The differences in the torus geometry between hidden and non-hidden broad line active galactic nuclei

Kohei Ichikawa, Christopher Packham, Cristina Ramos Almeida, Andrés Asensio Ramos, Almudena Alonso-Herrero, Omaira González-Martín, Enrique Lopez-Rodriguez, Yoshihiro Ueda, Tanio Díaz-Santos, Moshe Elitzur, Sebastian F. Hönig, Masatoshi Imanishi, Nancy A. Levenson, Rachel E. Mason, Eric S. Perlman, Crystal D. Alsip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


We present results from the fitting of infrared (IR) spectral energy distributions of 21 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with clumpy torus models. We compiled high spatial resolution (∼0.3-0.7 arcsec) mid-IR (MIR) N-band spectroscopy, Q-band imaging, and nuclear near- and MIR photometry from the literature. Combining these nuclear near- and MIR observations, far-IR photometry, and clumpy torus models enables us to put constraints on the torus properties and geometry. We divide the sample into three types according to the broad line region (BLR) properties: type-1s, type-2s with scattered or hidden broad line region (HBLR) previously observed, and type-2s without any published HBLR signature (NHBLR). Comparing the torus model parameters gives us the first quantitative torus geometrical view for each subgroup. We find that NHBLR AGNs have smaller torus opening angles and larger covering factors than HBLR AGNs. This suggests that the chance to observe scattered (polarized) flux from the BLR in NHBLR could be reduced by the dual effects of (a) less scattering medium due to the reduced scattering volume given the small torus opening angle and (b) the increased torus obscuration between the observer and the scattering region. These effects give a reasonable explanation for the lack of observed HBLR in some type-2 AGNs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 20


  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: nuclei
  • infrared: galaxies


Dive into the research topics of 'The differences in the torus geometry between hidden and non-hidden broad line active galactic nuclei'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this