We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

NICMOS polarimetry of "polar-scattered" Seyfert 1 galaxies.

Batcheldor, D. and Robinson, A. and Axon, D.J. and Young, S. and Quinn, S. and Smith, J.E. and Hough, J. and Alexander, D.M. (2011) 'NICMOS polarimetry of "polar-scattered" Seyfert 1 galaxies.', Astrophysical journal., 738 (1). p. 90.


The nuclei of Seyfert 1 galaxies exhibit a range of optical polarization characteristics that can be understood in terms of two scattering regions producing orthogonal polarizations: an extended polar scattering region (PSR) and a compact equatorial scattering region (ESR), located within the circum-nuclear torus. Here we present NICMOS 2.0 μm imaging polarimetry of six "polar-scattered" Seyfert 1 (S1) galaxies, in which the PSR dominates the optical polarization. The unresolved nucleus (<0farcs58) is significantly polarized in only three objects, but five of the six exhibit polarization in a 0farcs58-1farcs5 circum-nuclear annulus. In Fairall 51 and ESO 323-G077, the polarization position angle at 2 μm (θ2 μm) is consistent with the average for the optical spectrum(θ v ), implying that the nuclear polarization is dominated by polar scattering at both wavelengths. The same is probably true for NGC 3227. In both NGC 4593 and Mrk 766, there is a large difference between θ2 μm and θ v off-nucleus, where polar scattering is expected to dominate. This may be due to contamination by interstellar polarization in NGC 4593, but there is no clear explanation in the case of the strongly polarized Mrk 766. Lastly, in Mrk 1239, a large change (≈60°) in θ2 μm between the nucleus and the annulus indicates that the unresolved nucleus and its immediate surroundings have different polarization states at 2 μm, which we attribute to the ESR and PSR, respectively. A further implication is that the source of the scattered 2 μm emission in the unresolved nucleus is the accretion disk, rather than torus hot dust emission. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program 10160.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:
Keywords:Galaxies: nuclei, Galaxies: Seyfert, Infrared: galaxies, Polarization, Scattering, Techniques: polarimetric.
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:03 January 2014
Date of first online publication:September 2011
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar