Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 364, 1041-1053 (2005/December-2)
Molecular hydrogen and [FeII] in active galactic nuclei - II. Results for Seyfert 2 galaxies.
RODRIGUEZ-ARDILA A., RIFFEL R. and PASTORIZA M.G.
Abstract (from CDS):
Near-infrared spectroscopy is used to study the kinematics and excitation mechanisms of H2and [Feii] lines in a sample dominated by Seyfert 2 galaxies. The spectra simultaneously cover the JHK bands, allowing us to compare line fluxes emitted in the interval 0.8-2.4 µm and avoiding aperture and seeing effects. The H2lines are systematically narrower than the narrow-line region lines, suggesting that, very likely, the H2does not originate from the same parcel of gas that forms the narrow-line region. Emission-line ratios between H2lines favour thermal excitation mechanisms for the molecular gas in active galactic nuclei. It was found that non-thermal excitation contributes, at most, 30 per cent of the observed H2. Thermal excitation is also confirmed by the rather similar vibrational and rotational temperatures in the objects (∼2000 K). The mass of hot H2ranges from 102 to 103M☉, with nearly half of objects showing values of <500 M☉. It shows that the fraction of molecular mass present in the nuclear region and emitting in the near-infrared is a very small fraction of the warm molecular mass present in the centre. A diagnostic diagram composed of the line ratios H2/Brγ and [Feii]/Paβ proves to be a useful tool in the near-infrared for separating emission-line objects by their degree of nuclear activity. We found that active galactic nuclei are characterized by H22.121 µm/Brγ and [Feii] 1.257 µm/Paβ flux ratios between 0.6 and 2. Starburst/Hii galaxies display line ratios <0.6 while low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions are characterized by values larger than 2 in either ratio.