Spectral line variability amplitudes in active galactic nuclei
Institut für Astrophysik, Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, 4055 McPherson Lab., 140 W. 18th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Accepted: 13 March 2006
We present the results of a long-term variability campaign of very broad-line AGNs with line widths broader than FWHM > 5000 km s-1. The main goal of our investigation was to study whether the widths of the optical broad emission lines are correlated with the optical intensity variations on timescales of years. Our AGN sample consisted of 10 objects. We detected a significant correlation between optical continuum variability amplitudes and Hβ emission line widths (FWHM) and, to a lesser degree, between Hβ line intensity variations and Hβ equivalent widths. We add the spectroscopic data of variable AGNs from the literature to supplement our sample. The AGNs from other optical variability campaigns with different line-widths helped to improve the statistical significance of our very broad-line AGN sample. After including the data on 35 additional galaxies, the correlation between optical continuum variability amplitudes and Hβ emission line widths becomes even more significant and the probability that this is a random correlation drops to 0.7 percent.
Key words: galaxies: quasars: emission lines / galaxies: nuclei / galaxies: Seyfert / line: profiles
© ESO, 2006