Journal Article

Evidence for low-level AGN activity in the nucleus of the LINER galaxy NGC 4594

K. L. Nicholson, G. A. Reichert, K. O. Mason, E. M. Puchnarewicz, L. C. Ho, J. C. Shields and A. V. Filippenko

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 300, issue 3, pages 893-906
Published in print November 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-8711.1998.t01-1-01944.x
Evidence for low-level AGN activity in the nucleus of the LINER galaxy NGC 4594

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Abstract

We investigate the properties of the low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER) galaxy, NGC 4594, using data taken with the Faint Object Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and with the ASCA X-ray observatory. The ultraviolet spectrum shows only narrow-line emission (FWHM ≈800–1000 km s−1) with no evidence for broad emission-line components. The emission-line data are compared with shock and photoionization model predictions. Fast shock models are incompatible with the UV emission-line spectrum and the best fit is found with a model, devised by Shull & McKee, where slow shocks (100 km s−1) are incident on a relatively dense medium (n0 = 100 cm−3). Among photoionization models the best agreement is obtained with a cloudy model which has an ionization parameter of U = 3.2 × 10−4. The hard X-ray ASCA data on NGC 4594 yield a spectral index of αX = 0.62 ± 0.03 which extrapolates, within the errors, to the soft X-ray spectrum measured with the ROSAT PSPC. When the ASCA and ROSAT data are combined, the best-fitting column density is NH = 5.3 × 1020 cm−2, slightly higher than the Galactic value in this direction. However, allowing for contamination by soft extended emission close to the nucleus, the column density to the nuclear source may be as high as 2.9 × 1021 cm−2. The multiwavelength spectrum of the NGC 4594 differs from those of luminous active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the relative weakness of the UV continuum. This is consistent with the Siemiginowska model for a low-state accretion disc. Advection-dominated disc models, which have been applied to low-luminosity AGN, also agree qualitatively with our data.

Keywords: line: formation; galaxies: individual: NGC 4594; ultraviolet: galaxies; X-rays: galaxies

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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