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New Insights into AGN Unification from NuSTAR Observations of Nearby Seyfert 2 Galaxies

Presentation #138.09 in the session “AGN and Quasars 1”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
New Insights into AGN Unification from NuSTAR Observations of Nearby Seyfert 2 Galaxies

The low reported detection rates of polarized broad emission-lines in type 2 (narrow line) Seyfert nuclei present challenges for AGN unification models in which all AGNs are physically similar objects observed at different viewing geometries. Recent X-ray studies have indicated that evidence for polarized broad optical emission lines in narrow-line Seyferts correlates with black-hole accretion rate, suggesting that the presence of a hidden broad-line region (BLR) depends on the physical properties, and not just inclination angle, of an AGN. However, the soft X-ray spectra of obscured AGNs are extremely complex, which complicates the determination of their intrinsic luminosities and accretion rates. To minimize the effects of absorption, we have examined NuSTAR data in the 3-79 keV band for a sample of ~30 nearby Seyfert 2s with sensitive spectropolarimetry observations from the Keck Observatory. The quality of the NuSTAR spectra vary considerably, so we have developed a robust new method to estimate intrinsic X-ray luminosities for the entire sample using the physically-motivated borus02 model. We find no evidence of a correlation between the detection of a hidden BLR and X-ray luminosity or accretion rate, consistent with the expectations of orientation-based AGN unification models.


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