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Multi-Wavelength Analysis of Active Galactic Nuclei

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This dissertation explores the current research methods and analysis adopted for the study of Active Galactic Nuclei in all wavelengths of the electromagnetic radiation. Being the most violent objects that one can see in the present Universe, AGNs have been attributed to emitting radiation in all wavelengths and still exhibit various unexplained phenomena, alongside with being the probes to the very early Universe. The unification of the AGN model is also included for completeness, albeit not confirmed in its entirety.

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Multi-Wavelength Analysis of Active Galactic Nuclei

  1. 1. Multi-Wavelength Analysis of Active Galactic Nuclei A dissertation submitted as partial ful
  2. 2. lment of the 100-hour certi
  3. 3. cate course in Astronomy & Astrophysics by Sameer Patel M.P. Birla Institute of Fundamental Research Bangalore, India December 2014
  4. 4. Declaration I, Sameer Patel, student of M.P. Birla Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore, hereby declare that the matter embodied in this dissertation has been compiled and prepared by me on the basis of available literature on the topic titled, Multi-Wavelength Analysis of Active Galactic Nuclei as a partial ful
  5. 5. llment of the 100 Hour Certi
  6. 6. cate Course in Astronomy and Astro-physics, 2014. This dissertation has not been submitted either partially or fully to any university or institute for the award of any degree, diploma or fellowship. Date: Place: Signature Director, M.P. Birla Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore i
  7. 7. M.P. Birla Institute of Fundamental Research Bangalore, India Abstract Multi-Wavelength Analysis of Active Galactic Nuclei by Sameer Patel This dissertation explores the current research methods and analysis adopted for the study of Active Galactic Nuclei in all wavelengths of the electromagnetic radiation. Being the most violent objects that one can see in the present Universe, AGNs have been attributed to emitting radiation in all wavelengths and still exhibit various unexplained phenomena, alongside with being the probes to the very early Universe. The uni
  8. 8. cation of the AGN model is also included for completeness, albeit not con
  9. 9. rmed in its entirety.
  10. 10. Acknowledgements I would never have been able to
  11. 11. nish my dissertation without help from friends, and support from the team at MPBIFR, Bangalore. I would also like to thank Dr. Babu for constantly reminding us to complete the dis-sertation timely, and Ms. Komala for guiding me to coast through countless papers online for reference. I would like to thank Rishi Dua, who as a good friend, was always willing to help me and give his best suggestions, and Aakash Masand, who helped me correct typographical errors and grammatical mistakes after painfully proofreading the
  12. 12. nal draft. I would also like to thank my parents. They were always supporting me and encouraging me with their best wishes. iii
  13. 13. Contents Declaration i Abstract ii Acknowledgements iii List of Figures vii List of Tables ix Abbreviations x 1 Introduction 1 1.1 The History of AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2 Active Galactic Nuclei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.3 The Taxonomy of AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.3.1 Seyferts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1.3.2 Quasars and QSOs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1.3.3 Radio Galaxies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 1.3.3.1 Radio Quiet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 1.3.3.2 Radio Loud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 1.3.4 Blazars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 1.3.4.1 BL Lacerate Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 1.3.4.2 Optically Violent Variable Quasars . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1.3.5 LINERs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2 Non-Thermal Processes 12 2.1 Basic Radiative Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 2.2 Synchrotron Radiation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 2.2.1 Emission by a Single Electron in a Magnetic Field . . . . . . . . . 13 2.2.2 Synchrotron Emission by a Power Law Distribution of Electrons . 14 2.2.3 Synchrotron Self-Absorption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 2.2.4 Polarization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 2.2.5 Synchrotron Sources in AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 2.2.6 Faraday Rotation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2.3 Thomson Scattering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 iv
