AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 57. Accretion Disks in Nearby AGN
Oral, Thursday, January 7, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Ballroom B

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[57.05] The Relative Orientation of Nuclear Accretion and Galaxy Stellar Disks in Seyfert Galaxies

N. M. Nagar, A. S. Wilson (University of Maryland)

We use the difference (\delta) between the position angles of the nuclear radio emission and the host galaxy major axis to investigate the distribution of the angle (\beta) between the axes of the nuclear accretion disk and the host galaxy disk in Seyfert galaxies. There is weak evidence that the distribution of \delta for Seyfert~2 galaxies may be different (at the 90% confidence level) from a uniform distribution, while the Seyfert~1 \delta distribution is not significantly different from a uniform distribution or from the Seyfert~2 \delta distribution. Seyfert nuclei in late-type spiral galaxies may favor large values of \delta (at the ~96% confidence level), while those in early-type galaxies show a more or less random distribution of \delta. This may imply that the nuclear accretion disk in non-interacting late-type spirals tends to align with the stellar disk, while that in early-type galaxies is more randomly oriented, perhaps as a result of accretion following a galaxy merger. The distributions of \beta for all Seyferts together, and of Seyfert~1's and 2's separately, agree with the hypothesis that the radio jets are randomly oriented with respect to the galaxy disk. The data are consistent with the expectations of the unified scheme, but do not demand it.

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