Investigating the sensitivity of observed spectral energy distributions to clumpy torus properties in Seyfert galaxies
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AuthorRamos Almeida, Cristina; Alonso Herrero, Almudena; Levenson, Nancy A.; Asensio Ramos, A.; Rodríguez Espinosa, José Miguel; Packham, Christopher; Martínez, M.
We present nuclear spectral energy distributions (SEDs) from 1 to 18 μm of a small sample of nearby, nearly face-on and undisturbed Seyfert galaxies without prominent nuclear dust lanes. These nuclear SEDs probe the central ∼35 pc of the galaxies, on average, and include photometric and spectroscopic infrared (IR) data. We use these SEDs, the clumpy torus models of Nenkova et al. and a Bayesian approach to study the sensitivity of different IR wavelengths to the torus parameters. We find that high angular resolution 8–13 μm spectroscopy alone reliably constrains the number of clumps and their optical depth (N0 and τV). On the other hand, we need a combination of mid- and near-IR subarcsecond resolution photometry to constrain torus width and inclination, as well as the radial distribution of the clouds (σ, i and q). For flat radial profiles (q = 0, 1), it is possible to constrain the extent of the mid-IR-emitting dust within the torus (Y) when N-band spectroscopy is available, in addition to near-IR photometry. Finally, by fitting different combinations of average and individual Seyfert 1 and Seyfert 2 data, we find that, in general, for undisturbed, nearly face-on Seyferts without prominent nuclear dust lanes, the minimum combination of data necessary to reliably constrain all the torus parameters is J+K+M-band photometry + N-band spectroscopy.
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