerated gently by the large-scale pressure gradient established by CRs diffusing from the star-forming galaxy disk out into the halo. The CR-driven winds also exhibit much cooler temperatures and, in the SMC-sized system, warm (T ∼ 10{sup 4} K) gas dominates the outflow. The prevalence of warm gas in such outflows may provide a clue as to the origin of ubiquitous warm gas in the gaseous halos of galaxies detected via absorption lines in quasar spectra.

  12. Open Clusters as Tracers of the Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantat-Gaudin, Tristan

    2015-01-01

    Open clusters (OCs) are routinely used as reliable tracers of the properties and evolution of the galactic disk, as they can be found at all galactocentric distances and span a wide range of ages. More than 3000 OCs are listed in catalogues, although few have been studied in details. The goal of this work is to study the properties of open clusters. This work was conducted in the framework of the Gaia-ESO Survey (GES). GES is an observational campaign targeting more than 100,000 stars in all major components of the Milky Way, including stars in a hundred open clusters. It uses the FLAMES instrument at the VLT to produce high and medium-resolution spectra, which provide accurate radial velocities and individual elemental abundances. In this framework, the goals of the Thesis are: * to study the properties of OCs and of their stars from photometry and spectroscopy to derive their age, the extinction and the chemical composition of the stars, to begin to build a homogeneous data base. Looking at literature data it is clear that different authors derive substantially different chemical compositions, and in general OC parameters. * the study of OCs and their chemical homogeneity (or inhomogeneity) can cast light on what is still an open issue: the presence of multiple populations in clusters. While multiple generations of stars are now ubiquitously found in globular clusters in the Milky Way and in the Magellanic Clouds, they have not been yet detected in open clusters. What is the main driver of the self-pollution process? * to study the cluster formation process. All, or at least a significant fraction of stars form in clusters. Young clusters (a few Myr) can retain some of the properties of the molecular cloud they originate from and give us insight about the cluster assembly process. The first GES data release contains data for the young OC Gamma Velorum, in which two (dynamically different) subpopulations have been identified. This cluster can serve as a test case

  13. ON THE 10 mum SILICATE FEATURE IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Nikutta, Robert; Elitzur, Moshe; Lacy, Mark E-mail: moshe@pa.uky.ed

    2009-12-20

    The 10 mum silicate feature observed with Spitzer in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) reveals some puzzling behavior. It (1) has been detected in emission in type 2 sources, (2) shows broad, flat-topped emission peaks shifted toward long wavelengths in several type 1 sources, and (3) is not seen in deep absorption in any source observed so far. We solve all three puzzles with our clumpy dust radiative transfer formalism. Addressing (1), we present the spectral energy distribution (SED) of SST1721+6012, the first type 2 quasar observed to show a clear 10 mum silicate feature in emission. Such emission arises in models of the AGN torus easily when its clumpy nature is taken into account. We constructed a large database of clumpy torus models and performed extensive fitting of the observed SED. We find that the cloud radial distribution varies as r {sup -1.5} and the torus contains 2-4 clouds along radial equatorial rays, each with optical depth at visual approx60-80. The source bolometric luminosity is approx3 x 10{sup 12} L{sub sun}. Our modeling suggests that approx<35% of objects with tori sharing these characteristics and geometry would have their central engines obscured. This relatively low obscuration probability can explain the clear appearance of the 10 mum emission feature in SST1721+6012 together with its rarity among other QSO2. Investigating (2), we also fitted the SED of PG1211+143, one of the first type 1 QSOs with a 10 mum silicate feature detected in emission. Together with other similar sources, this QSO appears to display an unusually broadened feature whose peak is shifted toward longer wavelengths. Although this led to suggestions of non-standard dust chemistry in these sources, our analysis fits such SEDs with standard galactic dust; the apparent peak shifts arise from simple radiative transfer effects. Regarding (3), we find additionally that the distribution of silicate feature strengths among clumpy torus models closely resembles the observed

  14. Estimation of Fuel Rate on the Galactic Disk from High Velocity Clouds (HVCs) Infall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sung, Kwang Hyun; Kwak, Kyujin

    2016-06-01

    Continuous accretion of metal-poor gas can explain the discrepancy between the number of observed G-Dwarfs and the number predicted by the “simple model” of galactic evolution. The maximum accretion rate estimated based upon approaching high velocity clouds (HVCs) can be up to ~0.4 M⊙yr-1 which is comparable with the accretion rate required by many chemical evolution models that is at least ~0.45 M⊙yr-1. However, it is not clear to what extent the exchange of gas between the disk and the cloud can occur when a HVC collides with the galactic disk. Therefore, we examined a series of HVC-Disk collision simulations using the FLASH2.5 hydrodynamics simulation code. Our simulation results show that an HVC will more likely take away substances from the galactic disk rather than adding new material to the disk. We define this as a “negative fuel rate” event. Further outcomes in our study present that the fuel rate, which is defined as how much material is transferred to the galactic disk from the colliding HVC, can change depending on the combination among density, radius and velocity of an approaching HVC as well as the modeled galactic disk.

  15. Kepler Photometry of Four Radio-loud Active Galactic Nuclei in 2010-2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wehrle, Ann E.; Wiita, Paul J.; Unwin, Stephen C.; Di Lorenzo, Paolo; Revalski, Mitchell; Silano, Daniel; Sprague, Dan

    2013-08-01

    We have used Kepler photometry to characterize variability in four radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN; three quasars and one object tentatively identified as a Seyfert 1.5 galaxy) on timescales from minutes to months, comparable to the light crossing time of the accretion disk around the central supermassive black hole or the base of the relativistic jet. Kepler's almost continuous observations provide much better temporal coverage than is possible from ground-based observations. We report the first such data analyzed for quasars. We have constructed power spectral densities using eight Kepler quarters of long-cadence (30-minute) data for three AGN, six quarters for one AGN and two quarters of short-cadence (1-minute) data for all four AGN. On timescales longer than about 0.2-0.6 days, we find red noise with mean power-law slopes ranging from -1.8 to -1.2, consistent with the variability originating in turbulence either behind a shock or within an accretion disk. Each AGN has a range of red noise slopes which vary slightly by month and quarter of observation. No quasi-periodic oscillations of astrophysical origin were detected. We detected flares of several days long when brightness increased by 3%-7% in two objects. No flares on timescales of minutes to hours were detected. Our observations imply that the duty cycle for enhanced activity in these radio-loud AGN is small. These well-sampled AGN light curves provide an impetus to develop more detailed models of turbulence in jets and instabilities in accretion disks.

  16. KEPLER PHOTOMETRY OF FOUR RADIO-LOUD ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN 2010-2012

    SciTech Connect

    Wehrle, Ann E.; Wiita, Paul J.; Di Lorenzo, Paolo; Revalski, Mitchell; Silano, Daniel; Sprague, Dan; Unwin, Stephen C.

    2013-08-20

    We have used Kepler photometry to characterize variability in four radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN; three quasars and one object tentatively identified as a Seyfert 1.5 galaxy) on timescales from minutes to months, comparable to the light crossing time of the accretion disk around the central supermassive black hole or the base of the relativistic jet. Kepler's almost continuous observations provide much better temporal coverage than is possible from ground-based observations. We report the first such data analyzed for quasars. We have constructed power spectral densities using eight Kepler quarters of long-cadence (30-minute) data for three AGN, six quarters for one AGN and two quarters of short-cadence (1-minute) data for all four AGN. On timescales longer than about 0.2-0.6 days, we find red noise with mean power-law slopes ranging from -1.8 to -1.2, consistent with the variability originating in turbulence either behind a shock or within an accretion disk. Each AGN has a range of red noise slopes which vary slightly by month and quarter of observation. No quasi-periodic oscillations of astrophysical origin were detected. We detected flares of several days long when brightness increased by 3%-7% in two objects. No flares on timescales of minutes to hours were detected. Our observations imply that the duty cycle for enhanced activity in these radio-loud AGN is small. These well-sampled AGN light curves provide an impetus to develop more detailed models of turbulence in jets and instabilities in accretion disks.

  17. X-ray variability and the inner region in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Mohan, P.; Mangalam, A. E-mail: mangalam@iiap.res.in

    2014-08-20

    We present theoretical models of X-ray variability attributable to orbital signatures from an accretion disk including emission region size, quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs), and its quality factor Q, and the emergence of a break frequency in the power spectral density shape. We find a fractional variability amplitude of F{sub var}∝M{sub ∙}{sup −0.4}. We conduct a time series analysis on X-ray light curves (0.3-10 keV) of a sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). A statistically significant bend frequency is inferred in 9 of 58 light curves (16%) from 3 AGNs for which the break timescale is consistent with the reported BH spin but not with the reported BH mass. Upper limits of 2.85 × 10{sup 7} M {sub ☉} in NGC 4051, 8.02 × 10{sup 7} M {sub ☉} in MRK 766, and 4.68 × 10{sup 7} M {sub ☉} in MCG-6-30-15 are inferred for maximally spinning BHs. For REJ 1034+396 where a QPO at 3733 s was reported, we obtain an emission region size of (6-6.5) M and a BH spin of a ≲ 0.08. The relativistic inner region of a thin disk, dominated by radiation pressure and electron scattering, is likely to host the orbital features as the simulated Q ranges from 6.3 × 10{sup –2} to 4.25 × 10{sup 6}, containing the observed Q. The derived value of Q ∼ 32 for REJ 1034+396 therefore suggests that the AGN hosts a thin disk.

  18. ON THE ANISOTROPY OF NUCLEI MID-INFRARED RADIATION IN NEARBY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Huan; Wang, JunXian; Liu, Teng E-mail: jxw@ustc.edu.cn

    2015-01-20

    In the center of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the dusty torus absorbs the radiation from the central engine and reemits in mid-infrared (MIR). Observations have detected moderate anisotropy in the dust MIR emission, in the way that type 1 AGNs (type1s) are mildly brighter in MIR comparing with type 2 sources (type2s). However, type1s and type2s were found to follow statistically the same tight MIR-hard X-ray correlation, suggesting that the MIR emission is highly isotropic assuming that the hard X-ray radiation is inclination independent. We argue that this discrepancy could be solved considering that the hard X-ray emission in AGNs is also mildly anisotropic, as we recently discovered. To verify this diagram, we compare the subarcsecond 12 μm flux densities of type1s and type2s using the [O IV] λ25.89 μm emission line as an isotropic luminosity indicator. We find that on average type1s are brighter in nuclei 12 μm radiation by a factor of 2.6 ± 0.6 than type2s at given [O IV] λ25.89 μm luminosities, confirming the mild anisotropy of the nuclei 12 μm emission. We show that the anisotropy of the 12 μm emission we detected is in good agreement with radiative transfer models of clumpy tori. The fact that type1s and type2s follow the same tight MIR-hard X-ray correlation instead supports that both the MIR emission and hard X-ray emission in AGNs are mildly anisotropic.

