Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 24 - Seyfert & Starburst Galaxies; Winds, Outflows & Energetics.
Oral session, Monday, January 15
Corte Real, Hilton

[24.05] Intrinsic Absorption Lines in Seyfert Galaxies

D. M. Crenshaw (CSC, NASA/GSFC)

Only \sim3% of the Seyfert 1 galaxies and low-redshift QSOs observed by IUE show strong evidence for narrow absorption lines that originate near the redshift of the active galaxy. However, FOS and GHRS spectra of \sim10 Seyfert 1 galaxies indicate that the incidence of intrinsic absorption lines is much higher than 3%, and may be closer to 50%. Only the strongest absorption lines (equivalent widths > 1 Åcan be detected in IUE spectra of the brightest sources, due to the low signal-to-noise and resolution of the data.

HST spectra show that the intrinsic absorption lines are typically characterized by high ionization (C IV, N V), have radial velocities in the range 0 to -1000 km sec^-1 relative to the emission lines, and are moderately broad (FWHM \approx 100 -- 300 km sec^-1). The origin of the absorption lines and their connection to the emission-line regions and X-ray absorption regions are under investigation.

Variable UV absorption lines have previously been detected and monitored in three Seyfert 1 galaxies: NGC 4151, NGC 3516, and NGC 5548. Recent GHRS spectra have been used to detect variable C IV absorption in a fourth object: NGC 3783. These observations were used to place constraints on two types of models for the absorption-line variability: bulk motion into the line of sight, and variable ionization of existing gas in the line of sight. It is possible that the C IV absorption-line variability is related to changing ionization in the ``warm absorber'' component seen in the X-ray spectra of NGC 3783 and \sim50% of Seyferts in general. The warm absorber is characterized by highly-ionized gas (as evidenced by O VII and O VIII absorption edges) and high temperatures (T \approx 10^5K), and the column density of ionized hydrogen can be as high as 10^23 cm^-2. Photoionization models indicate that the observed column densities of C IV and N V could be produced in a warm absorber. However, a direct connection between the UV and X-ray absorption regions has not yet been established.

Program listing for Monday