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          Institute: MPI für Astronomie     Collection: Publikationen_mpia     Display Documents

ID: 709831.0, MPI für Astronomie / Publikationen_mpia
Characterizing quasars in the mid-infrared: high signal-to-noise ratio spectral templates
Authors:Hill, A. R.; Gallagher, S. C.; Deo, R. P.; Peeters, E.; Richards, G. T.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2014
Title of Journal:Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue / Number:3
Start Page:2317
End Page:2327
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:Mid-infrared (MIR) quasar spectra exhibit a suite of emission features including high ionization coronal lines from the narrow-line region illuminated by the ionizing continuum, broad dust bumps from silicates and graphites, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) features from star formation in the host galaxy. However, in Spitzer Infared Spectrograph (IRS) data, few features are detected in most individual spectra because of typically low signal-to-noise ratios (S/N). By generating spectral composites from over 180 IRS observations of Sloan Digital Sky Survey broad-line quasars, we boost the S/N and reveal features in the complex spectra that are otherwise lost in the noise. In addition to an overall composite, we generate composites in three different luminosity bins that span the range of 5.6 mum luminosities of 1040-1046 (erg s-1). We detect the high-ionization, forbidden emission lines of [S IV], [O IV] and [Ne V] lambda14 mum in all templates and PAH features in all but the most luminous template. Ratios of lines with a range of ionization potentials show no evidence for a strong difference in the shape of the 41-97 eV ionizing continuum over this range of luminosities. The scaling of the emission-line luminosities as a function of continuum luminosity is consistent with what is expected, and shows no indication of a `disappearing narrow-line region'. The broad 10 and 18 mum silicate features in emission increase in strength with increasing luminosity, and a broad 3-5 mum blackbody consistent with graphite emission at 750 K is evident in the highest luminosity template. We find that the intrinsic quasar continua for all luminosity templates are consistent; apparent differences arise primarily from host galaxy contamination most evident at low luminosity.
Free Keywords:accretion; accretion discs; quasars: emission lines; quasars: general; infrared: galaxies
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astronomie
Identifiers:ISSN:0035-8711 %R 10.1093/mnras/stt2346
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