The Structure of Active Galactic Nuclei
- Kriss, Gerard A.
- Jun. 18, 1997.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- We are continuing our systematic investigation of the nuclear structure of nearby active galactic nuclei (AGN). Upon completion, our study will characterize hypothetical constructs such as narrow-line clouds, obscuring tori, nuclear gas disks. and central black holes with physical measurements for a complete sample of nearby AGN. The major scientific goals of our program are: (1) the morphology of the NLR; (2) the physical conditions and dynamics of individual clouds in the NLR; (3) the structure and physical conditions of the warm reflecting gas; (4) the structure of the obscuring torus; (5) the population and morphology of nuclear disks/tori in AGN; (6) the physical conditions in nuclear disks; and (7) the masses of central black holes in AGN. We will use the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to obtain high-resolution images and spatially resolved spectra. Far-UV spectroscopy of emission and absorption in the nuclear regions using HST/FOS and the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) will help establish physical conditions in the absorbing and emitting gas. By correlating the dynamics and physical conditions of the gas with the morphology revealed through our imaging program, we will be able to examine mechanisms for fueling the central engine and transporting angular momentum. The kinematics of the nuclear gas disks may enable us to measure the mass of the central black hole. Contemporaneous X-ray observations using ASCA will further constrain the ionization structure of any absorbing material. Monitoring of variability in the UV and X-ray absorption will be used to determine the location of the absorbing gas, possibly in the outflowing warm reflecting gas, or the broad-line region, or the atmosphere of the obscuring torus. Supporting ground-based observations in the optical, near-IR, imaging polarimetry, and the radio will complete our picture of the nuclear structures. With a comprehensive survey of these characteristics in a complete sample of nearby AGN, our conclusions should be more reliably extended to AGN as a class.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19970037552., Accession ID: 97N30996., NASA/CR-97-205927., and NAS 1.26:205927.
- No Copyright.
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