  19. Obscuration-dependent Evolution of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchner, Johannes; Georgakakis, Antonis; Nandra, Kirpal; Brightman, Murray; Menzel, Marie-Luise; Liu, Zhu; Hsu, Li-Ting; Salvato, Mara; Rangel, Cyprian; Aird, James; Merloni, Andrea; Ross, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

    We aim to constrain the evolution of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) as a function of obscuration using an X-ray-selected sample of ~2000 AGNs from a multi-tiered survey including the CDFS, AEGIS-XD, COSMOS, and XMM-XXL fields. The spectra of individual X-ray sources are analyzed using a Bayesian methodology with a physically realistic model to infer the posterior distribution of the hydrogen column density and intrinsic X-ray luminosity. We develop a novel non-parametric method that allows us to robustly infer the distribution of the AGN population in X-ray luminosity, redshift, and obscuring column density, relying only on minimal smoothness assumptions. Our analysis properly incorporates uncertainties from low count spectra, photometric redshift measurements, association incompleteness, and the limited sample size. We find that obscured AGNs with N H > 1022 cm-2 account for {77}+4-5% of the number density and luminosity density of the accretion supermassive black hole population with L X > 1043 erg s-1, averaged over cosmic time. Compton-thick AGNs account for approximately half the number and luminosity density of the obscured population, and {38}+8-7% of the total. We also find evidence that the evolution is obscuration dependent, with the strongest evolution around N H ≈ 1023 cm-2. We highlight this by measuring the obscured fraction in Compton-thin AGNs, which increases toward z ~ 3, where it is 25% higher than the local value. In contrast, the fraction of Compton-thick AGNs is consistent with being constant at ≈35%, independent of redshift and accretion luminosity. We discuss our findings in the context of existing models and conclude that the observed evolution is, to first order, a side effect of anti-hierarchical growth.

  20. The dust covering factor in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stalevski, Marko; Ricci, Claudio; Ueda, Yoshihiro; Lira, Paulina; Fritz, Jacopo; Baes, Maarten

    2016-05-01

    The primary source of emission of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the accretion disc, is surrounded by an optically and geometrically thick dusty structure (`the so-called dusty torus'). The infrared radiation emitted by the dust is nothing but a reprocessed fraction of the accretion disc emission, so the ratio of the torus to the AGN luminosity (Ltorus/LAGN) should corresponds to the fraction of the sky obscured by dust, i.e. the covering factor. We undertook a critical investigation of the Ltorus/LAGN as the dust covering factor proxy. Using state-of-the-art 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer code, we calculated a grid of spectral energy distributions (SEDs) emitted by the clumpy two-phase dusty structure. With this grid of SEDs, we studied the relation between Ltorus/LAGN and the dust covering factor for different parameters of the torus. We found that in the case of type 1 AGNs the torus anisotropy makes Ltorus/LAGN underestimate low covering factors and overestimate high covering factors. In type 2 AGNs Ltorus/LAGN always underestimates covering factors. Our results provide a novel easy-to-use method to account for anisotropy and obtain correct covering factors. Using two samples from the literature, we demonstrated the importance of our result for inferring the obscured AGN fraction. We found that after the anisotropy is properly accounted for, the dust covering factors show very weak dependence on LAGN, with values in the range of ≈0.6-0.7. Our results also suggest a higher fraction of obscured AGNs at high luminosities than those found by X-ray surveys, in part owing to the presence of a Compton-thick AGN population predicted by population synthesis models.

  1. The History of Tidal Disruption Events in Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aharon, Danor; Mastrobuono Battisti, Alessandra; Perets, Hagai B.

    2016-06-01

    The tidal disruption of a star by a massive black hole (MBH) is thought to produce a transient luminous event. Such tidal disruption events (TDEs) may play an important role in the detection and characterization of MBHs, and in probing the properties and dynamics of their nuclear stellar cluster (NSC) hosts. Previous studies estimated the recent rates of TDEs in the local universe. However, the long-term evolution of the rates throughout the history of the universe has been little explored. Here we consider TDE history, using evolutionary models for the evolution of galactic nuclei. We use a 1D Fokker–Planck approach to explore the evolution of MBH-hosting NSCs, and obtain the disruption rates of stars during their evolution. We complement these with an analysis of TDE history based on N-body simulation data, and find them to be comparable. We consider NSCs that are built up from close-in star formation (SF) or from far-out SF/cluster-dispersal, a few pc from the MBH. We also explore cases where primordial NSCs exist and later evolve through additional SF/cluster-dispersal processes. We study the dependence of the TDE history on the type of galaxy, as well as the dependence on the MBH mass. These provide several scenarios, with a continuous increase of the TDE rates over time for cases of far-out SF and a more complex behavior for the close-in SF cases. Finally, we integrate the TDE histories of the various scenarios to provide a total TDE history of the universe, which can be potentially probed with future large surveys (e.g., LSST).

  2. THE EVOLUTION OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI AND THEIR SPINS

    SciTech Connect

    Volonteri, M.; Lasota, J.-P.; Sikora, M.; Merloni, A.

    2013-10-01

    Massive black holes (MBHs), in contrast to stellar mass black holes, are expected to substantially change their properties over their lifetime. MBH masses increase by several orders of magnitude over a Hubble time, as illustrated by Sołtan's argument. MBH spins also must evolve through the series of accretion and mergers events that increase the masses of MBHs. We present a simple model that traces the joint evolution of MBH masses and spins across cosmic time. Our model includes MBH-MBH mergers, merger-driven gas accretion, stochastic fueling of MBHs through molecular cloud capture, and a basic implementation of accretion of recycled gas. This approach aims at improving the modeling of low-redshift MBHs and active galactic nuclei (AGNs), whose properties can be more easily estimated observationally. Despite the simplicity of the model, it does a good job capturing the global evolution of the MBH population from z ∼ 6 to today. Under our assumptions, we find that the typical spin and radiative efficiency of MBHs decrease with cosmic time because of the increased incidence of stochastic processes in gas-rich galaxies and MBH-MBH mergers in gas-poor galaxies. At z = 0, the spin distribution in gas-poor galaxies peaks at spins 0.4-0.8 and is not strongly mass dependent. MBHs in gas-rich galaxies have a more complex evolution, with low-mass MBHs at low redshift having low spins and spins increasing at larger masses and redshifts. We also find that at z > 1 MBH spins are on average the highest in high luminosity AGNs, while at lower redshifts these differences disappear.

  3. Statistics of Active Galactic Nuclei in Rich Clusters Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Way, M. J.; Flores, R. A.; Quintana, H.

    1998-07-01

    Using the spectrophotometry of a large sample of galaxies in 19 Abell clusters, we have selected 42 candidate active galactic nuclei (AGNs) using the criteria used by Dressler and coworkers in their analysis of the statistics of 22 AGNs in 14 rich cluster fields, which are based on the equivalent width of [O II] 3727 Å, Hβ, and [O III] 5007 Å emission. We have then discriminated AGNs from H II region-like galaxies (hereafter H II galaxies) in the manner developed by Veilleux & Osterbrock using the additional information provided by Hα and [N II] 6583 Å or Hα and [S II] 6716 + 6731 Å emission, in order to test the reliability of the selection criteria used by Dressler and coworkers. We find that before we discriminate AGNs from H II galaxies, our sample is very similar to that of Dressler and coworkers and it leads to similar conclusions. However, we find that their method inevitably mixes H II galaxies with AGNs, even for the most luminous objects in our sample. We estimate a contamination of at least 38% at a formal 90% confidence level. Since the study of Dressler and coworkers, other authors have attempted to quantify the relative fraction of cluster-to-field AGNs and have reached similar conclusions, but they have used criteria similar to Dressler and coworkers to select AGNs (or have used the [O III] 5007 Å/Hβ flux ratio test that also mixes H II galaxies with AGNs). Our sample of true AGNs remains too small to reach statistically meaningful conclusions, therefore a new study with a more time-consuming method that includes the other lines will be required to quantify the true relative fraction of cluster-to-field AGNs.

  4. Ultrafast outflows in radio-loud active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tombesi, F.; Tazaki, F.; Mushotzky, R. F.; Ueda, Y.; Cappi, M.; Gofford, J.; Reeves, J. N.; Guainazzi, M.

    2014-09-01

    Recent X-ray observations show absorbing winds with velocities up to mildly relativistic values of the order of ˜0.1c in a limited sample of six broad-line radio galaxies. They are observed as blueshifted Fe XXV-XXVI K-shell absorption lines, similarly to the ultrafast outflows (UFOs) reported in Seyferts and quasars. In this work we extend the search for such Fe K absorption lines to a larger sample of 26 radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN) observed with XMM-Newton and Suzaku. The sample is drawn from the Swift Burst Alert Telescope 58-month catalogue and blazars are excluded. X-ray bright Fanaroff-Riley Class II radio galaxies constitute the majority of the sources. Combining the results of this analysis with those in the literature we find that UFOs are detected in >27 per cent of the sources. However, correcting for the number of spectra with insufficient signal-to-noise ratio, we can estimate that the incidence of UFOs is this sample of radio-loud AGN is likely in the range f ≃ (50 ± 20) per cent. A photoionization modelling of the absorption lines with XSTAR allows us to estimate the distribution of their main parameters. The observed outflow velocities are broadly distributed between vout ≲ 1000 km s-1 and vout ≃ 0.4c, with mean and median values of vout ≃ 0.133c and vout ≃ 0.117c, respectively. The material is highly ionized, with an average ionization parameter of logξ ≃ 4.5 erg s-1 cm, and the column densities are larger than NH > 1022 cm-2. Overall, these characteristics are consistent with the presence of complex accretion disc winds in a significant fraction of radio-loud AGN and demonstrate that the presence of relativistic jets does not preclude the existence of winds, in accordance with several theoretical models.

  5. The role of resonances in the evolution of galactic disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepine, Jacques; Scarano, Sergio; Andrievsky, Sergei; de Barros, Douglas A.; Junqueira, Thiago C.

