AAS 196th Meeting, June 2000
Session 50. Active Galaxies
Display, Thursday, June 8, 2000, 9:20am-4:00pm, Empire Hall South

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[50.17] NGC 4051 and the Nature of Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxies

B.M. Peterson (Ohio State), I.M. McHardy (Southampton), B.J. Wilkes (CfA), International AGN Watch Collaboration

We report on the results of a three-year program of coordinated X-ray and optical monitoring of the narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4051. The principal results of this program are: (1) The H-beta emission line time lag and Doppler width yield a virial mass estimate of about 1.1 million solar masses, at the extreme low end of AGN masses. A plausible adjustment for inclination effects increases this mass slightly to about 1.4 million solar masses. (2) During the third year of this campaign, both the X-ray continuum and the He II 4686 line went into extremely low states, although the optical continuum and the H-beta broad line were both still present and variable. We suggest that the inner part of the accretion disk may have gone into an advection-dominated state, yielding little radiation from the hotter inner disk. (3) The He II 4686 line is almost five times as broad as H-beta, and it is strongly blueward asymmetric, as are the high-ionization UV lines recorded in archive spectra of NGC 4051. The data are consistent with the Balmer lines arising in a low-inclination disk-like configuration, and the high-ionization lines arising in an outflowing wind, of which we observe preferentially the near side.

This work has been supported by NASA and NSF.

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