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Session 78 - Seyfert Galaxies.
Display session, Friday, January 09
Exhibit Hall,

[78.05] The Ionization of the Circumnuclear Gas in NGC 1068

C. L. Miskey, F. C. Bruhweiler (CUA/IACS and GSFC/LASP), E. M. Malumuth, W. Landsman (HSTX and GSFC/LASP), A. Smith (NASA/GSFC/LASP)

We have analyzed Hubble Space Telescope imagery of the nearby Seyfert 2 galaxy, NGC 1068, obtained with the Planetary Camera. These data sample a 34" region centered on the nucleus. The continuum subtracted imagery for the F487N, F658N, and F502N filters show pronounced extended emission in H\beta, H\alpha, and [O III] \lambda5007, respectively. The F457M continuum and [O III] imagery reveal strong scattering clouds in the photoionization cone extending to the northeast. The [O III] image also exhibits bright compact knots ionized by the continuum emission of the obscured nucleus to the southwest. The H\alpha/H\beta flux ratio reveals a 860 pc region of large extinction (E(B-V) \geq 12) about the nucleus. However, the bright scattering clouds within 250 pc of the nucleus, lying in the cone, display no significant reddening. The reddening insensitive [O III]/H\beta flux ratio shows no apparent drop-off with distance toward the northeast in the cone and hence no correlation with the radio bow shock. The strong radiation field from the central engine represents the dominant ionization source for the interstellar gas about the nucleus of NGC 1068.

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