    2015-03-01

    Resonances play an important role in the evolution of the disks of spiral galaxies, and in particular in the chemical abundance evolution. The dominant effect is that of corotation; this effect can be even used as a tool to estimate the age of the present spiral arm pattern, which are usually found to be long-lived, contrary to a recent common belief. We investigated a sample of galaxies for which the corotation radius is known and for which there are available in the literature measurements of abundance gradients for Oxygen. A very good correlation is found between corotation radii and the radii at which there is a break in the slope of the gradients. The gradients are usually decreasing in the inner regions and become flat or rising at larger radii. In several galaxies, including the Milky Way, one observes not only a change in the slope of the abundance gradient, but also an abrupt step in metallicity, at corotation. This step is due to the fact that corotation separates the disk of a galaxy in two regions (inside corotation and outside corotation) which are isolated one from the other, so that the two sides evolve in an independent way. The barrier between the two regions is produced by the flow of gas in opposite directions in the two sides and by the ring-shaped void of gas observed at corotation. Besides this, an independent effect of corotation is a minimum of star formation associated with the minimum velocity at which the spiral arms (seen as potential wells) are fed with interstellar gas. Still another effect is the scattering of stars by the resonance, which causes their migration to different galactic radii. Other resonances, like 4:1, have properties almost opposite to corotation; they stimulate star-formation, and tend to gather the stars in the resonant orbit, instead of scattering them out, as shown by numerical simulations. Due to this property, one can see arms which have the shape of resonant stellar orbits, which depart from logarithmic spirals.

  6. A NEW LOOK AT THE GALACTIC CIRCUMNUCLEAR DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Oka, Tomoharu; Tanaka, Kunihiko; Nagai, Makoto; Kamegai, Kazuhisa

    2011-05-10

    We report the results of millimeter and submillimeter molecular line mapping observations of the Galactic circumnuclear disk (CND). The CND appears as a large, asymmetric disk of warm molecular gas with a high CO J = 3-2/CO J = 1-0 intensity ratio exceeding 1.5. It has a mass of (2-5) x 10{sup 5} M{sub sun} and a diameter of about 10 pc, including a well-known 2-pc radius ring of dense molecular gas around the minispiral. The CND can be clearly traced by the J = 1-0 lines of HCN, H{sup 13}CN, HCO{sup +}, and HNC, but it is barely traced by N{sub 2}H{sup +}, SiO, CCS, and HC{sub 3}N lines. These data confirm the entity of the CND, and the 2-pc ring is just a part of it. Line ratios suggest that the CND is chemically immature, having higher density and higher temperature than the ambient gas. A one-zone large-velocity-gradient analysis finds that molecular gas in the CND has a typical kinetic temperature of T{sub k} {approx_equal} 63 K and H{sub 2} density of n(H{sub 2}) {approx_equal} 10{sup 4.1} cm{sup -3}. The bulk of the CND seems to have an overall, systematic infall motion, with a velocity of V{sub infall} {approx_equal} 50 km s{sup -1}. Our results are consistent with the scenario that the CND has been formed by tidal capture and disruption of a giant molecular cloud (GMC). The progenitor GMC may have been formed recently inside the 120-pc ring, possibly by the encounter with the small inner bar of the Galaxy. Toomre's Q parameter indicates that the CND is gravitationally stable now, but it will become unstable and fragment as gas accumulates at r {approx_equal} 2 pc. It would trigger a burst of star formation, and subsequent processes could enhance the mass accretion rate to Sgr A*.

  7. Open Clusters as Tracers of the Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantat-Gaudin, Tristan

    2015-01-01

    Open clusters (OCs) are routinely used as reliable tracers of the properties and evolution of the galactic disk, as they can be found at all galactocentric distances and span a wide range of ages. More than 3000 OCs are listed in catalogues, although few have been studied in details. The goal of this work is to study the properties of open clusters. This work was conducted in the framework of the Gaia-ESO Survey (GES). GES is an observational campaign targeting more than 100,000 stars in all major components of the Milky Way, including stars in a hundred open clusters. It uses the FLAMES instrument at the VLT to produce high and medium-resolution spectra, which provide accurate radial velocities and individual elemental abundances. In this framework, the goals of the Thesis are: * to study the properties of OCs and of their stars from photometry and spectroscopy to derive their age, the extinction and the chemical composition of the stars, to begin to build a homogeneous data base. Looking at literature data it is clear that different authors derive substantially different chemical compositions, and in general OC parameters. * the study of OCs and their chemical homogeneity (or inhomogeneity) can cast light on what is still an open issue: the presence of multiple populations in clusters. While multiple generations of stars are now ubiquitously found in globular clusters in the Milky Way and in the Magellanic Clouds, they have not been yet detected in open clusters. What is the main driver of the self-pollution process? * to study the cluster formation process. All, or at least a significant fraction of stars form in clusters. Young clusters (a few Myr) can retain some of the properties of the molecular cloud they originate from and give us insight about the cluster assembly process. The first GES data release contains data for the young OC Gamma Velorum, in which two (dynamically different) subpopulations have been identified. This cluster can serve as a test case

  8. ABUNDANCES OF GALACTIC ANTICENTER PLANETARY NEBULAE AND THE OXYGEN ABUNDANCE GRADIENT IN THE GALACTIC DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Henry, R. B. C.; Morrison, Michael A.; Kwitter, Karen B.; Jaskot, Anne E.; Balick, Bruce; Milingo, Jacquelynne B. E-mail: morrison@nhn.ou.ed E-mail: ajaskot@umich.ed E-mail: jmilingo@gettysburg.ed

    2010-11-20

    We have obtained spectrophotometric observations of 41 anticenter planetary nebulae (PNe) located in the disk of the Milky Way. Electron temperatures and densities, as well as chemical abundances for He, N, O, Ne, S, Cl, and Ar were determined. Incorporating these results into our existing database of PN abundances yielded a sample of 124 well-observed objects with homogeneously determined abundances extending from 0.9 to 21 kpc in galactocentric distance. We performed a detailed regression analysis which accounted for uncertainties in both oxygen abundances and radial distances in order to establish the metallicity gradient across the disk to be 12 + log(O/H) = (9.09 {+-} 0.05) - (0.058 {+-} 0.006) x R{sub g} , with R{sub g} in kpc. While we see some evidence that the gradient steepens at large galactocentric distances, more objects toward the anticenter need to be observed in order to confidently establish the true form of the metallicity gradient. We find no compelling evidence that the gradient differs between Peimbert Types I and II, nor is oxygen abundance related to the vertical distance from the galactic plane. Our gradient agrees well with analogous results for H II regions but is steeper than the one recently published by Stanghellini and Haywood over a similar range in galactocentric distance. A second analysis using PN distances from a different source implied a flatter gradient, and we suggest that we have reached a confusion limit which can only be resolved with greatly improved distance measurements and an understanding of the natural scatter in oxygen abundances.

  9. Hidden Active Galactic Nuclei in Early-type Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paggi, Alessandro; Fabbiano, Giuseppina; Civano, Francesca; Pellegrini, Silvia; Elvis, Martin; Kim, Dong-Woo

    2016-06-01

    We present a stacking analysis of the complete sample of early-type galaxies (ETGs) in the Chandra COSMOS (C-COSMOS) survey, to explore the nature of the X-ray luminosity in the redshift and stellar luminosity ranges 0\\lt z\\lt 1.5 and {10}9\\lt {L}K/{L}ȯ \\lt {10}13. Using established scaling relations, we subtract the contribution of X-ray binary populations to estimate the combined emission of hot ISM and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). To discriminate between the relative importance of these two components, we (1) compare our results with the relation observed in the local universe {L}X,{gas}\\propto {L}K4.5 for hot gaseous halos emission in ETGs, and (2) evaluate the spectral signature of each stacked bin. We find two regimes where the non-stellar X-ray emission is hard, consistent with AGN emission. First, there is evidence of hard, absorbed X-ray emission in stacked bins including relatively high z (∼1.2) ETGs with average high X-ray luminosity ({L}X {- {LMXB}}≳ 6× {10}42 {{erg}} {{{s}}}-1). These luminosities are consistent with the presence of highly absorbed “hidden” AGNs in these ETGs, which are not visible in their optical–IR spectra and spectral energy distributions. Second, confirming the early indication from our C-COSMOS study of X-ray detected ETGs, we find significantly enhanced X-ray luminosity in lower stellar mass ETGs ({L}K≲ {10}11{L}ȯ ), relative to the local {L}X,{gas}\\propto {L}K4.5 relation. The stacked spectra of these ETGs also suggest X-ray emission harder than expected from gaseous hot halos. This emission is consistent with inefficient accretion {10}-5-{10}-4{\\dot{M}}{Edd} onto {M}{BH}∼ {10}6-{10}8 {M}ȯ .

  10. Compton thick active galactic nuclei in Chandra surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brightman, Murray; Nandra, Kirpal; Salvato, Mara; Hsu, Li-Ting; Aird, James; Rangel, Cyprian

    2014-09-01

    We present the results from an X-ray spectral analysis of active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the Chandra Deep Field-South, All-wavelength Extended Groth-strip International Survey (AEGIS)-Deep X-ray survey (XD) and Chandra-Cosmic Evolution Surveys (COSMOS), focusing on the identification and characterization of the most heavily obscured, Compton thick (CT, NH > 1024 cm-2) sources. Our sample is comprised of 3184 X-ray selected extragalactic sources, which has a high rate of redshift completeness (96.6 per cent), and includes additional spectroscopic redshifts and improved photometric redshifts over previous studies. We use spectral models designed for heavily obscured AGN which self-consistently include all major spectral signatures of heavy absorption. We validate our spectral fitting method through simulations, identify CT sources not selected through this method using X-ray colours and take considerations for the constraints on NH given the low count nature of many of our sources. After these considerations, we identify a total of 100 CT AGN with best-fitting NH > 1024 cm-2 and NH constrained to be above 1023.5 cm-2 at 90 per cent confidence. These sources cover an intrinsic 2-10 keV X-ray luminosity range of 1042-3 × 1045 erg s-1 and a redshift range of z = 0.1-4. This sample will enable characterization of these heavily obscured AGN across cosmic time and to ascertain their cosmological significance. These survey fields are sites of extensive multiwavelength coverage, including near-infrared Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) data and far-infrared Herschel data, enabling forthcoming investigations into the host properties of CT AGN. Furthermore, by using the torus models to test different covering factor scenarios, and by investigating the inclusion of the soft scattered emission, we find evidence that the covering factor of the obscuring material decreases with LX for all redshifts, consistent with the receding torus model

  11. Supermassive Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei with Tidal Disruption of Stars. II. Axisymmetric Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Shiyan; Berczik, Peter; Spurzem, Rainer

    2015-09-01

    The tidal disruption (TD) of stars by supermassive central black holes from dense rotating star clusters is modeled by high-accuracy direct N-body simulations. As in a previous paper on spherical star clusters, we study the time evolution of the stellar tidal disruption rate and the origin of tidally disrupted stars, which are now accorded to several classes of orbits that only occur in axisymmetric systems (short-axis tube and saucer orbits). Compared with that in spherical systems, we found a higher TD rate in axisymmetric systems. The enhancement can be explained by an enlarged loss cone in phase space that stems from the fact that the total angular momentum {\\boldsymbol{J}} is not conserved. As in the case of spherical systems, the distribution of the last apocenter distance of tidally accreted stars peaks at the classical critical radius. However, the angular distribution of the origin of the accreted stars reveals interesting features. Inside the influence radius of the supermassive black hole the angular distribution of disrupted stars has a conspicuous bimodal structure with a local minimum near the equatorial plane. Outside of the influence radius this dependence is weak. We show that the bimodal structure of orbital parameters can be explained by the presence of two families of regular orbits, namely short-axis tube and saucer orbits. Also, we present the consequences of our results for the loss cone in axisymmetric galactic nuclei.

