Journal Article

Broad reprocessed Balmer emission from warped accretion discs

Sheng-Miao Wu, Ting-Gui Wang and Xiao-Bo Dong

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 389, issue 1, pages 213-222
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Broad reprocessed Balmer emission from warped accretion discs

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Double-peaked broad emission lines in active galactic nuclei are generally considered to be formed in an accretion disc. In this paper, we compute the profiles of reprocessing emission lines from a relativistic, warped accretion disc around a black hole in order to explore the possibility that certain asymmetries in the double-peaked emission-line profile which cannot be explained by a circular Keplerian disc may be induced by disc warping. The disc warping also provides a solution for the energy budget in the emission-line region because it increases the solid angle of the outer disc portion subtended to the inner portion of the disc. We adopted a parametrized disc geometry and a central point-like source of ionizing radiation to capture the main characteristics of the emission-line profile from such discs. We find that the ratio between the blue and red peaks of the line profiles becoming less than unity can be naturally predicted by a twisted warped disc, and a third peak can be produced in some cases. We show that disc warping can reproduce the main features of multipeaked line profiles of four active galactic nuclei from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; black hole physics; line: profiles; galaxies: active

Journal Article.  5899 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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