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Thermal Infrared 3--5 $μ$m Colors of Obscured and Unobscured Active Galactic Nuclei  [PDF]
Masatoshi Imanishi
Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1086/319960
Abstract: Thermal infrared photometry in the $L$- and $M'$-band and $L - M'$ colors of type-1 and type-2 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are presented. After combining our observations with photometric data at similar wavelengths taken from the literature, we find that the excess of $L - M'$ colors of type-2 AGNs (37 sources, 50 data points) relative to type-1 AGNs (27 sources, 36 data points), due to dust extinction, is statistically detectable, but very small. We next investigate the $L - M'$ colors of type-2 AGNs by separating less dust-obscured type-2 AGNs and highly dust-obscured type-2 AGNs. In both cases, the $L - M'$ colors are similar to the intrinsic $L - M'$ color of unobscured AGNs, and the $L - M'$ color excess of the latter highly dust-obscured type-2 AGNs due to dust extinction is much smaller than that expected from the Galactic dust extinction curve. Contamination from starbursts and the time lag of flux variation are unlikely to explain this small $L - M'$ color excess, which is best explained if the dust extinction curve in the close vicinity of AGNs is fairly flat at 3--5 $\mu$m as a result of a size increase of the absorbing dust grains through coagulation.
Dust Emission from Active Galactic Nuclei  [PDF]
M. Nenkova,Z. Ivezic,M. Elitzur
Physics , 2002, DOI: 10.1086/340857
Abstract: 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.
Dynamics of gas and dust clouds in active galactic nuclei  [PDF]
P. M. Plewa,M. Schartmann,A. Burkert
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slt025
Abstract: We analyse the motion of single optically thick clouds in the potential of a central mass under the influence of an anisotropic radiation field ~|cos(\theta)|, a model applicable to the inner region of active galactic nuclei. Resulting orbits are analytically soluble for constant cloud column densities. All stable orbits are closed, although they have non-trivial shapes. Furthermore, there exists a stability criterion in the form of a critical inclination, which depends on the luminosity of the central source and the column density of the cloud.
On the dust geometry in radio-loud active galactic nuclei  [PDF]
Hermine Landt,Catherine L. Buchanan,Pauline Barmby
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17264.x
Abstract: We use photometric and spectroscopic infrared observations obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope of 12 radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN) to investigate the dust geometry. Our approach is to look at the change of the infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) and the strength of the 10 micron silicate feature with jet viewing angle. We find that (i) a combination of three or four blackbodies fits well the infrared SED; (ii) the sources viewed closer to the jet axis appear to have stronger warm (~300 - 800 K) and cold (~150 - 250 K) dust emissions relative to the hot component; and (iii) the silicate features are always in emission and strongly redshifted. We test clumpy torus models and find that (i) they approximate well the mid-infrared part of the SED, but significantly underpredict the fluxes at both near- and far-infrared wavelengths; (ii) they can constrain the dust composition (in our case to that of the standard interstellar medium); (iii) they require relatively large (~10%-20% the speed of light) redward displacements; and (iv) they give robust total mass estimates, but are insensitive to the assumed geometry.
Hot Graphite Dust and the Infrared Spectral Energy Distribution of Active Galactic Nuclei  [PDF]
Rivay Mor,Hagai Netzer
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.20060.x
Abstract: We present a detailed investigation of the near-to-far infrared (IR) spectral energy distribution (SED) of a large sample of Spitzer-observed active galactic nuclei (AGN). We fitted the spectra of 51 narrow line Seyfert 1 galaxies (NLS1s) and 64 broad line Seyfert 1 galaxies (BLS1s) using a three component model: a clumpy torus, a dusty narrow line region (NLR) and hot pure-graphite dust located in the outer part of the broad line region (BLR). The fitting is performed on star formation (SF) subtracted SEDs using SF templates that take into account the entire range of possible host galaxy properties. We find that the mid-IR intrinsic emission of NLS1s and BLS1s are very similar, regardless of the AGN luminosity, with long wavelength downturn at around 20-25 um. We present a detailed model of the hot dust component that takes into account the distribution of dust temperature within the clouds and their emission line spectrum. The hot dust continuum provides a very good fit to the observed near-IR continuum spectrum. Most line emission in this component is dramatically suppressed, except MgII(2798A) and HeI lines that are still contributing significantly to the total BLR spectrum. We calculate the covering factors of all the AGN components and show that the covering factor of the hot-dust clouds is about 0.15-0.35, similar to the covering factor of the torus, and is anti-correlated with the source luminosity and the normalized accretion rate.