  12. A Simple test for the existence of two accretion modes in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Jester, Sebastian; /Fermilab

    2005-02-01

    By analogy to the different accretion states observed in black-hole X-ray binaries (BHXBs), it appears plausible that accretion disks in active galactic nuclei (AGN) undergo a state transition between a radiatively efficient and inefficient accretion flow. If the radiative efficiency changes at some critical accretion rate, there will be a change in the distribution of black hole masses and bolometric luminosities at the corresponding transition luminosity. To test this prediction, the author considers the joint distribution of AGN black hole masses and bolometric luminosities for a sample taken from the literature. The small number of objects with low Eddington-scaled accretion rates m < 0.01 and black hole masses M{sub BH} < 10{sup 9} M{sub {circle_dot}} constitutes tentative evidence for the existence of such a transition in AGN. Selection effects, in particular those associated with flux-limited samples, systematically exclude objects in particular regions of the (M{sub BH}, L{sub bol}) plane. Therefore, they require particular attention in the analysis of distributions of black hole mass, bolometric luminosity, and derived quantities like the accretion rate. The author suggests further observational tests of the BHXB-AGN unification scheme which are based on the jet domination of the energy output of BHXBs in the hard state, and on the possible equivalence of BHXB in the very high (or steep power-law) state showing ejections and efficiently accreting quasars and radio galaxies with powerful radio jets.

  13. Simulating Galaxies and Active Galactic Nuclei in the LSST Image Simulation Effort

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizagno, James; Ahmad, Z.; Bankert, J.; Bard, D.; Connolly, A.; Chang, C.; Gibson, R. R.; Gilmore, K.; Grace, E.; Hannel, M.; Jernigan, J. G.; Jones, L.; Kahn, S. M.; Krughoff, S. K.; Lorenz, S.; Marshall, S.; Shmakova, S. M.; Sylvestri, N.; Todd, N.; Young, M.

    2011-01-01

    We present an extragalactic source catalog, which includes galaxies and Active Galactic Nuclei, that is used for the Large Survey Synoptic Telescope Imaging Simulation effort. The galaxies are taken from the De Lucia et. al. (2006) semi-analytic modeling (SAM) of the Millennium Simulation. The LSST Image Simulation effort requires full SED information and galaxy morphological information, which is added to the catalog by fitting Bruzual & Charlot (2003) stellar population models, with Cardelli, Clayton, Mathis (1989) dust models, to the BVRIK colors provided by the De Lucia et. al. (2006) SAM. Galaxy morphology is modeled as a double Sersic profile for the disk and bulge. Galaxy morphological information and number counts are matched to existing observations. The catalog contains galaxies with a limiting r-band magnitude of mr=28, which results in roughly 1E6 galaxies per square degree. An existing AGN catalog (MacLeod et. al. 2010) is matched to galaxy hosts in the galaxy catalog using SDSS observations. AGN are morphologically modeled as variable point sources located at the center of the host galaxy. We demonstrate how this extragalactic source catalog allows LSST to plan for extended object extraction, variable extragalactic source detection, sensitivity level determination after image stacking, and perform various other cosmological tests.

  14. RMS Spectral Modelling - a powerful tool to probe the origin of variability in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallick, Labani; Dewangan, Gulab chand; Misra, Ranjeev

    2016-07-01

    The broadband energy spectra of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are very complex in nature with the contribution from many ingredients: accretion disk, corona, jets, broad-line region (BLR), narrow-line region (NLR) and Compton-thick absorbing cloud or TORUS. The complexity of the broadband AGN spectra gives rise to mean spectral model degeneracy, e.g, there are competing models for the broad feature near 5-7 keV in terms of blurred reflection and complex absorption. In order to overcome the energy spectral model degeneracy, the most reliable approach is to study the RMS variability spectrum which connects the energy spectrum with temporal variability. The origin of variability could be pivoting of the primary continuum, reflection and/or absorption. The study of RMS (Root Mean Square) spectra would help us to connect the energy spectra with the variability. In this work, we study the energy dependent variability of AGN by developing theoretical RMS spectral model in ISIS (Interactive Spectral Interpretation System) for different input energy spectra. In this talk, I would like to present results of RMS spectral modelling for few radio-loud and radio-quiet AGN observed by XMM-Newton, Suzaku, NuSTAR and ASTROSAT and will probe the dichotomy between these two classes of AGN.

  15. The Fundamental Plane of the Broad-line Region in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Pu; Wang, Jian-Min; Hu, Chen; Ho, Luis C.; Li, Yan-Rong; Bai, Jin-Ming

    2016-02-01

    Broad emission lines in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) mainly arise from gas photoionized by continuum radiation from an accretion disk around a central black hole. The shape of the broad-line profile, described by {{ D }}{{H}β }={{FWHM}}/{σ }{{H}β }, the ratio of full width at half maximum to the dispersion of broad Hβ, reflects the dynamics of the broad-line region (BLR) and correlates with the dimensionless accretion rate (\\overset{\\quad \\cdot }{{M}}) or Eddington ratio ({L}{{bol}}/{L}{{Edd}}). At the same time, \\overset{\\quad \\cdot }{{M}} and {L}{{bol}}/{L}{{Edd}} correlate with {{ R }}{{Fe}}, the ratio of optical Fe ii to Hβ line flux emission. Assembling all AGNs with reverberation mapping measurements of broad Hβ, both from the literature and from new observations reported here, we find a strong bivariate correlation of the form {log}(\\overset{\\quad \\cdot }{{M}},{L}{{bol}}/{L}{{Edd}})=α +β {{ D }}{{H}β }+γ {{ R }}{{Fe}}, where α = (2.47, 0.31), β = -(1.59, 0.82), and γ = (1.34, 0.80). We refer to this as the fundamental plane of the BLR. We apply the plane to a sample of z < 0.8 quasars to demonstrate the prevalence of super-Eddington accreting AGNs are quite common at low redshifts.

  16. An optical and near-infrared color-magnitude diagram for type I Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Robert J.; Gibbs, John; Gorjian, Varoujan; Pruett, Lee; Young, Diedre; Boyd, Robert; Byrd, Joy; Cheshier, Jaicie; Chung, Stephanie; Clark, Ruby; Fernandez, Joseph; Gonzales, Elyse; Kumar, Anika; McGinnis, Gillian; Palmer, John; Perrine, Luke; Phelps, Brittney; Reginio, Margaret; Richter, Kristi; Sanchez, Elias; Washburn, Claire

    2016-01-01

    This project is seeking another standard candle for measuring cosmic distances by trying to establish a color-magnitude diagram for active galactic nuclei (AGN). Type I AGN selected from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) were used to establish a correlation between the color and the luminosity of AGN. This work builds on previous NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program team attempts to establish such a relationship. This is novel in that it uses both optical and 1-2 micron near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths as a better color discriminator of the transition between accretion-dominated and dust/torus-dominated emission.Photometric data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) was extracted and analyzed for type I AGN with redshifts z < 0.20. Our color-magnitude diagram for the area where the dust vaporizes is analogous to a stellar Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram. Data from SDSS and 2MASS were specifically selected to focus on the sublimation boundary between the coolest part of the accretion disk and the hottest region of the inner edge of the dusty torus surrounding the accretion disk to find the greatest ratio for the color. The more luminous the AGN, the more extended the dust sublimation radius, causing a larger hot dust emitting surface area, which corresponds to a greater NIR luminosity.Our findings suggest that the best correlations correspond to colors associated with the Sloan z band and any of the 2MASS bands with slight variations dependent on redshift. This may result in a tool for using AGN as a standard for cosmic distances. This research was made possible through the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) and was funded by NASA Astrophysics Data Program.

  17. ON THE ORIENTATION AND MAGNITUDE OF THE BLACK HOLE SPIN IN GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Dotti, M.; Colpi, M.; Pallini, S.; Perego, A.; Volonteri, M.

    2013-01-10

    Massive black holes (BHs) in galactic nuclei vary their mass M {sub BH} and spin vector J {sub BH} due to accretion. In this study we relax, for the first time, the assumption that accretion can be either chaotic, i.e., when the accretion episodes are randomly and isotropically oriented, or coherent, i.e., when they occur all in a preferred plane. Instead, we consider different degrees of anisotropy in the fueling, never confining to accretion events on a fixed direction. We follow the BH growth evolving contemporarily with mass, spin modulus a, and spin direction. We discover the occurrence of two regimes. An early phase (M {sub BH} {approx}< 10{sup 7} M {sub Sun }) in which rapid alignment of the BH spin direction to the disk angular momentum in each single episode leads to erratic changes in the BH spin orientation and at the same time to large spins (a {approx} 0.8). A second phase starts when the BH mass increases above {approx}> 10{sup 7} M {sub Sun} and the accretion disks carry less mass and angular momentum relative to the hole. In the absence of a preferential direction, the BHs tend to spin-down in this phase. However, when a modest degree of anisotropy in the fueling process (still far from being coherent) is present, the BH spin can increase up to a {approx} 1 for very massive black holes (M {sub BH} {approx}> 10{sup 8} M {sub Sun }), and its direction is stable over the many accretion cycles. We discuss the implications of our results in the realm of the observations of BH spin and jet orientations.

  18. Flares from the Tidal Disruption of Stars by Massive Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strubbe, Linda; Quataert, E.

