Journal Article

Nuclear and extended spectra of NGC 1068 – II. Near-infrared stellar population synthesis

Lucimara P. Martins, Rogério Riffel, Alberto Rodríguez-Ardila, Ruth Gruenwald and Ronaldo de Souza

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 406, issue 4, pages 2185-2192
Published in print August 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Nuclear and extended spectra of NGC 1068 – II. Near-infrared stellar population synthesis

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We performed stellar population synthesis on the nuclear and extended regions of NGC 1068 by means of near-infrared spectroscopy to disentangle their spectral energy distribution components. This is the first time that such a technique is applied to the whole 0.8–2.4 μm wavelength interval in this galaxy. NGC 1068 is one of the nearest and probably the most studied Seyfert 2 galaxy, becoming an excellent laboratory to study the interaction between black holes, the jets that they can produce and the medium in which they propagate. Our main result is that traces of young stellar population are found at ∼100 pc south of the nucleus. The contribution of a power-law continuum in the centre is about 25 per cent, which is expected if the light is scattered from a Seyfert 1 nucleus. We find peaks in the contribution of the featureless continuum about 100–150 pc from the nucleus on both sides. They might be associated with regions where the jet encounters dense clouds. Further support to this scenario is given by the peaks of hot dust distribution found around these same regions and the H2 emission-line profile, leading us to propose that the peaks might be associated to regions where stars are being formed. Hot dust also has an important contribution to the nuclear region, reinforcing the idea of the presence of a dense, circumnuclear torus in this galaxy. Cold dust appears mostly in the south direction, which supports the view that the south-west emission is behind the plane of the galaxy and is extinguished very likely by dust in the plane. Intermediate-age stellar population contributes significantly to the continuum, especially in the inner 200 pc.

Keywords: galaxies: active; galaxies: individual: NGC 1068; galaxies: Seyfert; infrared: galaxies

Journal Article.  4406 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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