  14. 14. Contents 2.4 Compton Scattering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 2.4.1 Comptonization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 2.4.2 The Compton Parameter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 2.4.3 Inverse Compton Emission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 2.4.4 Synchrotron Self-Compton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 2.5 Annihilation and Pair-Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 2.6 Bremsstrahlung (Free-Free) Radiation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 3 The IR and Sub-mm Regime 27 3.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 3.2 Observations and Detection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 3.3 The Dusty Torus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 3.4 IR Spectra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 3.4.1 The 1 m Minimum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 3.4.2 IR Continuum Variability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 3.4.3 The Submillimeter Break . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 4 The Radio Regime 34 4.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 4.2 The Loudness of AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 4.3 The Fanaro-Riley Classi
  15. 15. cation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 4.3.1 Fanaro-Riley Class I (FR-I) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 4.3.2 Fanaro-Riley Class II (FR-II) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 4.4 Radio Lobes and Jets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 4.4.1 The Generation of Jets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 4.4.2 The Formation of Radio Lobes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 4.4.3 Accelerating the Charged Particles in the Jets . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 4.4.4 Superluminal Velocities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 5 The Optical-UV Regime 44 5.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 5.2 Spectrum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 5.2.1 The Optical-UV Continuum and the Accretion Disk . . . . . . . . 45 5.3 Observations in the Optical-UV Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 5.4 Discovery by Optical-UV Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 6 The X-Ray Regime 54 6.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 6.2 Probing the Innermost Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 6.3 The X-Ray Spectrum of AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 6.4 Lineless AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 6.5 The Central Obscuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 6.6 Detection and Observations of AGN in X-Rays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 6.6.1 X-Ray Observations of AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 6.6.2 Discovery by X-Ray Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 7 The -Ray Regime 64 7.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
  16. 16. Contents 7.2 Gamma-Ray Loud AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 7.3 -Ray Properties of Blazars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 8 The Uni
  17. 17. ed Model of AGNs 70 8.1 The Uni
  18. 18. cation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 8.2 Absorbed Versus Unabsorbed AGN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 8.3 Radio-Loud Versus Radio-Quiet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 8.4 Breaking the Uni
  19. 19. cation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
  20. 20. List of Figures 1.1 The spectrum of NGC 1275 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 1.2 The visible spectrum of Mrk 1157 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 1.3 The visible spectrum of 3C 273 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 1.4 The total intensity distribution of 3C 338 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 1.5 The total intensity distribution of 3C 173P1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 1.6 The X-ray image of 3C 273's jet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 1.7 The UV spectrum of NGC 4594 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1.8 The spread of emission-line galaxies from the SDSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 1.9 Radio luminosity vs. optical luminosity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.1 Comparison of a synchrotron source with a blackbody source . . . . . . . 15 3.1 Composite spectrum of Type I AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 3.2 HST image of NGC 4261 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 3.3 AGN spectrum continuum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 4.1 VLA map of 3C 449 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 4.2 VLA map of 3C 47 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 4.3 Electromagnetic out ows from an accretion disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 4.4 Contour images of Cygnus A's jet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 4.5 Superluminal motion of M87's jet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 5.1 Composite optical-UV spectra of AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 5.2 General view of a typical optical-UV SED of AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 5.3 Broadband SEDs of AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 5.4 Average optical-UV SED for Type I AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 5.5 Spectrum of LLAGN NGC 5252 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 5.6 Comparison of dierent broad-line pro
