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Active Galaxies and Related Objects

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Presentation on theme: "Active Galaxies and Related Objects"— Presentation transcript:

1 Active Galaxies and Related Objects

2 What are Active Galaxies?
Active galaxies have an energy source beyond what can be attributed to stars. The energy is believed to originate from accretion onto a supermassive blackhole. Active galaxies tend to have higher overall luminosities and very different spectra than “normal” galaxies. “non-stellar” radiation Some classes of active galaxies: Quasars Seyfert galaxies (Type I and Type II) Radio galaxies LINERs stellar, blackbody radiation

3 Quasars First discovered in the 1960s.
Detected radio sources with optical counterparts appearing as unresolved point sources. Unfamiliar optical emission lines. Maartin Schmidt was the first to recognize that these lines were normal Hydrogen lines seen at much higher redshifts than any previously observed galaxies. D = 660 Mpc (2.2 billion light years) for 3C273 1340 Mpc (4.4 billion light years) for 3C 48 L = 2 x Lsun for 3C273. Within ~2 years, quasars were discovered with: z > 2 and L  Lsun Most distant QSO discovered today - z = 6.42

4 Quasars MB < -23, strong nonthermal continuum, broad permitted (~104 km/s) and narrow forbidden (~102-3 km/s) emission lines Radio quiet (RQQ): elliptical or spiral host galaxies Radio loud (RLQ): 5-10% of all quasars, elliptical hosts Broad Absorption Lines (BAL) Quasars: normal quasars seen at a particular angle along the l.o.s. of intervening, fast-moving material. High-ionization (HIBAL): Ly, NV, SiIV, CIV Low-ionization (LOBAL): AlIII, MgII

5 If we block out the light of luminous quasar, we can see evidence of an underlying host galaxy.
Quasar hosts appear to be a mixed bag of galaxy types - from disturbed galaxies to normal E’s and early type spirals.

6 Seyfert galaxies were first identified by Carl Seyfert in 1943.
He defined this class based on observational characteristics: Almost all the luminosity comes from a small (unresolved) region at the center of the galaxy – the galactic nucleus. Nuclei have MB > -23 (arbitrary dividing line between quasars/seyferts) short exposure long exposure NGC 4151 10000 times brighter than our galactic nucleus!

7 Seyfert galaxy spectra fall into two classes: broad emission line spectra (like quasars) and narrow emission line spectra. Seyfert 1s: Broad and narrow lines Seyfert 2s: Only narrow lines

8 NLAGNs can be differentiated from normal emission line galaxies through the flux ratios of certain emission lines. The shape of the underlying ionizing source (energy source) determines how many photons are available to produce particular emission lines.

9 Variability in AGNs QSOs and Seyfert nuclei have long been recognized as variable Optical flux changes occur on timescales of months to years Cause of variability? – instabilities in accretion disk, SN or starbursts, microlensing….. Quasar light curve ~25 years Seyfert light curve over ~11 months Hawkins 2002 Variability occurs at most wavelengths - X-rays through radio This indicates that the fluctuations are originating from a very tiny object.

10 Why does rapid variability indicate small physical size of the emitting object?
Consider an object like the Sun. Any instantaneous flash would appear “blurred” in time by  t = RSun / c. RSun RSun observer Time Delay =  t = RSun / c 700,000 km / 300,000 km/s = 2.3 sec Seyfert continuum luminosity varies significantly in less than a year (some variation occurs on timescales of days or weeks. This implies an emitting source less than a few light-weeks across!

11 Blazars Strongly variable, highly polarized nonthermal continua, weak/absent emission lines Variability faster and higher amplitude than normal quasars and Seyferts BL Lac - high polarization, emission lines have low equivalent width OVVs (Optically Violent Variables) - lower polarization, emission line EW decreases as continuum brightens Light Curve Spectrum

12 Radio Galaxies Emit most of their energy at radio wavelengths
Emission lines from many ionization states Nucleus does not dominate galaxy’s emission Host galaxies are Elliptical/S0 Radio morphology first classified by Fanaroff & Riley (1974) FR I: less luminous, 2-sided jets brightest closest to core and dominate over radio lobes FR II: more luminous, edge-brightened radio lobes dominate over 1-sided jet (due to Doppler boosting of approaching jet and deboosting of receding jet) Spectroscopic classification of radio galaxies NLRGs (Narrow line …): like Seyfert 2s; FR I or II BLRGs (Broad line …): like Seyfert 1s; FR II only

13 FR I - 3C 47 FR II - 3C 449

14 Centaurus A FR II radio galaxies: most emission comes from lobes
Radio “Light” FR II radio galaxies: most emission comes from lobes 0.8 Mpc Centaurus A Visible Light The radio lobes span about 10 degrees on the sky! Lobes consist of material ejected from the nucleus.

15 Radio image of the FR II radio galaxy Cygnus A.
~1 Mpc This galaxy also has HUGE radio lobes. The thin line through the galaxy is a jet ejected from the nucleus. The lobes occur where the jets plow into intracluster gas.

16 FR I radio galaxy: most of the energy comes from a small nucleus with a halo of weaker emission in a halo around the nucleus. Visible image of the core-halo (FR I) radio galaxy M87. This giant elliptical (E1) galaxy is ~100 Kpc across. It has a “jet” of material coming from the nucleus.

