Using Hubble Space Telescope imaging of nuclear dust morphology to rule out bars fueling Seyfert nuclei.
REGAN M.W. and MULCHAEY J.S.
Abstract (from CDS):
If active galactic nuclei (AGN) are powered by the accretion of matter onto massive black holes, how does the gas in the host galaxy lose the required angular momentum to approach the black hole? Gas easily transfers angular momentum to stars in strong bars, making them likely candidates. Although ground-based searches for bars in active galaxies using both optical and near-infrared surface brightness have not found any excess of bars relative to quiescent galaxies, the searches have not been able to rule out small-scale nuclear bars. To look for these nuclear bars we use Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 and Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer color maps to search for the straight dust lane signature of strong bars. Of the twelve Seyfert galaxies in our sample, only three have dust lanes consistent with a strong nuclear bar. Therefore, strong nuclear bars cannot be the primary fueling mechanism for Seyfert nuclei. We do find that a majority of the galaxies show an spiral morphology in their dust lanes. These spiral arms may be a possible fueling mechanism.
Galaxies: Evolution - Galaxies: Individual: NGC Number: NGC 1023 - Galaxies: Individual: NGC Number: NGC 7332 - Galaxies: Nuclei - Galaxies: Seyfert