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Traces of recent interactions in isolated Seyfert galaxies

Russian version

    By means of deep optical images obtained at the Special Astrophysical Observatory 6-m telescope it was discovered that some Seyfert galaxies that were earlier considered to be non-interacting objects displayed signatures of elongated tidal envelopes belonging to satellite debris. We found that 35 per cent of the sample of isolated galaxies are undergoing merging during the last 0.5-1 Gyr. Our results suggest that statistic studies based on popular imaging surveys (for example SDSS) can lead to an underestimation of the fraction of minor mergers among galaxies with active nuclei (AGN). Since the tidal perturbations induced by interactions favour gas accumulation in the area of action of the central machine of the AGN which is, according to modern view, is a supermassive black hole. It is hence very important to find out the role of galaxy merging in initiating and supporting the AGN activity.
Aleksandrina Smirnova, Alexey Moiseev, Victor Afanasiev
Published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomy Society (MNRAS), v. 408, p. 400, 2010

Contact - Aleksandrina Smirnova

Fig.1. From top to bottom: an digital sky survey archive image; SAO RAS 6-m telescope deep image in magnitudes; 6-m telescope deep image on a linear scale; a residual image after the 2D surface brightness model subtraction.