  21. 21. les in Type I AGNs . . . . . . . . 50 5.7 u-g color of a large number of SDSS AGNs with various redshifts . . . . . 52 5.8 Discovering AGNs by their broadband colours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 6.1 Composite AGN spectrum in extreme UV based on FUSE data . . . . . . 57 6.2 Soft X-ray spectrum of NLS1 Arkelian 564 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 6.3 Composite spectrum of 15 lineless AGNs with large X-ray-to-optical lu-minosity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 7.1 Multiepoch, multiwavelength spectrum of 3C 279 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 8.1 Schematic representation of uni
  22. 22. ed BL Lac phenomenon . . . . . . . . . . 71 8.2 Schematic representation of the uni
  23. 23. ed AGN model . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 vii
  24. 24. List of Figures 8.3 Anticorrelation between X-ray variability amplitude and black hole mass . 84
  25. 25. List of Tables 2.1 Synchrotron sources in AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 8.1 The general uni
  26. 26. cation scheme of AGNs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 ix
  27. 27. Abbreviations AGN Active Galactic Nuclei SMBH Super Massive Black Hole QSO Quasi Stellar Objects IRAS Infrared Astronomical Satellite NLRG Narrow Line Radio Galaxies BLRG Broad Line Radio Galaxies WLRG Weak-Emission Line Radio Galaxies BLR Broad Line Region SSRQ Steep Spectrum Radio Quasars FSRQ Flat Spectrum Radio Quasars FR-I Fanaro Riley Type I FR-II Fanaro Riley Type II BL Lac BL Lacertae OVV Optically Violently Variable Quasars LINER Low Ionization Nuclear Emission-Line Region LLAGN Low Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei SED Spectral Energy Distribution SF Star Formation RIAF Radiatively Inaccurate Accretion Flow SSC Synchrotron Self Compton BH Black Hole NIR Near Infrared MIR Mid Infrared FIR Far Infrared RM Rotation Measure x
  28. 28. Abbreviations IC Inverse Compton UV Ultra-Violet HST Hubble Space Telescope MHD Magnetohydrodynamics FWHM Full Width at Half Maximum S/N Signal to Noise Ratio NLS1 Narrow Line Seyfert Type I SDSS Sloan Digital Sky Survey BAL Broad Absorption Line BEL Broad Emission Line XRB X-Ray Binary SAS Small Astronomy Satellite OSO Observing Solar Observatory HEAO High Energy Astronomy Observatory 2MASS 2 Micron All Sky Survey XMM X-Ray Multi-Mirror Mission RGS Re ecting Grating Spectrometer CCD Charge Coupled Device ESA European Space Agency NASA National Aeronautics and Space Agency COSMOS Cosmic Evolution Survey EW Equivalent Width HIG Highly Ionized Gas BAT Burst Alert Telescope ROSAT Roentgen Satellite INTEGRAL International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory CGRO Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory LAT Large Area Telescope VLBI Very Long Baseline Interferometry HESS High Energy Spectroscopic System MERLIN Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network VLA Very Large Array HBLR Hidden Broad Line Region
  29. 29. Abbreviations OSSE Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment EXOSAT European X-Ray Observatory Satellite PDS Planetary Data System HBL High-Frequency Peaked BL Lac Objects LBL Low-Frequency Peaked BL Lac Objects RMS Root Mean Squared
  30. 30. Chapter 1 Introduction 1.1 The History of AGNs Unusual activity in the nuclei of galaxies was
  31. 31. rst recognised by Minkowski and Humason (Mount Wilson Observatory), when in 1943 they asked a graduate student Carl Seyfert to study a class of galaxy with an emission spectrum from the compact bright nucleus. Most normal galaxies show a continuum with absorption lines, but the emission in the Seyfert galaxies betrayed the presence of hot tenuous gas. In some cases the emission lines were broad (Type 1 Seyferts) indicating gas moving with high velocities and in other objects, the emission lines were narrow (Type 2 Seyferts) indicating that the gas was moving more slowly. In the 1950s, as radio astronomy became a rapidly developing science a whole new range of discoveries were made in astronomy. Amongst these were the Radio Galaxies, which appeared to be elliptical galaxies that were inconspicuous at optical wavelengths but were shown to have dramatically large, prominent lobes at radio frequencies, stretching for millions of light years from the main galaxy 1.2 Active Galactic Nuclei The names active galaxies and active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are related to the main feature that distinguishes these objects from inactive (normal or regular) galaxies |the presence of accreting supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in their centers. As of 2011, there are approximately a million known sources of this type selected by their color and 1
  32. 32. Chapter 1. Introduction several hundred thousand by basic spectroscopy and accurate redshifts. It is estimated that in the local universe, at z 0.1, about 1 out of 50 galaxies contains a fast-accreting SMBH, and about 1 in 3 contains a slowly accreting SMBH. Detailed studies of large samples of AGNs, and the understanding of their connection with inactive galaxies and their redshift evolution, started in the late 1970s, long after the discovery of the
  33. 33. rst quasi-stellar objects in the early 1960s. Although all objects containing active SMBH are now referred to as AGNs, various other names, relics from the 1960s, 1970s, and even now, are still being used. The most powerful active galaxies were discovered with radio telescopes in the 1960's and named `Quasi-Stellar Radio Sources', later shortened to QSOs or quasars. Their huge luminosities ( 1042

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