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          Institute: MPI für Astronomie     Collection: Publikationen_mpia     Display Documents

ID: 308563.0, MPI für Astronomie / Publikationen_mpia
9.7 µm silicate features in active galactic nuclei: New insights into unification models
Authors:Shi, Y.; Rieke, G. H.; Hines, D. C.; Gorjian, V.; Werner, M. W.; Cleary, K.; Low, F. J.; Smith, P. S.; Bouwman, J.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2006
Journal Abbrev.:The Astrophysical Journal
Start Page:127
End Page:136
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:We describe observations of 9.7 mum silicate features in 97 AGNs, exhibiting a wide range of AGN types and of X-ray extinction toward the central nuclei. We find that the strength of the silicate feature correlates with the H I column density estimated from fitting the X-ray data, such that low H I columns correspond to silicate emission, while high columns correspond to silicate absorption. The behavior is generally consistent with unification models in which the large diversity in AGN properties is caused by viewing-angle-dependent obscuration of the nucleus. Radio-loud AGNs and radio-quiet quasars follow roughly the correlation between H I columns and the strength of the silicate feature defined by Seyfert galaxies. The agreement among AGN types suggests a high-level unification with similar characteristics for the structure of the obscuring material. We demonstrate the implications for unification models qualitatively with a conceptual disk model. The model includes an inner accretion disk (<0.1 pc in radius), a middle disk (0.1-10 pc in radius) with a dense diffuse component and with embedded denser clouds, and an outer clumpy disk (10-300 pc in radius).
Free Keywords:Galaxies: Active; Galaxies: Nuclei
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astronomie
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