    2011-01-01

    A star that wanders too close to a massive black hole (BH) gets shredded by the BH's tidal gravity. Stellar gas soon falls back to the BH at a rate initially exceeding the Eddington rate, releasing a flare of energy as gas accretes. How often this process occurs is uncertain at present, as is the physics of super-Eddington accretion (which is relevant for BH growth and feedback at high redshift as well). Excitingly, transient surveys like the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), Pan-STARRS and LSST should shed light on these questions soon -- in anticipation, we predict observational properties of tidal flares. Early on, much of the falling-back gas should blow away in a wind, producing luminous optical emission that are likely imprinted with blueshifted UV absorption lines. If the gas shocking close to the BH is unable to reach thermal equilibrium, the emission will instead be hard X-rays with no optical/UV lines. At later times, the gas accretes in a disk; for MBH 105 - 106 Msun, 1-10% of the disk's emission is reprocessed by escaping stellar debris, producing a spectrum of very broad emission lines. We predict detection rates for PTF, Pan-STARRS and LSST, and discuss the substantial challenge of disentangling these events from supernovae. These surveys should significantly improve our knowledge of stellar dynamics in galactic nuclei, the physics of super-Eddington accretion, the demography of IMBHs, and the role of tidal disruption in the growth of massive BHs. We gratefully acknowledge support from the Miller Institute, UC Berkeley, NASA, and the Packard Foundation.

  19. Obscuring Fraction of Active Galactic Nuclei: Implications from Radiation-driven Fountain Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Keiichi

    2015-10-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are believed to be obscured by an optical thick “torus” that covers a large fraction of solid angles for the nuclei. However, the physical origin of the tori and the differences in the tori among AGNs are not clear. In a previous paper based on three-dimensional radiation-hydorodynamic calculations, we proposed a physics-based mechanism for the obscuration, called “radiation-driven fountains,” in which the circulation of the gas driven by central radiation naturally forms a thick disk that partially obscures the nuclear emission. Here, we expand this mechanism and conduct a series of simulations to explore how obscuration depends on the properties of AGNs. We found that the obscuring fraction fobs for a given column density toward the AGNs changes depending on both the AGN luminosity and the black hole mass. In particular, fobs for NH ≥ 1022 cm-2 increases from ˜0.2 to ˜0.6 as a function of the X-ray luminosity LX in the LX = 1042-44 erg s-1 range, but fobs becomes small (˜0.4) above a luminosity (˜1045 erg s-1). The behaviors of fobs can be understood by a simple analytic model and provide insight into the redshift evolution of the obscuration. The simulations also show that for a given LAGN, fobs is always smaller (˜0.2-0.3) for a larger column density (NH ≥ 1023 cm-2). We also found cases that more than 70% of the solid angles can be covered by the fountain flows.

  20. Cold Dark Matter Substructure and Galactic Disks I: Morphological Signatures of Hierarchical SatelliteAccretion

    SciTech Connect

    Kazantzidis, Stelios; Bullock, James S.; Zentner, Andrew R.; Kravtsov, Andrey V.; Moustakas, Leonidas A.

    2007-12-03

    We conduct a series of high-resolution, fully self-consistent dissipation less N-body simulations to investigate the cumulative effect of substructure mergers onto thin disk galaxies in the context of the {Lambda}CDM paradigm of structure formation. Our simulation campaign is based on a hybrid approach combining cosmological simulations and controlled numerical experiments. Substructure mass functions, orbital distributions, internal structures, and accretion times are culled directly from cosmological simulations of galaxy-sized cold dark matter (CDM) halos. We demonstrate that accretions of massive subhalos onto the central regions of host halos, where the galactic disk resides, since z {approx} 1 should be common occurrences. In contrast, extremely few satellites in present-day CDM halos are likely to have a significant impact on the disk structure. This is due to the fact that massive subhalos with small orbital pericenters that are most capable of strongly perturbing the disk become either tidally disrupted or suffer substantial mass loss prior to z = 0. One host halo merger history is subsequently used to seed controlled N-body experiments of repeated satellite impacts on an initially-thin Milky Way-type disk galaxy. These simulations track the effects of six dark matter substructures, with initial masses in the range {approx} (0.7-2) x 10{sup 10} M{sub {circle_dot}} ({approx} 20-60% of the disk mass), crossing the disk in the past {approx} 8 Gyr. We show that these accretion events produce several distinctive observational signatures in the stellar disk including: a long-lived, low-surface brightness, ring-like feature in the outskirts; a significant flare; a central bar; and faint filamentary structures that (spuriously) resemble tidal streams in configuration space. The final distribution of disk stars exhibits a complex vertical structure that is well-described by a standard 'thin-thick' disk decomposition, where the 'thick' disk component has emerged

  1. Collisions between Dark Matter Confined High Velocity Clouds and Magnetized Galactic Disks: The Smith Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galyardt, Jason; Shelton, Robin L.

    2016-01-01

    The Galaxy’s population of High Velocity Clouds (HVCs) may include a subpopulation that is confined by dark matter minihalos and falling toward the Galactic disk. We present the first magnetohydrodynamic simulational study of dark-matter-dominated HVCs colliding with a weakly magnetized galactic disk. Our HVCs have baryonic masses of 5 × 106M⊙ and dark matter minihalo masses of 0, 3 × 108, or 1 × 109 M⊙. They are modeled on the Smith Cloud, which is said to have collided with the disk 70 Myr ago. We find that, in all cases, the cloud’s collision with the galactic disk creates a hole in the disk, completely disperses the cloud, and forms a bubble-shaped structure on the far side of the disk. In contrast, when present, the dark matter minihalo continues unimpeded along its trajectory. Later, as the minihalo passes through the bubble structure and galactic halo, it accretes up to 6.0 × 105 M⊙ in baryonic material, depending on the strengths of the magnetic field and minihalo gravity. These simulations suggest that if the Smith Cloud is associated with a dark matter minihalo and collided with the Galactic disk, the minihalo has accreted the observed gas. However, if the Smith Cloud is dark-matter-free, it is on its first approach toward the disk. These simulations also suggest that the dark matter is most concentrated either at the head of the cloud or near the cloud, depending upon the strength of the magnetic field, a point that could inform indirect dark matter searches.

  2. Collision of the Smith Cloud and its dark matter halo with the magnetized Galactic disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galyardt, Jason; Shelton, Robin L.

    2015-01-01

    The Smith Cloud is a massive High Velocity Cloud (HVC) that may have passed through the Milky Way disk in the recent past. Previous studies using hydrodynamic simulations suggest that a dark matter halo may have provided the confinement neccessary for the Smith Cloud to survive passage through the Galactic corona and disk. However, the models of the Galaxy that were used in these studies did not include a magnetic field, while magnetic fields are known to have confining properties. Other studies have shown that the Galactic magnetic field can inhibit mass exchange between the corona and the disk due to magnetic field compression. We extend upon these studies via FLASH magnetohydrodynamic simulations to consider the effects of a Galactic magnetic field on an infalling, dark matter confined HVC.

  3. X-Ray Constraints on Accretion and Starburst Processes in Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ptak, Andrew Francis

    The results of X-ray observations of a sample of nearby low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGN), low-ionization nuclear emission line regions (LINERs), and starburst galaxies are presented. In general the 0.4-10.0 keV spectra of this heterogenous sample are fit well by a two-component model consisting of an optically-thin plasma with a temperature of ~0.7 keV and a power-law model with a photon index of ~1.7. Both the hot gas component and the hard, possibly nonthermal, X-ray emission appear to be common features of galaxies showing signs of nuclear activity. The spectrum of the hard component (roughly in the 2-10 keV bandpass) is most consistent with AGN, which are postulated to be accreting supermassive blackholes. X-ray binaries that are probably accreting blackhole candidates also appear to contribute significantly to the hard, and possibly to a lesser extent, the soft X-ray emission. Very hot (T~108 K) gas in a 'superwind' may also be contributing to the hard flux in some cases, probably concentrated in the nuclear regions of the galaxies. Another possible contributor to the featureless X-ray continuum may be inverse-Compton scattering of infrared photons, but the contribution of this component is sensitive to model assumptions. The soft emission appears to be supernovae-heated interstellar medium (ISM). In some cases, the SN-heating is actually in the form of a superwind, in which case ~90% of the X-ray emitting gas is 'swept-up' ISM and the remainder is (cooling) superwind emission out in the disks of the galaxies. Very low absolutes abundances are observed, but the uncertainties are large. Relative abundances are more secure and suggest that Fe is underabundant relative to α-process elements. The low relative Fe abundance may be due to enrichment by Type-II supernovae and∨ dust depletion, but non-equilibrium ionization may also be playing a part. Future observations by X-ray telescopes with high spatial and spectral resolution and improved

  4. [C ii] emission from galactic nuclei in the presence of X-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langer, W. D.; Pineda, J. L.

    2015-08-01

    Context. The luminosity of [C ii] is used as a probe of the star formation rate in galaxies, but the correlation breaks down in some active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Models of the [C ii] emission from galactic nuclei do not include the influence of X-rays on the carbon ionization balance, which may be a factor in reducing the [C ii] luminosity. Aims: We aim to determine the properties of the ionized carbon and its distribution among highly ionized states in the interstellar gas in galactic nuclei under the influence of X-ray sources. We calculate the [C ii] luminosity in galactic nuclei under the influence of bright sources of soft X-rays. Methods: We solve the balance equation of the ionization states of carbon as a function of X-ray flux, electron, atomic hydrogen, and molecular hydrogen density. These are input to models of [C ii] emission from the interstellar medium (ISM) in galactic nuclei representing conditions in the Galactic central molecular zone and a higher density AGN model. The behavior of the [C ii] luminosity is calculated as a function of the X-ray luminosity. We also solve the distribution of the ionization states of oxygen and nitrogen in highly ionized regions. Results: We find that the dense warm ionized medium (WIM) and dense photon dominated regions (PDRs) dominate the [C ii] emission when no X-rays are present. The X-rays in galactic nuclei can affect strongly the C+ abundance in the WIM, converting some fraction to C2+ and higher ionization states and thus reducing its [C ii] luminosity. For an X-ray luminosity L(X-ray) ≳ 1043 erg s-1 the [C ii] luminosity can be suppressed by a factor of a few, and for very strong sources, L(X-ray) >1044 erg s-1 such as found for many AGNs, the [C ii] luminosity is significantly depressed. Comparison of the model with several extragalactic sources shows that the [C ii] to far-infrared ratio declines for L(X-ray) ≳ 1043 erg s-1, in reasonable agreement with our model. Conclusions: We conclude that X

  5. The radiative deceleration of ultrarelativistic jets in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melia, Fulvio; Konigl, Arieh

    1989-05-01

    A detailed study of the dynamical interaction between a highly relativistic jet and the thermal radiation field from an AGN accretion disk is reported, and the Comptonized spectrum arising from this interaction is self-consistently determined. A simple model that captures the essential radiative and geometrical features of realistic disk configurations is presented, and the disk radiation field is calculated. The results confirm Phinney's (1987) suggestion that the thermal radiation field produced by accretion in an AGN could be very effective in decelerating ultrarelativistic jets that are accreted by electromagnetic or hydromagnetic forces closer to the central black hole. Terminal Lorentz factors are consistent with the values inferred in superluminal radio sources are readily produced in this model for plausible disk and jet parameters without additional acceleration in the interaction zone. A new interpretation of the hard X-ray component detected in BL Lac spectra is proposed.

