Journal Article

On the geometry of broad emission region in quasars

R. Decarli, M. Labita, A. Treves and R. Falomo

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 387, issue 3, pages 1237-1247
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13320.x
On the geometry of broad emission region in quasars

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We study the geometry of the Hβ broad emission region by comparing the MBH values derived from Hβ through the virial relation with those obtained from the host galaxy luminosity in a sample of 36 low-redshift (z∼ 0.3) quasars. This comparison lets us infer the geometrical factor f needed to deproject the line-of-sight velocity component of the emitting gas. The wide range of f values we found, together with the strong dependence of f on the observed linewidth, suggests that a disc-like model for the broad-line region is preferable to an isotropic model, both for radio-loud and radio-quiet quasars. We examined similar observations of the C iv line and found no correlation in the width of the two lines. Our results indicate that an inflated disc broad-line region, in which the Carbon line is emitted in a flat disc while Hβ is produced in a geometrically thick region, can account for the observed differences in the width and shape of the two emission lines.

Keywords: galaxies: active; galaxies: nuclei; quasars: emission lines; quasars: general

Journal Article.  7466 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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