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What do broad and strong emission lines mean and what are the main types of AGN?

  1. Nov 26, 2012 #1
    Cosmic greetings,

    I am reading up on active galaxies, and 'strong' and 'broad' emission lines are mentioned everywhere, yet no definitions given. Do they mean that the object is emitting energy across a large part of the spectrum, or that it's emitting a lot of energy?

    Also, I am confused by the different types of active galaxies. I'm trying to work out the main ones though (I'm writing an essay and don't want to go into too much detail). Are they Seyfert, radio, blazars and quasars?

    Thank you for your time!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2012 #2
    i found that i grasped the different AGN much better when i understood the UNIFIED MODEL of AGN.
    its a model based on the energy(mass) of the ANG and the postion that it is oberved in.

    the narrow and broad lines will also become evident when you see how the unified model works..
    (sorry i dont know how to post images)
  4. Nov 27, 2012 #3
    Thanks for the reply goldsax.

    I can't seem to find a definitive explanation of the unified model. This is my understanding so far:

    The unified model is the theory that all AGN have a black hole at their centre which is fuelled by its surrounding accretion disk, and that differences between AGN only arise because of their orientation with respect to the observer, due to obstruction by the molecular taurus.

    Is that correct?
  5. Nov 27, 2012 #4
    cannot post any pics i have due to copyright ..

    have a look at this link..good illustrations for the anatomy of AGN and different models

    you will notice that the broad line region comes from close to the black hole where there is lots of energy( both thermal and velocity, up to 10000km/s!!) the narrow lines are produced some distance away from the black hole where energies are lower.
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