Unabsorbed Seyfert 2 galaxies
IASF/CNR, via Piero Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Universita' di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Corresponding author: F. Panessa, email@example.com
Accepted: 5 August 2002
We present a sample of 17 type 2 Seyfert galaxies which have an X-ray column density lower than 1022 cm-2. The Compton thin nature of these sources is strongly suggested by isotropic indicators. We estimate the fraction of these sources to be in the range of 10%–30% of the population of type 2 Seyfert galaxies. Furthermore, this fraction appears to increase progressively at lower luminosities. The simple formulation of the Unified Model for Seyfert galaxies is not applicable in such sources since the pc-scale molecular torus is not likely to be responsible for the low column density observed; instead the absorption observed is likely to originate at larger scales. According to this hypothesis, in these objects the broad line regions are covered by some dusty obscuring material. In particular, this could occur in objects with dust lanes, patches or HII regions. However, we cannot rule out that in the lowest luminosity sources the BLR is weak, absent or has faded away. This last scenario is consistent with the predictions of some recent theoretical models for low luminosity AGNs.
Key words: X-rays: galaxies / galaxies: Seyfert
© ESO, 2002