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Astron. Astrophys. 363, 455-475 (2000)

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Wind-type outflows in Seyfert 1 active nuclei

P. Pietrini and G. Torricelli-Ciamponi

1 Dipartimento di Astronomia e Scienza dello Spazio, Università di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2 Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy

Received 8 December 1999 / Accepted 16 August 2000


A sub-relativistic, thermal wind-type flow could represent the physical connection between the central engine and other observed components of the central region, such as the Broad Line Region (BLR) and X-ray/UV absorbers.

Observational clues as to the existence of such outflows in radio-quiet Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) are provided, for instance, by blue shifted absorption lines in Seyferts and Broad Absorption Line Quasi Stellar Objects (BAL QSOs).

We study a model for wind-type flows in Seyfert 1s and explore the physical conditions of the outflowing gas, taking into account explicitly both heating and cooling processes, including Compton interaction with radiation. A distributed heating source along the wind way turns out to be necessary for this nuclear wind existence and restrictions on physical parameters to obtain a reasonable wind model in the AGN context are identified; we also allow for externally originated mass loading of the wind.

Key words: hydrodynamics – plasmas – radiation mechanisms: thermal – galaxies: active – galaxies: Seyfert

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: December 11, 2000