Volume 376, Number 3, September IV 2001
|Page(s)||775 - 792|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||15 September 2001|
I. Further evidence of a nuclear accretion disk
Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian AS, Nizhnij Arkhyz, Karachaevo-Cherkesia 369167, Russia e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, SAO Branch
3 Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Optica y Electrónica, Apartado Postal 51, CP 72000, Puebla, Pue., México
4 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, UNAM, Apartado Postal 877, CP 22860, Ensenada B.C., México
5 Sternberg Astronomical Institute, University of Moscow, Universitetskij Prospect 13, Moscow 119899, Russia
6 DAEC, Observatoire de Paris, Section de Meudon, Place Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
7 Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory, Georgian AS, Mt. Kanobili, 383762, Abastumani, Georgia
Corresponding author: L. Carrasco, email@example.com
Accepted: 13 June 2001
We have monitored the AGN 3C 390.3 between 1995 and 2000. A historical B-band light curve dating back to 1966 shows a large increase in brightness during 1970-1971, followed by a gradual decrease down to a minimum in 1982. During the 1995-2000 lapse the broad Hβ emission and the continuum flux varied by a factor of ≈3. Two large amplitude outbursts, of different duration, in continuum and light were observed i.e.: in October 1994 a brighter flare that lasted ≈1000 days and in July 1997 another one that lasted ≈700 days were detected. The response time lag of the emission lines relative to flux changes of the continuum has been found to vary with time i.e. during 1995-1997 a lag of about 100 days is evident, while during 1998-1999 a double valued lag of ≈100 days and ≈35 days is present in our data. The flux in the Hβ wings and line core vary simultaneously, a behavior indicative of predominantly circular motions in the BLR. Important changes of the Hβ emission profiles were detected: at times, we found profiles with prominent asymmetric wings, like those normaly seen in Sy1s, while at other times, we observe profiles with weak, almost symmetrical wings, similar to those of Sy1.8s. We further dismiss the hypothesis that the double peaked profiles in this object originate in a massive binary BH. Instead, we found that the radial velocity difference between the red and blue bumps is anticorrelated with the light curves of Hβ and continuum radiation. This implies that the zone that contributes most of the energy to the emitted line changes in radius within the disk. The velocity difference increases, corresponding to smaller radii, as the continuum flux decreases. When the continuum flux increases the hump velocity difference decreases. These transient phenomena are expected to result from the variable accretion rate close to the central source. The optical continuum and the flux variations might be related to changes in X-ray emission modulated by a variable accretion rate, changing the surface temperature of the disk, as a result of a variable X-ray irradiation (Ulrich [CITE]). Theoretical profiles were computed for an accretion disk, the observed profiles are best reproduced by an inclined disk () whose region of maximum emission is located roughly at 200 Rg. The mass of the black hole in 3C 390.3, estimated from the reverberation analysis is , 5 times larger than previous estimates (Wandel et al. [CITE]).
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: Seyfert / galaxies: individual: 3C 390.3 / line: profiles
© ESO, 2001
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