AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 20. Jets, Disks and Dust in AGN
Oral, Monday, May 31, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, International Ballroom South

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[20.03] Polarized Broad-Line Emission from Low-Luminosity AGNs

A. J. Barth (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), A. V. Filippenko, E. C. Moran (UC Berkeley)

Low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions, or LINERs, are found in 38% of nearby emission-line galactic nuclei, and 15% of LINERs have a broad component of the H\alpha emission line similar to that seen in Seyfert 1 nuclei. The fact that many Seyfert 2 nuclei are known to contain ``hidden'' broad-line regions raises the question of whether hidden broad-line regions are present in some in LINERs as well. To determine whether unified models of AGNs are applicable at low luminosities, we have undertaken a spectropolarimetric survey at the Keck Observatory, and here we report our observations of 14 LINER and low-luminosity Seyfert nuclei. Polarized broad H\alpha emission is definitely detected in two LINERs, NGC 315 and NGC 1052, and is probably detected in a third, NGC 4261. All three of these galaxies are ellipticals hosting double-sided radio jets. In each case the emission-line polarization angle is oriented roughly perpendicular to the jet axis, as expected for scattering above the midplane of an obscuring torus. These results indicate that unified models of AGNs are applicable to at least some members of the LINER class.

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