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  1. Abstract We have modeled the velocity-resolved reverberation response of the H β broad emission line in nine Seyfert 1 galaxies from the Lick Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) Monitoring Project 2016 sample, drawing inferences on the geometry and structure of the low-ionization broad-line region (BLR) and the mass of the central supermassive black hole. Overall, we find that the H β BLR is generally a thick disk viewed at low to moderate inclination angles. We combine our sample with prior studies and investigate line-profile shape dependence, such as log 10 ( FWHM / σ ) , on BLR structure and kinematics and search for any BLR luminosity-dependent trends. We find marginal evidence for an anticorrelation between the profile shape of the broad H β emission line and the Eddington ratio, when using the rms spectrum. However, we do not find any luminosity-dependent trends, and conclude that AGNs have diverse BLR structure and kinematics, consistent with the hypothesis of transient AGN/BLR conditions rather than systematic trends.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. Abstract Photoionization modeling of active galactic nuclei (AGN) predicts that diffuse continuum (DC) emission from the broad-line region makes a substantial contribution to the total continuum emission from ultraviolet through near-infrared wavelengths. Evidence for this DC component is present in the strong Balmer jump feature in AGN spectra, and possibly from reverberation measurements that find longer lags than expected from disk emission alone. However, the Balmer jump region contains numerous blended emission features, making it difficult to isolate the DC emission strength. In contrast, the Paschen jump region near 8200 Å is relatively uncontaminated by other strong emission features. Here, we examine whether the Paschen jump can aid in constraining the DC contribution, using Hubble Space Telescope Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph spectra of six nearby Seyfert 1 nuclei. The spectra appear smooth across the Paschen edge, and we find no evidence of a Paschen spectral break or jump in total flux. We fit multicomponent spectral models over the range 6800–9700 Å and find that the spectra can still be compatible with a significant DC contribution if the DC Paschen jump is offset by an opposite spectral break resulting from blended high-order Paschen emission lines. The fits imply DC contributions rangingmore »from ∼10% to 50% at 8000 Å, but the fitting results are highly dependent on assumptions made about other model components. These degeneracies can potentially be alleviated by carrying out fits over a broader wavelength range, provided that models can accurately represent the disk continuum shape, Fe ii emission, high-order Balmer line emission, and other components.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  3. Abstract We present the first results from the ongoing, intensive, multiwavelength monitoring program of the luminous Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 817. While this active galactic nucleus was, in part, selected for its historically unobscured nature, we discovered that the X-ray spectrum is highly absorbed, and there are new blueshifted, broad, and narrow UV absorption lines, which suggest that a dust-free, ionized obscurer located at the inner broad-line region partially covers the central source. Despite the obscuration, we measure UV and optical continuum reverberation lags consistent with a centrally illuminated Shakura–Sunyaev thin accretion disk, and measure reverberation lags associated with the optical broad-line region, as expected. However, in the first 55 days of the campaign, when the obscuration was becoming most extreme, we observe a de-coupling of the UV continuum and the UV broad emission-line variability. The correlation recovered in the next 42 days of the campaign, as Mrk 817 entered a less obscured state. The short C iv and Ly α lags suggest that the accretion disk extends beyond the UV broad-line region.
  4. null (Ed.)
    The angular size of the broad line region (BLR) of the nearby active galactic nucleus NGC 3783 has been spatially resolved by recent observations with VLTI/GRAVITY. A reverberation mapping (RM) campaign has also recently obtained high quality light curves and measured the linear size of the BLR in a way that is complementary to the GRAVITY measurement. The size and kinematics of the BLR can be better constrained by a joint analysis that combines both GRAVITY and RM data. This, in turn, allows us to obtain the mass of the supermassive black hole in NGC 3783 with an accuracy that is about a factor of two better than that inferred from GRAVITY data alone. We derive M BH = 2.54 −0.72 +0.90 × 10 7 M ⊙ . Finally, and perhaps most notably, we are able to measure a geometric distance to NGC 3783 of 39.9 −11.9 +14.5 Mpc. We are able to test the robustness of the BLR-based geometric distance with measurements based on the Tully–Fisher relation and other indirect methods. We find the geometric distance is consistent with other methods within their scatter. We explore the potential of BLR-based geometric distances to directly constrain the Hubble constant, Hmore »0 , and identify differential phase uncertainties as the current dominant limitation to the H 0 measurement precision for individual sources.« less
  5. ABSTRACT We present the time lag/delay reconstructor (TLDR), an algorithm for reconstructing velocity delay maps in the maximum a posteriori framework for reverberation mapping. Reverberation mapping is a tomographical method for studying the kinematics and geometry of the broad-line region of active galactic nuclei at high spatial resolution. Leveraging modern image reconstruction techniques, including total variation and compressed sensing, TLDR applies multiple regularization schemes to reconstruct velocity delay maps using the alternating direction method of multipliers. Along with the detailed description of the TLDR algorithm we present test reconstructions from TLDR applied to synthetic reverberation mapping spectra as well as a preliminary reconstruction of the Hβ feature of Arp 151 from the 2008 Lick Active Galactic Nuclei Monitoring Project.