17 Close-up view of the jet in M87 at radio wavelengths.
~2 kpc galaxy nucleus, i.e. the radio core The jet is apparently a series of distinct “blobs”, ejected by the galaxy nucleus, and moving at up to half the speed of light. The jet and nucleus are clearly non-stellar.

18 LINERs and ULIRGs - Starburst or AGN? What is a starburst?
May result from a galaxy collision/merger Gas streams converge from different directions causing shocks which compress material and trigger star formation Gas which loses enough angular momentum falls into the galaxy center  bar formation  funnels more gas inward  violent star formation near center of disk and further out Nuclear close-up (HST) of NGC 1808 starburst galaxy. Galaxy has barred-spiral morphology.

19 LINERs Low-Ionization Nuclear Emission Region
Narrow low-excitation emission lines Weak nonthermal continuum Spiral host galaxies Observed emission could be due to AGN or shocks/winds from a starburst Some appear as unresolved compact sources in the UV Some have radio sources: AGN or supernovae remnant?

20 ULIRG’s - Ultra Luminous IR Galaxies
First detected in IRAS all-sky survey Galaxies that emit most of their light in IR - LIR > 1012 Lsun Few in local universe; most beyond z > 1 Nearly all are undergoing mergers - forming E’s IR light is likely a combination of dust reprocessed AGN emission and starbursts. Some AGN may manifest as ULIRGs during different stages of evolution. Nicmos Near-IR Image of IRAS selected ULIRG

21 What Powers Active Galactic Nuclei??
A compact central source provides a very intense gravitational field. For active galaxies, the black hole has MBH = Msun Infalling gas forms an accretion disk around the black hole. (3) As the gas spirals inward, friction heats it to extremely high temperatures; emission from the accretion disk at different radii (T>104 K) accounts for optical thru soft X-ray continuum. (4) Some of the gas is driven out into “jets,” focused by magnetic fields.

22 Broad Emission line region photoionized by continuum emission; size is ~few light-days to months; densities > 109 /cm3; stratified (higher-ionization lines from smaller radii) Narrow Emission line region also photoionized; size is ~10 to 1000 pc; densities ~ /cm3; complex morphology 2 Seyfert 1 Obscuring Torus of dust is believed to form around perimeter of accretion disk

23 Unified Theory of Active Galaxies
2 Observer is looking at blackhole “edge-on” through the surrounding dusty torus - does not see broad emission lines produced by gas near BH Seyfert 1 Observer is looking into the center of the accretion disk, viewing motions of gas near blackhole - sees broad emission lines

24 How efficient is the energy production?
Before disappearing into the event horizon of a blackhole, some fraction of the infalling mass is converted into energy. Matter is heated to high temps by dissipation in accretion disk and radiates away its gravitational potential energy. BH radius is Rs=2GM/c2 = 0.25 M8 light hours (which sets minimum variability timescale). Smallest stable orbit is at 3Rs. Max efficiency occurs when all potential energy released during fall from infinity to 3Rs is extracted. GR gives efficiency = 6% to 40% depending on BH rotation. Example: By consuming 1 – 10 solar masses per year, black hole accretion disk can radiate ~100 – 1000 LMilkyWay. How efficient is the energy production?

25 Direct evidence of the blackhole/accretion disk hypothesis: HST image of the core of the lobe radio galaxy NGC 4261 radio lobes galaxy nucleus

26 Velocities derived from Doppler shifted lines on either side of nucleus require ~3 billion solar masses.  a blackhole!

27 Hosts and Environments
Most quasars, NLRGs/BLRGs, blazars are E/S0 hosts (some early type spirals for radio quiet quasars) Seyferts/LINERs are typically spirals The maximum luminosity of the AGN correlates with the bulge mass (Ferrerese et al. 2000) - larger bulge/ greater mass BH Bars appear to be no more common in Seyferts than normal galaxies (Mulchaey & Regan 1997). Conflicting evidence regarding whether or not Seyferts are found in more interacting systems than normal galaxies (Dahari et al. 1984; DeRobertis & Yee 1988). May be that minor mergers are more important than major mergers for instigating AGN. Generally, luminous AGN tend to be in denser than average environments and low-luminosity AGN in normal/slightly dense environments.

28 It is now believed that most if not all galaxies contain supermassive blackholes in their nuclei. Whether or not these galaxies appear as Active Galaxies depends on whether or not fuel is available in the vicinity of BH. The Milky Way is believed to harbor a supermassive blackhole in the nucleus! Sagittarius A: bright radio source at the center of the Galaxy Sagittarius (Sgr) A*: object at the very center of the Galaxy a million times more luminous than the Sun (IR, radio, X-ray, and gamma ray source)

29 Quasars were more common in the past - during the epoch of galaxy formation
What’s the connection? Black Holes form in the centers of young Galaxies. Black Holes “shine” as Active Galaxies (Quasars) until the fuel (infalling gas) is used up. Most Quasars are now gone, but the Black Holes remain.

30 Active Galaxies as part of Galaxy Evolution
As small galaxies merge to form larger ones, blackholes may form at the nucleus. With plenty of fuel available early on, the galaxy light is dominated by emission of the blackhole (Quasar). Additional mergers and depletion of fuel may result in powerful radio galaxies and Seyfert galaxies. Further fuel depletion results in a normal galaxy with a dormant blackhole at the nucleus.

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