Volume 551, March 2013
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||15 February 2013|
Accretion disk wind as explanation for the broad-line region structure in NGC 5548
Institut für Astrophysik, Universität Göttingen,
Friedrich-Hund Platz 1,
Received: 14 December 2012
Accepted: 26 January 2013
Context. Supermassive black holes in the centers of active galactic nuclei (AGN) are surrounded by broad-line regions (BLRs). The broad emission lines seen in the AGN spectra are emitted in this spatially unresolved region.
Aims. We intend to obtain information on the structure and geometry of this BLR based on observed line profiles.
Methods. We modeled the rotational and turbulent velocities in the line-emitting region on the basis of the line-width FWHM and line dispersion σline of the variable broad emission lines in NGC 5548. Based on these velocities we estimated the height of the line-emitting regions above the midplane in the context of their distances from the center.
Results. The broad emission lines originate at distances of 2 to 27 light days from the center. Higher ionized lines originate in the inner region (≤ 13 light days) in specific filamentary structures 1 to 14 light days above the midplane. In contrast, the Hβ line is emitted in an outer (6−26 light days), more flattened configuration at heights of 0.7 to 4 light days only above the midplane.
Conclusions. The derived geometry of the line-emitting region in NGC 5548 is consistent with an outflowing wind launched from an accretion disk.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / line: profiles / galaxies: active / galaxies: Seyfert / galaxies: individual: NGC 5548 / quasars: emission lines
© ESO, 2013
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