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The stellar populations of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei – III. Spatially resolved spectral properties

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The stellar populations of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei – III. Spatially resolved spectral properties

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Título The stellar populations of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei – III. Spatially resolved spectral properties
Autor Fernandes Junior, Roberto Cid
González Delgado, Rosa M.
Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa
Martins, Lucimara Pires
Schmitt, Henrique Roberto
Abstract In a recently completed survey of the stellar population properties of low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs) and LINER/H II transition objects (TOs), we have identified a numerous class of galactic nuclei which stand out because of their conspicuous 10 8−9 yr populations, traced by high-order Balmer absorption lines and other stellar indices. These objects are called ‘young-TOs’, because they all have TO-like emission-line ratios. In this paper we extend this previous work, which concentrated on the nuclear properties, by investigating the radial variations of spectral properties in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs). Our analysis is based on high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectra in the 3500–5500 Å interval for a sample of 47 galaxies. The data probe distances of typically up to 850 pc from the nucleus with a resolution of ~100 pc (~1 arcsec) and S/N ~ 30. Stellar population gradients are mapped by the radial profiles of absorption-line equivalent widths and continuum colours along the slit. These variations are further analysed by means of a decomposition of each spectrum in terms of template galaxies representative of very young (10 7 yr), intermediate age (10 8–9 yr) and old (≤10 10 yr) stellar populations. This study reveals that young-TOs also differ from old-TOs and old-LINERs in terms of the spatial distributions of their stellar populations and dust. Specifically, our main findings are as follows. (i) Significant stellar population gradients are found almost exclusively in young- TOs. (ii) The intermediate age population of young-TOs, although heavily concentrated in the nucleus, reaches distances of up to a few hundred pc from the nucleus. Nevertheless, the half width at half-maximum of its brightness profile is more typically 100 pc or less. (iii) Objects with predominantly old stellar populations present spatially homogeneous spectra, be they LINERs or TOs. (iv) Young-TOs have much more dust in their central regions than other LLAGNs. (v) The B-band luminosities of the central < ~ 1 Gyr population in young-TOs are within an order of magnitude of MB =−15, implying masses of the order of ~ 10 7–10 8 Mʘ. This population was 10–100 times more luminous in its formation epoch, at which time young massive stars would have completely outshone any active nucleus, unless the AGN too was brighter in the past.
Contido em Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Oxford. Vol. 356, no. 1 (Jan. 2005), p. 270-294
Assunto Galaxias
Nucleo galatico
[en] Galaxies: active
[en] Galaxies: nuclei
[en] Galaxies: seyfert
[en] Galaxies: statistics
[en] Galaxies: stellar content
Origem Estrangeiro
Tipo Artigo de periódico
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10183/90258
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