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Title: Optical Variability of Narrow-line and Broad-line Seyfert 1 Galaxies

Abstract

We studied the optical variability (OV) of a large sample of narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLSy1) and broad-line Seyfert 1 (BLSy1) galaxies with z < 0.8 to investigate any differences in their OV properties. Using archival optical V -band light curves from the Catalina Real Time Transient Survey that span 5–9 years and modeling them using damped random walk, we estimated the amplitude of variability. We found that NLSy1 galaxies as a class show lower amplitude of variability than their broad-line counterparts. In the sample of both NLSy1 and BLSy1 galaxies, radio-loud sources are found to have higher variability amplitude than radio-quiet sources. Considering only sources that are detected in the X-ray band, NLSy1 galaxies are less optically variable than BLSy1 galaxies. The amplitude of variability in the sample of both NLSy1 and BLSy1 galaxies is found to be anti-correlated with Fe ii strength but correlated with the width of the H β line. The well-known anti-correlation of variability–luminosity and the variability–Eddington ratio is present in our data. Among the radio-loud sample, variability amplitude is found to be correlated with radio-loudness and radio-power, suggesting that jets also play an important role in the OV in radio-loud objects, in addition to themore » Eddington ratio, which is the main driving factor of OV in radio-quiet sources.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Block II, Koramangala, Bangalore-560034 (India)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663488
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 842; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AMPLITUDES; BALMER LINES; CORRELATIONS; GALAXIES; LUMINOSITY; RANDOMNESS; SIMULATION; SPECTRA; VISIBLE RADIATION; X RADIATION