  6. THE OPACITY OF GALACTIC DISKS AT z {approx} 0.7

    SciTech Connect

    Sargent, M. T.; Schinnerer, E.; Carollo, C. M.; Kampczyk, P.; Lilly, S. J.; Oesch, P. A.; Scarlata, C.; Capak, P.; Scoville, N.; Ilbert, O.; Kneib, J.-P.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Leauthaud, A.; Massey, R.; Rhodes, J.; Taniguchi, Y.

    2010-05-01

    We compare the surface brightness-inclination relation for a sample of COSMOS pure disk galaxies at z {approx} 0.7 with an artificially redshifted sample of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) disks well matched to the COSMOS sample in terms of rest-frame photometry and morphology, as well as their selection and analysis. The offset between the average surface brightness of face-on and edge-on disks in the redshifted SDSS sample matches that predicted by measurements of the optical depth of galactic disks in the nearby universe. In contrast, large disks at z {approx} 0.7 have a virtually flat surface brightness-inclination relation, suggesting that they are more opaque than their local counterparts. This could be explained by either an increased amount of optically thick material in disks at higher redshift or a different spatial distribution of the dust.

  7. Excitation of Coupled Stellar Motions in the Galactic Disk by Orbiting Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D’Onghia, E.; Madau, P.; Vera-Ciro, C.; Quillen, A.; Hernquist, L.

    2016-05-01

    We use a set of high-resolution N-body simulations of the Galactic disk to study its interactions with the population of cosmologically predicted satellites. One simulation illustrates that multiple passages of massive satellites with different velocities through the disk generate a wobble, which has the appearance of rings in face-on projections of the stellar disk. They also produce flares in the outer disk parts and gradually heat the disk through bending waves. A different numerical experiment shows that an individual satellite as massive as the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy passing through the disk will drive coupled horizontal and vertical oscillations of stars in underdense regions with small associated heating. This experiment shows that vertical excursions of stars in these low-density regions can exceed 1 kpc in the Solar neighborhood, resembling the recently locally detected coherent vertical oscillations. They can also induce non-zero vertical streaming motions as large as 10–20 km s‑1, which is consistent with recent observations in the Galactic disk. This phenomenon appears as a local ring with modest associated disk heating.

  8. Survey of the galactic disk from 1 = -150 deg to 1 = 82 deg in the submillimeter range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caux, Emmanuel; Serra, Guy

    1987-01-01

    The first almost complete survey of the galactic disk from 1 = -150 deg to 1 = 82 deg in the submillimeter range (effective wavelength = 380 microns), performed with the AGLAE balloon-borne instrument modified to include a submillimeter channel, is reported. The instrumentation and observational procedures are described, as are the signal processing and calibration. The results are presented as a profile of the submillimeter brightness of the galactic disk displayed as a function of the galactic longitude. This profile exhibits diffuse emission all along the disk with bright peaks associated with resolved sources. The averaged galactic spectrum is in agreement with a temperature distribution of the interstellar cold dust.

  9. THE NUCLEAR INFRARED EMISSION OF LOW-LUMINOSITY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, R. E.; Lopez-Rodriguez, E.; Packham, C.; Alonso-Herrero, A.; Elitzur, M.; Aretxaga, I.; Roche, P. F.; Oi, N.

    2012-07-15

    We present high-resolution mid-infrared (MIR) imaging, nuclear spectral energy distributions (SEDs), and archival Spitzer spectra for 22 low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs; L{sub bol} {approx}< 10{sup 42} erg s{sup -1}). Infrared (IR) observations may advance our understanding of the accretion flows in LLAGNs, the fate of the obscuring torus at low accretion rates, and, perhaps, the star formation histories of these objects. However, while comprehensively studied in higher-luminosity Seyferts and quasars, the nuclear IR properties of LLAGNs have not yet been well determined. We separate the present LLAGN sample into three categories depending on their Eddington ratio and radio emission, finding different IR characteristics for each class. (1) At the low-luminosity, low-Eddington-ratio (log L{sub bol}/L{sub Edd} < -4.6) end of the sample, we identify 'host-dominated' galaxies with strong polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon bands that may indicate active (circum-)nuclear star formation. (2) Some very radio-loud objects are also present at these low Eddington ratios. The IR emission in these nuclei is dominated by synchrotron radiation, and some are likely to be unobscured type 2 AGNs that genuinely lack a broad-line region. (3) At higher Eddington ratios, strong, compact nuclear sources are visible in the MIR images. The nuclear SEDs of these galaxies are diverse; some resemble typical Seyfert nuclei, while others lack a well-defined MIR 'dust bump'. Strong silicate emission is present in many of these objects. We speculate that this, together with high ratios of silicate strength to hydrogen column density, could suggest optically thin dust and low dust-to-gas ratios, in accordance with model predictions that LLAGNs do not host a Seyfert-like obscuring torus. We anticipate that detailed modeling of the new data and SEDs in terms of accretion disk, jet, radiatively inefficient accretion flow, and torus components will provide further insights into the nuclear

  10. The age of the Galactic disk - Inflow, chemical evolution, astration, and radioactivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clayton, Donald D.

    1989-01-01

    Theoretical models of Galactic evolution and observational data on the age of the Galaxy are compared, with a focus on recent results. Topics addressed include the infall of material and its effects on the age-metallicity relation, the distribution of metallicity, the present gas fraction and metallicity, and the age spectrum of interstellar nuclei; the chemical evolution of the solar neighborhood; the key results of nuclear cosmochronology; and astration effects on Galactic age. It is found that both nuclear cosmochronology and detailed stellar and Galactic evolution models tend to support an age of 12-16 Gyr.

  11. Integrability of motion around galactic razor-thin disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieira, Ronaldo S. S.; Ramos-Caro, Javier

    2016-06-01

    We consider the three-dimensional bounded motion of a test particle around razor-thin disk configurations, by focusing on the adiabatic invariance of the vertical action associated with disk-crossing orbits. We find that it leads to an approximate third integral of motion predicting envelopes of the form Z(R)∝ [Σ (R)]^{-1/3} , where R is the radial galactocentric coordinate, Z is the z-amplitude (vertical amplitude) of the orbit and Σ represents the surface mass density of the thin disk. This third integral, which was previously formulated for the case of flattened 3D configurations, is tested for a variety of trajectories in different thin-disk models.

  12. Numerical Simulations of Self-Regulated, Star Forming Galactic Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, D. C.; Struck, C.

    2000-12-01

    While star formation feedback models have been used in the study of galaxy formation, the effects of these processes on the global structure of disks have received less attention. We have adapted Hydra, the adaptive particle-particle, particle-mesh with smoothed particle hydrodynamics code by Couchman et al., to include heating processes deriving from star formation in order to study the effects of this heating on the structure of the disk and on the star formation itself. These processes include mechanical heating from strong stellar winds and supernovae, as well as heating due to photoelectric removal of electrons from grains by UV flux from young OB stars. Mechanisms of this type can be implemented in a simple way within the Hydra code, allowing us to study the density and temperature profiles of the gas, the balance among the multiple thermal phases generated in the disk, and the kinematics of the disk. Preliminary results from numerical simulations of star-forming gas disks of late type spirals are presented. Self-regulating effects of star formation on the global structure of the disk are discussed. We describe and compare the results of different star formation criteria and discuss the effects of particle resolution. This study was funded, in part, by a grant from the George Washington Carver Charitable Trust.

  13. Bars within bars - A mechanism for fuelling active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shlosman, Isaac; Frank, Juhan; Begelman, Mitchell C.

    1989-01-01

    A mechanism, applicable to AGN and nuclear starburst galaxies in which there is accretion onto a supermassive black hole (SBH), is proposed which brings in gas from large to small scales by successive dynamical instabilities. On the large scale, a stellar bar sweeps the interstellar medium into a gaseous disk a few hundred pc in radius. Under certain conditions, this disk can become unstable again, allowing material to flow inwards until turbulent viscous processes control angular-momentum transport. This flow pattern may feed viscosity-driven accretion flows around an SBH or lead to the formation of an SBH if none was present initially.

  14. PeV Neutrinos Observed by IceCube from Cores of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stecker, Floyd W.

    2013-01-01

    I show that the high energy neutrino flux predicted to arise from active galactic nuclei cores can explain the PeV neutrinos detected by IceCube without conflicting with the constraints from the observed extragalactic cosmic-ray and gamma-ray backgrounds.

  15. Probing active galactic nuclei with H2O megamasers.

    PubMed Central

    Moran, J; Greenhill, L; Herrnstein, J; Diamond, P; Miyoshi, M; Nakai, N; Inque, M

    1995-01-01

    We describe the characteristics of the rapidly rotating molecular disk in the nucleus of the mildly active galaxy NGC4258. The morphology and kinematics of the disk are delineated by the point-like watervapor emission sources at 1.35-cm wavelength. High angular resolution [200 microas where as is arcsec, corresponding to 0.006 parsec (pc) at 6.4 million pc] and high spectral resolution (0.2 km.s-1 or nu/Deltanu = 1.4 x 10(6)) with the Very-Long-Baseline Array allow precise definition of the disk. The disk is very thin, but slightly warped, and is viewed nearly edge-on. The masers show that the disk is in nearly perfect Keplerian rotation within the observable range of radii of 0.13-0.26 pc. The approximately random deviations from the Keplerian rotation curve among the high-velocity masers are approximately 3.5 km.s-1 (rms). These deviations may be due to the masers lying off the midline by about +/-4 degrees or variations in the inclination of the disk by +/-4 degrees. Lack of systematic deviations indicates that the disk has a mass of <4 x 10(6) solar mass (M[symbol: see text]). The gravitational binding mass is 3.5 x 10(7) M[symbol: see text], which must lie within the inner radius of the disk and requires that the mass density be >4 x 10(9) M[symbol: see text].pc-3. If the central mass were in the form of a star cluster with a density distribution such as a Plummer model, then the central mass density would be 4 x 10(12) M[symbol: see text].pc-3. The lifetime of such a cluster would be short with respect to the age of the galaxy [Maoz, E. (1995) Astrophys. J. Lett. 447, L91-L94]. Therefore, the central mass may be a black hole. The disk as traced by the systemic velocity features is unresolved in the vertical direction, indicating that its scale height is <0.0003 pc (hence the ratio of thickness to radius, H/R, is <0.0025). For a disk in hydrostatic equilibrium the quadrature sum of the sound speed and Alfven velocity is <2.5 km.s-1, so that the temperature of

  16. Two new Galactic novae discovered in the VVV disk images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pena, C. Contreras; Lucas, P. W.; Saito, R. K.; Minniti, D.; Kurtev, R.

