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Physics  2002 

Dust Emission from Active Galactic Nuclei

DOI: 10.1086/340857

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Unified schemes of active galactic nuclei (AGN) require an obscuring dusty torus around the central source, giving rise to Seyfert 1 line spectrum for pole-on viewing and Seyfert 2 characteristics in edge-on sources. Although the observed IR is in broad agreement with this scheme, the behavior of the 10 micron silicate feature and the width of the far-IR emission peak remained serious problems in all previous modeling efforts. We show that these problems find a natural explanation if the dust is contained in about 5-10 clouds along radial rays through the torus. The spectral energy distributions (SED) of both type 1 and type 2 sources are properly reproduced from different viewpoints of the same object if the visual optical depth of each cloud is larger than about 60 and the clouds' mean free path increases roughly in proportion to radial distance.


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