Testing the Unification Model for AGN in the Infrared: are the obscuring tori of Type 1 and 2 Seyferts different?
I will present new mid-infrared imaging data for a sample of ~20 nearby Seyfert galaxies obtained with T-ReCS and MICHELLE on the Gemini Telescopes at subarcsecond resolution. Our aim is to compare the properties of Type-1 and Type-2 Seyfert tori using clumpy torus models and a Bayesian approach to fit the infrared nuclear spectral energy distributions (SEDs). These dusty tori have physical sizes smaller than 10 pc radius, as derived from our fits. Unification schemes of AGN account for a variety of observational differences in terms of viewing geometry. However, we find evidence that strong unification may not hold, and that the immediate dusty surroundings of Type-1 and Type-2 Seyfert nuclei are intrinsically different. The Type-2 tori studied here are broader, have more clumps, and these clumps have lower optical depths than those of Type-1 tori. The larger the covering factor of the torus, the smaller the probability of having direct view of the AGN, and vice-versa. In our sample, Seyfert 2 tori have larger covering factors and smaller escape probabilities than those of Seyfert 1. Thus, on the basis of the results presented here, the classification of a Seyfert galaxy as a Type-1 or Type-2 depends more on the intrinsic properties of the torus rather than on its mere inclination, in contradiction with the simplest unification model.
About the talk
University of Sheffield, UK
For more details see paper