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C. Grier (NRAO/UIUC), C. Johnson (Breck School), J. Braatz (NRAO)
Luminous water maser emission has been detected so far in more than 66 galaxies beyond the LMC, mainly in type 2 active galaxies. The masers provide important information about the shape, orientation, and kinematics of gas in AGN accretion disks. In order to investigate the maser-host connection and to help guide future maser surveys, we performed a statistical comparison of host galaxy properties between galaxies detected in water maser emission and samples of Type 2 Active Galaxies undetected in maser emission. Among the properties examined were the B magnitude, Hubble type, and galactic disk inclination. We also examined near- and far-infrared flux and power, as well as nuclear 2-10 keV luminosity and hard X-ray absorbing column density. In general megamasers prefer AGN with large (log NH > 22 cm-2) X-ray column densities, but the NH distribution of maser-detected and maser-undetected galaxies among Seyfert 2's specifically is similar. The other properties examined are also similar between maser detected and undetected Seyfert 2 galaxies. Our results suggest that luminous water masers may be present in many Seyfert 2 galaxies and our ability to detect them depends largely on the geometry of the nuclear region of the galaxy.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.