EW[OIII] as an orientation indicator for quasars: implications for the torus [GA]


We present an analysis of the average spectral properties of 12,000 SDSS quasars as a function of accretion disc inclination, as measured from the equivalent width of the [O III] 5007{\AA} line. The use of this indicator on a large sample of quasars from the SDSS DR7 has proven the presence of orientation effects on the features of UV/optical spectra, confirming the presence of outflows in the NLR gas and that the geometry of the BLR is disc-like. Relying on the goodness of this indicator, we are now using it to investigate other bands/components of AGN. Specifically, the study of the UV/optical/IR SED of the same sample provides information on the obscuring “torus”. The SED shows a decrease of the IR fraction moving from face-on to edge-on sources, in agreement with models where the torus is co-axial with the accretion disc. Moreover, the fact we are able to observe the broad emission lines also in sources in an edge-on position, suggests that the torus is rather clumpy than smooth as in the Unified Model. The behaviour of the SED as a function of EW[OIII] is in agreement with the predictions of the clumpy torus models as well.

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S. Bisogni, A. Marconi, G. Risaliti, et. al.
Mon, 13 Nov 17

Comments: 9 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, Research Topic “Quasars at all cosmic epochs”; proceedings of the conference “Quasars at all cosmic epochs”, held in Padova, April 2-7, 2017