skip to main content

Title: Spitzer mid-IR spectroscopy of powerful 2Jy and 3CRR radio galaxies. II. AGN power indicators and unification

It remains uncertain which continuum and emission line diagnostics best indicate the bolometric powers of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), especially given the attenuation caused by the circumnuclear material and the possible contamination by components related to star formation. Here we use mid-IR spectra along with multiwavelength data to investigate the merit of various diagnostics of AGN radiative power, including the mid-IR [Ne III] λ25.89 μm and [O IV] λ25.89 μm fine-structure lines, the optical [O III] λ5007 forbidden line, and mid-IR 24 μm, 5 GHz radio, and X-ray continuum emission, for complete samples of 46 2Jy radio galaxies (0.05 < z < 0.7) and 17 3CRR FRII radio galaxies (z < 0.1). We find that the mid-IR [O IV] line is the most reliable indicator of AGN power for powerful radio-loud AGNs. By assuming that the [O IV] is emitted isotropically, and comparing the [O III] and 24 μm luminosities of the broad- and narrow-line AGNs in our samples at fixed [O IV] luminosity, we show that the [O III] and 24 μm emission are both mildly attenuated in the narrow-line compared to the broad-line objects by a factor of ≈2. However, despite this attenuation, the [O III] and 24more » μm luminosities are better AGN power indicators for our sample than either the 5 GHz radio or the X-ray continuum luminosities. We also detect the mid-IR 9.7 μm silicate feature in the spectra of many objects but not ubiquitously: at least 40% of the sample shows no clear evidence for these features. We conclude that, for the majority of powerful radio galaxies, the mid-IR lines are powered by AGN photoionization.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ; ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ; ;  [9] ;  [10] ; ;  [11] ;  [12] ;  [13]
  1. CEA-Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
  2. University of Sheffield, Hounsfield Road, Sheffield S3 7RH (United Kingdom)
  3. ASTRON, P.O. Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo (Netherlands)
  4. Rochester Institute of Technology, 84 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623 (United States)
  5. Indian Institute of Astrophysics, II Block, Koramangala, Bangalore 560034 (India)
  6. Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), C/V ia Lactea, s/n, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain)
  7. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH (United Kingdom)
  8. School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield AL10 9AB (United Kingdom)
  9. Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, CNRS, Université Paris Sud, F-91405 Orsay (France)
  10. Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Yi He Yuan Lu 5, Haidian Qu, Beijing 100871 (China)
  11. 224 Space Sciences Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)
  12. Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  13. Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356629
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 788; 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; BOLOMETERS; EMISSION; FINE STRUCTURE; GALAXY NUCLEI; GHZ RANGE; INFRARED SPECTRA; INTERMEDIATE INFRARED RADIATION; LUMINOSITY; PHOTOIONIZATION; RADIO GALAXIES; SILICATES; STARS; X RADIATION