Volume 644, December 2020
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||08 December 2020|
Letter to the Editor
Spectropolarimetry of the changing-look active galactic nucleus Mrk 1018⋆
Institut d’Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août 19c, 4000 Liège, Belgium
2 Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg, UMR 7550, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Accepted: 23 November 2020
We have obtained new spectropolarimetric observations at visible wavelengths of the changing-look active galactic nucleus (AGN) Mrk 1018. The AGN direct spectrum shows an extremely weak continuum with faint broad Hβ and Hα emission lines. Both lines can be fit with a single very broad emission line component of full width at half maximum FWHM ≃ 7200 km s−1, with no evidence of the additional 3000 km s−1-wide component that was previously detected. While this is in agreement with line formation in a Keplerian disk, the line profile variability suggests that the broad emission line region is likely more complex. The continuum polarization of Mrk 1018 is low; it is not higher in the current faint state compared to the past bright state, confirming that dust obscuration is not the mechanism at the origin of the change of look. The polarization profile of the Hα line is asymmetric with no rotation of the polarization angle, which possibly reveals line formation in a polar outflow. Alternatively, the polarization profile may be the consequence of a time delay between the direct and the polarized light. Interestingly, the polarization signatures predicted for broad lines emitted around supermassive binary black holes are not observed.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: nuclei / quasars: general / galaxies: Seyfert / quasars: emission lines
© ESO 2020
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