Where is the [O III] λ4363 emitting region in active galactic nuclei?

Tohru Nagao, Takashi Murayama, Yoshiaki Taniguchi

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32 Citations (Scopus)


The emission-line flux ratio of [O III] λ4363/[O III] λ5007 (RO III) is a useful diagnostic for the ionization mechanism and physical properties of emission-line regions in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). However, it is known that simple photoionization models underpredict the [O III] λ4363 intensity, being inconsistent with observations. In this paper we report on several pieces of evidence that a large fraction of the [O III] λ4363 emission arises from the dense gas obscured by putative tori: (1) the visibility of high-RO III regions is correlated to that of broad-line regions, (2) higher RO III, objects show hotter mid-infrared colors, (3) higher RO III objects show stronger highly ionized emission lines such as [Fe VII] λ6087 and [Fe X] λ6374, and (4) higher RO III objects have broader line width of [O III] λ4363 normalized by that of [O III] λ5007. To estimate how such a dense component contributes to the total emission-line flux, dual-component photoionization model calculations are performed. It is shown that the observed values of RO III of type 1 AGNs may be explained by introducing a 5%-20% contribution from the dense component, while those of type 2 AGNs may be explained by introducing a 0%-2% contribution. We also discuss the [O III] λ4363 emitting regions in LINERs in the framework of our dual-component model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-171
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Mar 1


  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • Galaxies: Seyfert
  • Quasars: emission lines


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