    2016-04-01

    We report two novae in the Galactic plane discovered serendipitously during a search for high amplitude variable young stellar objects (Contreras Pena et al. 2016, arXiv:1602.06267) in the VVV Survey data (vvvsurvey.org; Minniti et al. 2010, New Astronomy, 15, 433).

  17. Evolution of the Radial Abundance Gradient and Cold Gas of the Galactic Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Qi-Shi; Chang, Rui-Xiang; Yin, Jun

    2014-10-01

    In order to understand the forming mechanism of the radial abun- dance gradient of the Galactic disk and the evolution of cold gas, we have con- structed a chemical evolution model of the Galactic disk, in which the star for- mation law concerned with molecular hydrogens is adopted, and the evolution of mass surface density is calculated for the molecular and atomic hydrogens separately, then the model predictions and the observed radial distributions of some physical quantities are compared. The result indicates that the model prediction is sensitive to the adopted infall timescale, the model which adopts the star formation law concerned with the molecular hydrogens can agree well with the major observed properties of the Galactic disk, especially can obtain naturally the radial oxygen abundance gradient of the Galactic disk, and the radial surface density profile of cold gas. The assumption of instantaneous or non-instantaneous recycling approximation has a small effect on the evolution of cold gas, especially in the case of rather low gas density.

  18. Angular Momentum Regulates Atomic Gas Fractions of Galactic Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obreschkow, D.; Glazebrook, K.; Kilborn, V.; Lutz, K.

    2016-06-01

    We show that the mass fraction {f}{{atm}}=1.35{M}{{H}{{I}}}/M of neutral atomic gas (H i and He) in isolated local disk galaxies of baryonic mass M is well described by a straightforward stability model for flat exponential disks. In the outer disk parts, where gas at the characteristic dispersion of the warm neutral medium is stable in the sense of Toomre, the disk consists of neutral atomic gas; conversely, the inner part where this medium would be Toomre-unstable, is dominated by stars and molecules. Within this model, {f}{{atm}} only depends on a global stability parameter q\\equiv jσ /({GM}), where j is the baryonic specific angular momentum of the disk and σ the velocity dispersion of the atomic gas. The analytically derived first-order solution {f}{{atm}}={min}\\{1,2.5{q}1.12\\} provides a good fit to all plausible rotation curves. This model, with no free parameters, agrees remarkably well (±0.2 dex) with measurements of {f}{{atm}} in isolated local disk galaxies, even with galaxies that are extremely H i-rich or H i-poor for their mass. The finding that {f}{{atm}} increasing monotonically with q for pure stability reasons offers a powerful intuitive explanation for the mean variation of {f}{{atm}} with M: in a cold dark matter universe, galaxies are expected to follow j\\propto {M}2/3, which implies the average scaling q\\propto {M}-1/3 and hence {f}{{atm}}\\propto {M}-0.37, in agreement with the observations.

  19. The Broad-Line Region and Dust Torus Structure of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozo Nuñez, Francisco

    2014-06-01

    I present the results from optical and infrared multi-month monitoring campaigns at the Universitätssternwarte Bochum (USB) in Chile to explore the structure of the central engine in active galactic nuclei (AGN). I apply and test photometric reverberation mapping (PRM) for measuring the time delay between variations in the continuum and Hbeta, Halpha emission lines. This time delay is used to infer the size of the broad-line region (BLR) for three Seyfert 1 galaxies. I place the results in context of the known BLR size luminosity relationship from spectroscopic reverberation mapping (SRM) and discuss its potential application to constrain cosmological parameters. The BLR size and the velocity dispersion of the emission line are used to calculate the virial mass of the supermassive black hole (SMBH). Through the direct modelling of PRM data, I infer the geometry type of the BLR allowing the determination of the geometry scaling factor used to constrain the real black hole mass. I find strong evidence for a disk-like BLR geometry. If this result holds for Seyfert galaxies in general, then the determination of the geometry scaling factor and the black hole mass can be remarkably improved. I discuss deviations of Seyfert-1 galaxies from the SMBH-bulge velocity dispersion relation MBH - sigma* for quiescent galaxies. Finally, I perform dust-reverberation mapping to determine the dust-torus size for the Seyfert 1 galaxy WPVS48. The light curves in the optical and near-infrared revealed unexpected variations which allow to solve an old puzzle on the geometry of the dusttorus.

  20. A PHYSICAL LINK BETWEEN JET FORMATION AND HOT PLASMA IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Qingwen; Wang Dingxiong; Cao Xinwu; Ho, Luis C. E-mail: dxwang@hust.edu.cn E-mail: lho@obs.carnegiescience.edu

    2013-06-10

    Recent observations suggest that in black hole X-ray binaries jet/outflow formation is related to the hot plasma in the vicinity of the black hole, either in the form of an advection-dominated accretion flow at low accretion rates or in a disk corona at high accretion rates. We test the viability of this scenario for supermassive black holes using two samples of active galactic nuclei distinguished by the presence (radio-strong) and absence (radio-weak) of well-collimated, relativistic jets. Each is centered on a narrow range of black hole mass but spans a very broad range of Eddington ratios, effectively simulating in a statistical manner the behavior of a single black hole evolving across a wide spread in accretion states. Unlike the relationship between the radio and optical luminosity, which shows an abrupt break between high- and low-luminosity sources at an Eddington ratio of {approx}1%, the radio emission-a measure of the jet power-varies continuously with the hard X-ray (2-10 keV) luminosity, roughly as L{sub R} {proportional_to} L{sub X}{sup 0.6-0.75}. This relation, which holds for both radio-weak and radio-strong active galaxies, is similar to the one seen in X-ray binaries. Jet/outflow formation appears to be closely linked to the conditions that give rise to the hot, optically thin coronal emission associated with accretion flows, both in the regime of low and high accretion rates.

  1. Spectral Energy Distribution Models for Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei in LINERs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nemmen, Rodrigo S.; Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa; Eracleous, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) represent the bulk of the AGN population in the present-day universe and they trace the low-level accreting supermassive black holes. In order to probe the accretion and jet physical properties in LLAGNs as a class, we model the broadband radio to X-rays spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of 21 LLAGNs in low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs) with a coupled accretion-jet model. The accretion flow is modeled as an inner ADAF outside of which there is a truncated standard thin disk. We find that the radio emission is severely underpredicted by ADAF models and is explained by the relativistic jet. The origin of the X-ray radiation in most sources can be explained by three distinct scenarios: the X-rays can be dominated by emission from the ADAF, or the jet, or the X-rays can arise from a jet-ADAF combination in which both components contribute to the emission with similar importance. For 3 objects both the jet and ADAF fit equally well the X-ray spectrum and can be the dominant source of X-rays whereas for 11 LLAGNs a jet-dominated model accounts better than the ADAF-dominated model for the data. The individual and average SED models that we computed can be useful for different studies of the nuclear emission of LLAGNs. From the model fits, we estimate important parameters of the central engine powering LLAGNs in LINERs, such as the mass accretion rate and the mass-loss rate in the jet and the jet power - relevant for studies of the kinetic feedback from jets.

  2. Offset active galactic nuclei as tracers of galaxy mergers and supermassive black hole growth

    SciTech Connect

    Comerford, Julia M.; Greene, Jenny E.

    2014-07-10

    Offset active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are AGNs that are in ongoing galaxy mergers, which produce kinematic offsets in the AGNs relative to their host galaxies. Offset AGNs are also close relatives of dual AGNs. We conduct a systematic search for offset AGNs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey by selecting AGN emission lines that exhibit statistically significant line-of-sight velocity offsets relative to systemic. From a parent sample of 18,314 Type 2 AGNs at z < 0.21, we identify 351 offset AGN candidates with velocity offsets of 50 km s{sup –1} < |Δv| < 410 km s{sup –1}. When we account for projection effects in the observed velocities, we estimate that 4%-8% of AGNs are offset AGNs. We designed our selection criteria to bypass velocity offsets produced by rotating gas disks, AGN outflows, and gravitational recoil of supermassive black holes, but follow-up observations are still required to confirm our candidates as offset AGNs. We find that the fraction of AGNs that are offset candidates increases with AGN bolometric luminosity, from 0.7% to 6% over the luminosity range 43 < log (L{sub bol}) [erg s{sup –1}] <46. If these candidates are shown to be bona fide offset AGNs, then this would be direct observational evidence that galaxy mergers preferentially trigger high-luminosity AGNs. Finally, we find that the fraction of AGNs that are offset AGN candidates increases from 1.9% at z = 0.1 to 32% at z = 0.7, in step with the growth in the galaxy merger fraction over the same redshift range.

  3. DIRECT MEASUREMENT OF THE X-RAY TIME-DELAY TRANSFER FUNCTION IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Legg, E.; Miller, L.; Turner, T. J.; Giustini, M.; Reeves, J. N.; Kraemer, S. B.

    2012-11-20

    The origin of the observed time lags, in nearby active galactic nuclei (AGNs), between hard and soft X-ray photons is investigated using new XMM-Newton data for the narrow-line Seyfert I galaxy Ark 564 and existing data for 1H 0707-495 and NGC 4051. These AGNs have highly variable X-ray light curves that contain frequent, high peaks of emission. The averaged light curve of the peaks is directly measured from the time series, and it is shown that (1) peaks occur at the same time, within the measurement uncertainties, at all X-ray energies, and (2) there exists a substantial tail of excess emission at hard X-ray energies, which is delayed with respect to the time of the main peak, and is particularly prominent in Ark 564. Observation (1) rules out that the observed lags are caused by Comptonization time delays and disfavors a simple model of propagating fluctuations on the accretion disk. Observation (2) is consistent with time lags caused by Compton-scattering reverberation from material a few thousand light-seconds from the primary X-ray source. The power spectral density and the frequency-dependent phase lags of the peak light curves are consistent with those of the full time series. There is evidence for non-stationarity in the Ark 564 time series in both the Fourier and peaks analyses. A sharp 'negative' lag (variations at hard photon energies lead soft photon energies) observed in Ark 564 appears to be generated by the shape of the hard-band transfer function and does not arise from soft-band reflection of X-rays. These results reinforce the evidence for the existence of X-ray reverberation in type I AGN, which requires that these AGNs are significantly affected by scattering from circumnuclear material a few tens or hundreds of gravitational radii in extent.

