A PHYSICALLY BASED MODEL of the IONIZING RADIATION from ACTIVE GALAXIES for PHOTOIONIZATION MODELING

A. D. Thomas, B. A. Groves, R. S. Sutherland, M. A. Dopita, L. J. Kewley, C. Jin

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    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We present a simplified model of active galactic nucleus (AGN) continuum emission designed for photoionization modeling. The new model oxaf reproduces the diversity of spectral shapes that arise in physically based models. We identify and explain degeneracies in the effects of AGN parameters on model spectral shapes, with a focus on the complete degeneracy between the black hole mass and AGN luminosity. Our reparametrized model oxaf removes these degeneracies and accepts three parameters that directly describe the output spectral shape: the energy of the peak of the accretion disk emission , the photon power-law index of the non-thermal emission Γ, and the proportion of the total flux that is emitted in the non-thermal component PNT. The parameter is presented as a function of the black hole mass, AGN luminosity, and "coronal radius" of the optxagnf model upon which oxaf is based. We show that the soft X-ray excess does not significantly affect photoionization modeling predictions of strong emission lines in Seyfert narrow-line regions. Despite its simplicity, oxaf accounts for opacity effects where the accretion disk is ionized because it inherits the "color correction" of optxagnf. We use a grid of mappings photoionization models with oxaf ionizing spectra to demonstrate how predicted emission-line ratios on standard optical diagnostic diagrams are sensitive to each of the three oxaf parameters. The oxaf code is publicly available in the Astrophysics Source Code Library.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number266
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Volume833
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2016

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