Deconstructing the narrow-line region of the nearest obscured quasar

Villar V. Martín, E. Bellocchi, J. Stern, Ramos R. Almeida, C. Tadhunter, González G. Delgado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the physical and kinematic properties of the narrow-line region (NLR) of the nearest obscured quasar MRK 477 (z = 0.037), using optical and near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. About 100 emission lines are identified in the optical+NIR spectrum (90 in the optical), including several narrow optical Fe+ lines. To our knowledge, this is the first type 2 active galactic nucleus (AGN) with such a detection. The Fe+ lines can be explained as the natural emission from theNLRphotoionized by theAGN. Coronal line emission can only be confirmed in the NIR spectrum. As in many other AGNs, a significant correlation is found between the lines' full width at half-maximum and the critical density log(ncrit).We propose that it is caused by the outflow. This could be the case in other AGNs. The nuclear jet-induced ionized outflow has been kinematically isolated in many emission lines covering a broad range of ionization potentials and critical densities. It is concentrated within R ~few×100 pc from the central engine. The outflowing gas is denser (n ≳ 8000 cm-3) than the ambient non-perturbed gas (n ~few× 400-630 cm-3). This could be due to the compression effect of the jet-induced shocks. Alternatively, we propose that the outflow has been triggered by the jet at R ≲ 220 pc (possibly at ≲ 30 pc), and we trace how the impact weakens as it propagates outwards following the radiation-pressure-dominated density gradient. The different kinematic behaviour of [Fe II] λ1.644 μm suggests that its emission is enhanced by shocks induced by the nuclear outflow/jet and is preferentially emitted at a different, less reddened spatial location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-456
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: active
  • Quasars: emission lines
  • Quasars: general
  • Quasars: individual MRK 477


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