The hypothesis of the dust origin of the Broad Line Region in Active Galactic Nuclei  [PDF]
B. Czerny,K. Hryniewicz
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/372/1/012013
Abstract: Strong broad emission lines are the most important signatures of active galactic nuclei. These lines allowed to discover the cosmological nature of quasars, and at present these lines allow for convenient method of weighting the black holes residing in their nuclei. However, a question remains why such strong lines form there in the first place. Specifically, in the case of Low Ionization Lines, there must be a mechanism which leads to an efficient rise of the material from the surface of the accretion disk surrounding a black hole but at the same time should not give a strong signature of the systematic outflow, as the Balmer lines are not significantly shifted with respect to the Narrow Line Region. We determine the effective temperature of the accretion disk underlying the H$\beta$ line at the basis of the time delay measured from reverberation and the simple Shakura-Sunyaev theory of accretion disks. We obtain that this temperature is universal, and equal $995 \pm 74$ K, independently from the black hole mass and accretion rate of the source. This result suggests to us that the dust formation in the disk atmosphere is responsible for the strong rise of the material. However, as the material gains height above the disk it becomes irradiated, the dust evaporates, the radiation pressure force suddently drops and the material fall back again at the disk. Therefore, a failed wind forms. In the simple version of the model the disk irradiation is neglected, but in the present paper we also discuss this irradiation and we use the observed variation of the Broad Line Region in NGC 5548 to constrain the character of this non-local non-stationary phenomenon. The current instruments cannot resolve the Broad Line Region but future instrumentation may allow to test the model directly.
The AKARI 2.5-5.0 Micron Spectral Atlas of Type-1 Active Galactic Nuclei: Black Hole Mass Estimator, Line Ratio, and Hot Dust Temperature  [PDF]
Dohyeong Kim,Myungshin Im,Ji Hoon Kim,Hyunsung David Jun,Jong-Hak Woo,Hyung Mok Lee,Myung Gyoon Lee,Takao Nakagawa,Hideo Matsuhara,Takehiko Wada,Shinki Oyabu,Toshinobu Takagi,Youichi Ohyama,Seong-Kook Lee
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/216/1/17
Abstract: We present 2.5-5.0 $\mu$m spectra of 83 nearby ($0.002\,<\,z\,<\,0.48$) and bright ($K<14$mag) type-1 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) taken with the Infrared Camera (IRC) on board $\it{AKARI}$. The 2.5-5.0 $\mu$m spectral region contains emission lines such as Br$\beta$ (2.63 $\mu$m), Br$\alpha$ (4.05 $\mu$m), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH; 3.3 $\mu$m), which can be used for studying the black hole (BH) masses and star formation activities in the host galaxies of AGNs. The spectral region also suffers less dust extinction than in the ultra violet (UV) or optical wavelengths, which may provide an unobscured view of dusty AGNs. Our sample is selected from bright quasar surveys of Palomar-Green (PG) and SNUQSO, and AGNs with reverberation-mapped BH masses from Peterson et al. (2004). Using 11 AGNs with reliable detection of Brackett lines, we derive the Brackett-line-based BH mass estimators. We also find that the observed Brackett line ratios can be explained with the commonly adopted physical conditions of the broad line region (BLR). Moreover, we fit the hot and warm dust components of the dust torus by adding photometric data of SDSS, 2MASS, $\it{WISE}$, and $\it{ISO}$ to the $\it{AKARI}$ spectra, finding hot and warm dust temperatures of $\sim1100\,\rm{K}$ and $\sim220\,\rm{K}$, respectively, rather than the commonly cited hot dust temperature of 1500 K.
Dust in Active Galactic Nuclei: Anomalous Silicate to Optical Extinction Ratios?  [PDF]
Jianwei Lyu,Lei Hao,Aigen Li
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/792/1/L9
Abstract: Dust plays a central role in the unification theory of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). However, little is known about the nature (e.g., size, composition) of the dust which forms a torus around the AGN. In this Letter we report a systematic exploration of the optical extinction (A_V) and the silicate absorption optical depth (\Delta\tau9.7) of 110 type 2 AGNs. We derive A_V from the Balmer decrement based on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data, and \Delta\tau9.7 from the Spitzer/Infrared Spectrograph data. We find that with a mean ratio of A_V/\Delta\tau9.7 ~ 5.5, the optical-to-silicate extinction ratios of these AGNs are substantially lower than that of the Galactic diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) for which A_V/\Delta\tau9.7 ~ 18.5. We argue that the anomalously low A_V/\Delta\tau9.7 ratio could be due to the predominance of larger grains in the AGN torus compared to that in the Galactic diffuse ISM.
Hot-Dust-Poor Type 1 Active Galactic Nuclei in the COSMOS Survey  [PDF]
Heng Hao,Martin Elvis,Francesca Civano,Giorgio Lanzuisi,Marcella Brusa,Elisabeta Lusso,Gianni Zamorani,Andrea Comastri,Angela Bongiorno,Chris D. Impey,Anton M. Koekemoer,Emeric Le Floc'h,Mara Salvato,David Sanders,Jonathan R. Trump,Cristian Vignali
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/724/1/L59
Abstract: 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 lowredshift (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 $(0.3-2.0) /times 10^4$ Schwarzschild radii, ~10-23 times the gravitational stability radii. Formation scenarios for these sources are discussed.
Hot Dust Clouds with Pure Graphite Composition around Type-I Active Galactic Nuclei  [PDF]
Rivay Mor,Benny Trakhtenbrot
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/737/2/L36
Abstract: We fitted the optical to mid-infrared (MIR) spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of ~15000 type-I, 0.75
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