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Tol 2240-384-a new low-metallicity AGN candidate
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2010 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 517, A90- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context. Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) have typically been discovered in massive galaxies of high metallicity. Aims. We attempt to increase the number of AGN candidates in low metallicity galaxies. We present VLT/UVES and archival VLT/FORS1 spectroscopic and NTT/SUSI2 photometric observations of the low-metallicity emission-line galaxy Tol 2240-384 and perform a detailed study of its morphology, chemical composition, and emission-line profiles. Methods. The profiles of emission lines in the UVES and FORS1 spectra are decomposed into several components with different kinematical properties by performing multicomponent fitting with Gaussians. We determine abundances of nitrogen, oxygen, neon, sulfur, chlorine, argon, and iron by analyzing the fluxes of narrow components of the emission lines using empirical methods. We verify with a photoionisation model that the physics of the narrow-line component gas is similar to that in common metal-poor galaxies. Results. Image deconvolution reveals two high-surface brightness regions in Tol 2240-384 separated by 2.4 kpc. The brightest southwestern region is surrounded by intense ionised gas emission that strongly affects the observed B - R colour on a spatial scale of similar to 5 kpc. The profiles of the strong emission lines in the UVES spectrum are asymmetric and all these lines apart from H alpha and H beta can be fitted by two Gaussians of FWHM similar to 75-92 km s(-1) separated by similar to 80 km s(-1) implying that there are two regions of ionised gas emitting narrow lines. The oxygen abundances in both regions are equal within the errors and in the range 12 + log O/H = 7.83-7.89. The shapes of the H alpha and H beta lines are more complex. In particular, the H alpha emission line consists of two broad components of FWHM similar to 700 km s(-1) and 2300 km s(-1), in addition to narrow components of two regions revealed from profiles of other lines. This broad emission in H alpha and H beta associated with the high-excitation, brighter southwestern H II region of the galaxy is also present in the archival low-and medium-resolution VLT/FORS1 spectra. The extraordinarily high luminosity of the broad H alpha line of 3x10(41) erg s(-1) cannot be accounted for by massive stars at different stages of their evolution. The broad Ha emission persists over a period of 7 years, which excludes supernovae as a powering mechanism of this emission. This emission most likely arises from an accretion disc around a black hole of mass similar to 10(7) M-circle dot.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 517, A90- p.
Keyword [en]
galaxies, fundamental parameters, active, starburst, ISM, abundances
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49417DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201014390ISI: 000280929400100OAI: diva2:382110
authorCount :6Available from: 2010-12-29 Created: 2010-12-14 Last updated: 2011-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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