  4. Formation of ring structures in galactic disks during close passages of galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tutukov, A. V.; Fedorova, A. V.

    2016-01-01

    The formation of ring structures in galactic disks is investigated. It is shown that, in addition to the known mechanism of forming rings in "head-on" collisions between galaxies, ring structures can be formed during close passages of galaxies if the perturbing galaxy moves in a plane close to the equatorial plane of the perturbed disk galaxy, opposite to the direction of rotation of the disk. Numerical simulations of the formation of structures in the disk of a massive galaxy undergoing a passage with another galaxy are considered. The results of these cmputations show the formation of pronounced ring structures in the galactic disk when the initial inclination of the trajectory of the perturbing galaxy to the equatorial plane of the perturbed galaxy is no more than ~25°. However, the probability of close passages of galaxies with these parameters is small, as is the probability of head-on collisions. The characteristic time scale for the existence of pronounced rings is of order the dynamical time scale at the edge of the galaxy, 200-300 million years, close to the corresponding time for head-on collisions. The evolution of the rings has the same character in both cases: they gradually expand and move toward the periphery of the galaxy. The results of these simulations can also be applied to a close passage of one star by another star with a protoplanetary disk. According to the computation results, the characteristic time scale for the existence of pronounced rings in such a protoplanetary disk depends mainly on the size of the disk; this time scale can reach several tens of thousands of years for a disk radius of about 1000 AU. The formation of ring structures in such a disk could influence the formation and evolution of planetesimals, and possibly the character of the formation of planets and the distribution of their orbital semi-major axes.

  5. MAGNETICALLY REGULATED GAS ACCRETION IN HIGH-REDSHIFT GALACTIC DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Birnboim, Yuval

    2009-09-10

    Disk galaxies are in hydrostatic equilibrium along their vertical axis. The pressure allowing for this configuration consists of thermal, turbulent, magnetic, and cosmic-ray components. For the Milky Way the thermal pressure contributes {approx}10% of the total pressure near the plane, with this fraction dropping toward higher altitudes. Out of the rest, magnetic fields contribute {approx}1/3 of the pressure to distances of {approx}3 kpc above the disk plane. In this Letter, we attempt to extrapolate these local values to high-redshift, rapidly accreting, rapidly star-forming disk galaxies and study the effect of the extra pressure sources on the accretion of gas onto the galaxies. In particular, magnetic field tension may convert a smooth cold-flow accretion to clumpy, irregular star formation regions and rates. The infalling gas accumulates on the edge of the magnetic fields, supported by magnetic tension. When the mass of the infalling gas exceeds some threshold mass, its gravitational force cannot be balanced by magnetic tension anymore, and it falls toward the disk's plane, rapidly making stars. Simplified estimations of this threshold mass are consistent with clumpy star formation observed in SINS, UDF, GOODS, and GEMS surveys. We discuss the shortcomings of pure hydrodynamic codes in simulating the accretion of cold flows into galaxies, and emphasize the need for magnetohydrodynamic simulations.

  6. Aspects of Supermassive Black Hole Growth in Nearby Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lena, Davide

    Super-massive black holes (SBHs) have long been identified as the engines of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and are now considered to play a key role in galaxy evolution. In this dissertation I present results from two observational studies conducted on nearby AGNs with the aim of furthering our understanding of SBH growth and their interplay with the host galaxies. The first study is an observational search for SBHs spatially offset from the center of their host galaxies. Such offsets can be considered signatures of gravitational recoil following the coalescence of an SBH binary system (formed in the aftermath of a galaxy merger) due to emission of gravitational waves. The study is based on a photometric analysis of fourteen nearby elliptical galaxies observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. I find that parsec-scale offsets are common. However, while these are individually consistent with residual gravitational recoil oscillations, there is a high probability that larger offsets than those actually observed should have been found in the sample as a whole. There are a number of possible explanations for this result: the galaxy merger rate may be lower than current estimates; SBH-binaries may reach the merger stage with a configuration which minimizes recoil velocities; or the SBH oscillations are more quickly damped than predicted. In the second study I use integral field spectroscopy obtained with the Gemini South telescope to investigate the kinematics of the circum-nuclear ionized gas in two active galaxies: NGC 1386, a Seyfert 2, and NGC 1365, a Seyfert 1. The goal of the study is to investigate outflows in low-luminosity AGNs, and the mechanisms channeling gas (the SBH fuel) from the inner kiloparsec down to a few tens of parsecs from the SBH. I find that the dominant kinematic components can be explained as a combination of rotation in the large-scale galactic disk and compact outflows along the axis of the AGN "radiation cone". However, in the case of NGC

  7. INTERPLAY BETWEEN STELLAR SPIRALS AND THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM IN GALACTIC DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Wada, Keiichi; Baba, Junichi; Saitoh, Takayuki R. E-mail: baba.junichi@nao.ac.jp

    2011-07-01

    We propose a new dynamical picture of galactic stellar and gas spirals, based on hydrodynamic simulations in a 'live' stellar disk. We focus especially on spiral structures excited in an isolated galactic disk without a stellar bar. Using high-resolution, three-dimensional N-body/smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulations, we found that the spiral features of the gas in galactic disks are formed by essentially different mechanisms from the galactic shock in stellar density waves. The stellar spiral arms and the interstellar matter on average corotate in a galactic potential at any radii. Unlike the stream motions in the galactic shock, the interstellar matter flows into the local potential minima with irregular motions. The flows converge to form dense gas clouds/filaments near the bottom of the stellar spirals, whose global structures resemble dust lanes seen in late-type spiral galaxies. The stellar arms are non-steady; they are wound and stretched by the galactic shear, and thus local densities of the arm change on a timescale of {approx}100 Myr, due to bifurcating or merging with other arms. This makes the gas spirals associated with the stellar arms non-steady. The association of dense gas clouds is eventually dissolved into inter-arm regions with non-circular motions. Star clusters are formed from the cold, dense gases, whose ages are less than {approx}30 Myr, and they are roughly associated with the background stellar arms without a clear spatial offset between gas spiral arms and distribution of young stars.

  8. Relativistic Iron Emission and Disk Reflection in Galactic Microquasar XTE J1748-288

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, J. M.; Fox, D. W.; DiMatteo, T.; Wijnands, R.; Belloni, T.; Pooley, D.; Kouveliotou, C.; Lewin, W. H. G.

    2001-01-01

    We report evidence for an Fe K-alpha fluorescence line feature and disk reflection in the very high, high-, and low-state X-ray spectra of the Galactic microquasar XTE J1748 - 288 during its 1998 June outburst. Spectral analyses are made on data gathered throughout the outburst by the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array. Gaussian line, relativistic disk emission line, and ionized disk reflection models are fitted to the data. In the very high state the line profile appears strongly redshifted, consistent with disk emission from the innermost stable orbits around a maximally rotating Kerr black hole. In the high state the line profile is less redshifted and increasingly prominent. The low-state line profile is very strong (approx. 0.5 keV equivalent width) and centered at 6.7 +/- 0.10 keV; disk line emission model fits indicate that the inner edge of the disk fluctuates between approx. 20R(sub g) and - approx. 100R(sub g) in this state. The disk reflection fraction is traced through the outburst; reflection from an ionized disk is preferred in the very high and high states, and reflection from a relatively neutral disk is preferred in the low state. We discuss the implications of our findings for the binary system dynamics and accretion flow geometry in XTE J1748 - 288.

  9. Relativistic Iron Emission and Disk Reflection in Galactic Microquasar XTE J1748-288

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, J. M.; Fox, D. W.; Matteo, T. DI; Wijnands, R.; Belloni, T.; Pooley, D.; Kouveliotou, C.; Lewin, W. H. G.

    2001-01-01

    We report evidence for an Fe K(alpha) fluorescence line feature and disk reflection in the very high, high-, and low-state X-ray spectra of the Galactic microquasar XTE J1748-288 during its 1998 June outburst. Spectral analyses are made on data gathered throughout the outburst by the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array. Gaussian line, relativistic disk emission line, and ionized disk reflection models are fitted to the data. In the very high state the line profile appears strongly redshifted, consistent with disk emission from the innermost stable orbits around a maximally rotating Kerr black hole. In the high state the line profile is less redshifted and increasingly prominent. The low-state line profile is very strong (approx. 0.5 keV equivalent width) and centered at 6.7 +/- 0.10 keV; disk line emission model fits indicate that the inner edge of the disk fluctuates between approx. 20Rg and approx. 100Rg in this state. The disk reflection fraction is traced through the outburst; reflection from an ionized disk is preferred in the very high and high states, and reflection from a relatively neutral disk is preferred in the low state. We discuss the implications of our findings for the binary system dynamics and accretion flow geometry in XTE J1748-288.

  10. GALACTIC ULTRACOMPACT X-RAY BINARIES: DISK STABILITY AND EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Heinke, C. O.; Ivanova, N.; Engel, M. C.; Pavlovskii, K.; Sivakoff, G. R.; Gladstone, J. C.; Cartwright, T. F.

    2013-05-10

    We study the mass-transfer rates and disk stability conditions of ultracompact X-ray binaries (UCXBs) using empirical time-averaged X-ray luminosities from Paper I and compiled information from the literature. The majority of UCXBs are consistent with evolutionary tracks for white dwarf donors. Three UCXBs with orbital periods longer than 40 minutes have mass-transfer rates above 10{sup -10} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}, inconsistent with white dwarf donor tracks. We show that if helium star donors can retain their initial high entropy, they can explain the observed mass-transfer rates of these UCXBs. Several UCXBs show persistent luminosities apparently below the disk instability limit for irradiated He accretion disks. We point out that a predominantly C and/or O disk (as observed in the optical spectra of several) lowers the disk instability limit, explaining this disagreement. The orbital period and low time-averaged mass-transfer rate of 2S 0918-549 provide evidence that the donor star is a low-entropy C/O white dwarf, consistent with optical spectra. We combine existing information to constrain the masses of the donors in 4U 1916-053 (0.064 {+-} 0.010 M{sub Sun }) and 4U 1626-67 (<0.036 M{sub Sun} for a 1.4 M{sub Sun} neutron star). We show that 4U 1626-67 is indeed persistent, and not undergoing a transient outburst, leaving He star models as the best explanation for the donor.