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For refcode 1996AJ....111..696K:
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1996AJ....111..696K SEYFERT GALAXIES WITH COMPANIONS: ORBITAL AND KINEMATIC CLUES TO AGN TRIGGERING WILLIAM C. KEEL Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alabama, Box 870324, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0324 Electronic mall: keel@bildad.astr.ua.edu Received 1995 June 12; revised 1995 October 19 ABSTRACT This paper presents imaging and optical spectroscopy of paired Seyfert galaxies and their companions. The aim is to seek common properties of Seyfert galaxies in interacting systems, which might provide evidence of AGN triggering in a way independent of the usual two-sample statistics which have proven ambiguous on this issue. Three kinds of comparison have been made-the kinds of interactions involving Seyfert galaxies, the relative luminosities of the Seyferts and their companions, and the level of kinematic disturbance as measured from rotation curves. (1) Dynamics and tidal features have been used to determine (or at least limit) the sense of orbital motion (direct/retrograde/polar with respect to the Seyfert galaxy's disk) for many of these pairs. There is no obviously preferred kind of interaction-direct, polar, and retrograde encounters are all well represented, despite the gross differences in dynamical response of a disk to these various kinds of encounter. To the extent that triggering of Seyfert nuclei occurs due to tidal encounters, the existence of a perturbation seems more important than its exact duration or detailed effects on the disk. However, the ratio of merging to paired Seyferts is higher than for disk galaxies in general, consistent with more effective triggering of AGN in this specific phase; the implied time scale for enhanced occurrence during mergers is the same as the timescape for merger remnants to appear as such, a few disk-edge crossing times (typically several times 10^8^ yr). (2) Seyfert nuclei occur preferentially in the brighter members of galaxy pairs, by a median of 0.93 mag after making the maximal correction for contaminating nonstellar light in the nuclei. Only about 1/3 of this effect can be accounted for by the known tendency of Seyfert nuclei to occur in more luminous galaxies. Enhancement of AGN by interactions is evidently more effective for more luminous galaxies (though this will also be the case if both star formation and AGN occurrence are enhanced in the same galaxies). (3) The rotation curves of the paired Seyferts show systematically small regions of rising or solid-body rotation compared to the disk radius, as a group comparable to Sa but very different from Sb or Sc galaxies (even for Seyfert galaxies with Hubble type later than Sa). There is weak evidence that this difference is also present with respect to more isolated Seyfert galaxies. Despite the obvious utility of a dynamically disturbed disk for transport of angular momentum and "feeding the monster," Seyfert galaxies in pairs actually have smaller kinematic disturbances (measured by the maximum departure from a symmetric rotation curve, normalized to the full rotation amplitude) than found in a complete sample of non-Seyfert spirals in pairs.
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