Where is the coronal line region in active galactic nuclei?

Takashi Murayama, Yoshiaki Taniguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


We report the new finding that type 1 Seyfert nuclei (S1s) have excess [Fe VII] λ6087 emission with respect to type 2 Seyfert nuclei (S2s). The Sis exhibit broad emission lines that are attributed to ionized gas within 1 pc of the black hole, whereas the S2s do not show such broad lines. The current unified model of active galactic nuclei explains this difference as follows: the central 1 pc region in the S2s is hidden from the line of sight by a dusty torus if we observe it from a nearly edge-on view toward the torus. Therefore, our finding implies that the coronal line region (CLR) traced by the [Fe VII] λ6087 emission resides in the inner wall of such dusty tori. On the other hand, the frequency of occurrence of the CLR in the optical spectra is nearly the same between the Sis and the S2s. Moreover, some Seyfert nuclei exhibit a very extended (∼1 kpc) CLR. All these observational results can be unified if we introduce a three-component model for the CLR: (1) the inner wall of the dusty torus, (2) the clumpy ionized region associated with the narrow-line region at a distance from ∼10 to ∼100 pc, and (3) the extended ionized region at a distance ∼1 kpc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L9-L12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART II
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: seyfert
  • Quasars: emission lines


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