We have built a bowshock model which provides us with both kinematical and spectral information along the shock structure. This yet unchallenged combination should be a powerful tool to probe the role of shocks in the excitation of the ENLR of active galaxies. Detailed analysis of model grids will be presented in a second forthcoming paper, but we can already emphasize a few salient results: despite their faintness, observations of high excitation level coronal lines like [Fe XIV ] 5303 can put strong constraints on the shock parameters; output spectra are dominated by the photoionized gas line emission and discriminating between shock and photoionization models will require the use of kinematical information in addition to the usual line ratio diagnostics. Comparisons between the predictions of our model and observations of spatially resolved bowshock structures will be the logical straightforward continuation of this work (using either ground based integral field spectrogaphs like TIGER [Bacon et al. 1995] or the Hubble Telescope long-slit capability: STIS).
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997
Online publication: June 30, 1998