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Title

HST unveils a compact mildly relativistic broad-line region in the candidate true type 2 NGC 3147

AuthorsBianchi, Stefano; Antonucci, Robert; Capetti, Alessandro; Chiaberge, Marco; Laor, Ari; Bassani, Loredana; Carrera, Francisco J. ; La Franca, Fabio; Marinucci, Andrea; Matt, Giorgio; Middei, Riccardo; Panessa, Francesca
KeywordsGalaxies: active
Galaxies: individual: NGC3147
Galaxies: Seyfert
Issue Date2019
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 488(1): L1-L5 (2019)
AbstractNGC 3147 has been considered the best case of a true type 2 AGN: an unobscured AGN, based on the unabsorbed compact X-ray continuum, which lacks a broad-line region (BLR). However, the very low luminosity of NGC 3147 implies a compact BLR, which produces very broad lines, hard to detect against the dominant background host galaxy. Narrow (0.1 arcsec × 0.1 arcsec) slit HST spectroscopy allowed us to exclude most of the host galaxy light, and revealed an H α line with an extremely broad base (FWZI∼27000 km s−1). The line profile shows a steep cut-off blue wing and an extended red wing, which match the signature of a mildly relativistic thin accretion disc line profile. It is indeed well fit with a nearly face on thin disc, at i ∼ 23°, with an inner radius at 77 ± 15 rg, which matches the prediction of 62+18−14rg from the RBLR–L1/2 relation. This result questions the very existence of true type 2 AGN. Moreover, the detection of a thin disc, which extends below 100 rg in an L/LEdd ∼ 10−4 system, contradicts the current view of the accretion flow configuration at extremely low accretion rates.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slz080
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/213182
DOI10.1093/mnrasl/slz080
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/mnrasl/slz080
e-issn: 1745-3925
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