Citation Formats

Rakshit, Suvendu, and Stalin, C. S., E-mail: suvenduat@gmail.com. Optical Variability of Narrow-line and Broad-line Seyfert 1 Galaxies. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA72F4.
Rakshit, Suvendu, & Stalin, C. S., E-mail: suvenduat@gmail.com. Optical Variability of Narrow-line and Broad-line Seyfert 1 Galaxies. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA72F4.
Rakshit, Suvendu, and Stalin, C. S., E-mail: suvenduat@gmail.com. Tue . "Optical Variability of Narrow-line and Broad-line Seyfert 1 Galaxies". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA72F4.
@article{osti_22663488,
title = {Optical Variability of Narrow-line and Broad-line Seyfert 1 Galaxies},
author = {Rakshit, Suvendu and Stalin, C. S., E-mail: suvenduat@gmail.com},
abstractNote = {We studied the optical variability (OV) of a large sample of narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLSy1) and broad-line Seyfert 1 (BLSy1) galaxies with z < 0.8 to investigate any differences in their OV properties. Using archival optical V -band light curves from the Catalina Real Time Transient Survey that span 5–9 years and modeling them using damped random walk, we estimated the amplitude of variability. We found that NLSy1 galaxies as a class show lower amplitude of variability than their broad-line counterparts. In the sample of both NLSy1 and BLSy1 galaxies, radio-loud sources are found to have higher variability amplitude than radio-quiet sources. Considering only sources that are detected in the X-ray band, NLSy1 galaxies are less optically variable than BLSy1 galaxies. The amplitude of variability in the sample of both NLSy1 and BLSy1 galaxies is found to be anti-correlated with Fe ii strength but correlated with the width of the H β line. The well-known anti-correlation of variability–luminosity and the variability–Eddington ratio is present in our data. Among the radio-loud sample, variability amplitude is found to be correlated with radio-loudness and radio-power, suggesting that jets also play an important role in the OV in radio-loud objects, in addition to the Eddington ratio, which is the main driving factor of OV in radio-quiet sources.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/AA72F4},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 842,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jun 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Jun 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • The ensemble optical/ultraviolet (UV) variability of narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1)-type active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is investigated, based on a sample selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82 region with multi-epoch photometric scanning data. As a comparison, a control sample of broad-line Seyfert 1 (BLS1)-type AGNs is also incorporated. To quantify properly the intrinsic variation amplitudes and their uncertainties, a novel method of parametric maximum likelihood is introduced that has, as we argued, certain virtues over previously used methods. The majority of NLS1-type AGNs exhibit significant variability on timescales from about 10 days to a few years with,more » however, smaller amplitudes on average compared to BLS1-type AGNs. About 20 NLS1-type AGNs that show relatively large variations are presented and may deserve future monitoring observations, for instance, reverberation mapping. The averaged structure functions of variability, constructed using the same maximum likelihood method, show remarkable similarity in shape for the two types of AGNs on timescales longer than about 10 days, which can be approximated by a power law or an exponential function. This, along with other similar properties, such as the wavelength-dependent variability, is indicative of a common dominant mechanism responsible for the long-term optical/UV variability of both NLS1- and BLS1-type AGNs. Toward the short timescales, however, there is tentative evidence that the structure function of NLS1-type AGNs continues to decline, whereas that of BLS1-type AGNs flattens with some residual variability on timescales of days. If this can be confirmed, it may suggest that an alternative mechanism, such as X-ray reprocessing, starts to dominate in BLS1-type AGNs, but not in NLS1-type AGNs, on such timescales.« less
  • We consider whether broad absorption line quasars (BAL QSOs) and narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies (NLS1s) are similar, as suggested by Brandt and Gallagher and Boroson. For this purpose, we constructed a sample of 11 BAL QSOs from existing Chandra and Swift observations. We found that BAL QSOs and NLS1s both operate at high Eddington ratios L/L{sub Edd}, although BAL QSOs have slightly lower L/L{sub Edd}. BAL QSOs and NLS1s in general have high Fe ii/Hβ and low [O iii]/Hβ ratios following the classic “Boroson and Green” eigenvector 1 relation. We also found that the mass accretion rates M-dot of BALmore » QSOs and NLS1s are more similar than previously thought, although some BAL QSOs exhibit extreme mass accretion rates of more than 10 M{sub ⊙} yr{sup −1}. These extreme mass accretion rates may suggest that the black holes in BAL QSOs are relativistically spinning. Black hole masses in BAL QSOs are a factor of 100 larger than NLS1s. From their location on a M−σ plot, we find that BAL QSOs contain fully developed black holes. Applying a principal component analysis to our sample, we find eigenvector 1 to correspond to the Eddington ratio L/L{sub Edd}, and eigenvector 2 to black hole mass.« less
  • We use publicly available XMM-Newton data to systematically compare the hard X-ray photon indices, {gamma}{sub 2-10keV}, and the iron K{alpha} emission lines of narrow- and broad-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1 and BLS1) galaxies. We compile a flux-limited (f {sub 2-10keV} {>=} 1 x 10{sup -12} erg s{sup -1} cm{sup -2}) sample including 114 radio-quiet objects, with the 2-10 keV luminosity ranging from 10{sup 41} to 10{sup 45} erg s{sup -1}. Our main results are: (1) NLS1s and BLS1s show similar luminosity distributions; (2) the weighted means of {gamma}{sub 2-10keV} of NLS1s, BLS1s, and the total sample are 2.04 {+-} 0.04, 1.74more » {+-} 0.02, and 1.84 {+-} 0.02, respectively; a significant anti-correlation between {gamma}{sub 2-10keV} and FWHMH{beta} suggests that {gamma}{sub 2-10keV} > 2.0 may be taken to indicate the X-ray luminous NLS1 type; (3) the 6.4 keV narrow iron K{alpha} lines from NLS1s are generally weaker than that from BLS1s; this would indicate a smaller covering factor of the dusty tori in NLS1s if the line emission originates from the inner boundary region of the dusty torus in an active galactic nucleus; and (4) all the broadened iron K{alpha} lines with intrinsic width {sigma}>0.5 keV correspond to FWHMH{beta} {<=}4000 km s{sup -1}.« less
  • Using newly released data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, we report the discovery of rapid infrared variability in three radio-loud narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies (NLS1s) selected from the 23 sources in the sample of Yuan et al. J0849+5108 and J0948+0022 clearly show intraday variability, while J1505+0326 has a longer measurable timescale within 180 days. Their variability amplitudes, corrected for measurement errors, are {approx}0.1-0.2 mag. The detection of intraday variability restricts the size of the infrared-emitting region to {approx}10{sup -3} pc, significantly smaller than the scale of the torus but consistent with the base of a jet. The three variablemore » sources are exceptionally radio-loud, have the highest radio brightness temperature among the whole sample, and all show detected {gamma}-ray emission in Fermi/LAT observations. Their spectral energy distributions resemble those of low-energy-peaked blazars, with a synchrotron peak around infrared wavelengths. This result strongly confirms the view that at least some radio-loud NLS1s are blazars with a relativistic jet close to our line of sight. The beamed synchrotron emission from the jet contributes significantly to and probably dominates the spectra in the infrared and even optical bands.« less
  • SDSS J094857.3+002225 is a very radio-loud narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxy. Here, we report our discovery of the intranight optical variability (INOV) of this galaxy through the optical monitoring in the B and R bands that covered seven nights in 2009. Violent rapid variability in the optical bands was identified in this RL-NLS1 for the first time, and the amplitudes of the INOV reaches 0.5 mag in both the B and R bands on the timescale of several hours. The detection of the INOV provides a piece of strong evidence supporting the fact that the object carries a relativistic jetmore » with a small viewing angle, which confirms the conclusion drawn from the previous multi-wavelength studies.« less