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Journal articles

A Complete Census of Silicate Features in the Mid-infrared Spectra of Active Galaxies

Abstract : We present a comprehensive study of the silicate features at 9.7 and 18 μm of a sample of almost 800 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with available spectra from the Spitzer InfraRed Spectrograph (IRS). We measure the strength of the silicate feature at 9.7 μm, S 9.7, before and after subtracting the host galaxy emission from the IRS spectra. The number of type 1 and 2 AGNs with the feature in emission increases by 20 and 50%, respectively, once the host galaxy is removed, while 35% of objects with this feature originally in absorption exhibit it in even deeper absorption. The peak of S 9.7, {{λ }peak}, has a bimodal distribution when the feature is in emission, with about 65% of the cases showing {{λ }peak} 10.2 μm. Silicates can appear in emission in objects with mid-infrared (MIR) luminosity spanning over six orders of magnitude. The derived distributions of the strength of the silicate features at 9.7 and 18 μm provide a solid test bed for modeling the dust distribution in AGNs. Clumpiness is needed in order to produce absorption features in unobscured AGNs and can also cause the silicates to be in absorption at 9.7 μm and in emission at 18 μm in type 1 sources. We find the “cosmic” silicates of Ossenkopf et al. to be more consistent with the observations than Draine's “astronomical” silicates. Finally, we discuss the possibility of a foreground absorber to explain the deep silicate absorption features in the MIR spectra of some type 2 AGNs.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 2:48:05 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 3:40:04 AM

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E. Hatziminaoglou, A. Hernán-Caballero, A. Feltre, N. Piñol Ferrer. A Complete Census of Silicate Features in the Mid-infrared Spectra of Active Galaxies. The Astrophysical Journal, 2015, 803, ⟨10.1088/0004-637X/803/2/110⟩. ⟨insu-03644980⟩



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