Volume 561, January 2014
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||13 January 2014|
Dust reverberation-mapping of the Seyfert 1 galaxy WPVS48⋆
1 Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr–Universität Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
2 Instituto de Astronomia, Universidad Católica del Norte, Avenida Angamos 0610, 1280 Casilla Antofagasta, Chile
3 Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH, UK
4 Departamento de Física, Universidad Católica del Norte, Avenida Angamos 0610, 1280 Casilla Antofagasta, Chile
Received: 3 December 2013
Accepted: 16 December 2013
Using robotic telescopes of the Universitätssternwarte Bochum near Cerro Armazones in Chile, we monitored the z = 0.0377 Seyfert-1 galaxy WPVS48 (2MASX J09594263-3112581) in the optical (B and R) and near-infrared (NIR, J and Ks) with a cadence of two days. The light curves show unprecedented variability details. The NIR variation features of WPVS48 are consistent with the corresponding optical variations, but the features appear sharper in the NIR than in the optical, suggesting that the optical photons undergo multiple scatterings. The J and Ks emission, tracing the hot (~1600 K) dust echo, lags the B and R variations by on average τ = 64 ± 4 days and 71 ± 5 days, respectively (restframe). WPVS48 lies on the known τ − MV relationship. However, the observed lag τ is about three times shorter than expected from the dust sublimation radius rsub inferred from the optical-UV luminosity, and explanations for this common discrepancy are searched for. The sharp NIR echos argue for a face-on torus geometry and allow us to put forward two potential scenarios: 1) as previously proposed, in the equatorial plane of the accretion disk the inner region of the torus is flattened and may come closer to the accretion disk. 2) The dust torus with inner radius rsub is geometrically and optically thick, so that the observer only sees the facing rim of the torus wall, which lies closer to the observer than the torus equatorial plane and therefore leads to an observed foreshortened lag. Both scenarios are able to explain the factor three discrepancy between τ and rsub. Longer-wavelength dust reverberation data might enable one to distinguish between the scenarios.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: Seyfert / galaxies: individual: WPVS48
Light curves are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/561/L8
© ESO, 2014
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