Spitzer/IRS 5-35 um Low-Resolution Spectroscopy of the 12 um Seyfert Sample

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 5.99). 06/2009; 701(1). DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/701/1/658
Source: arXiv


We present low-resolution 5.5-35 um spectra for 103 galaxies from the 12 um Seyfert sample, a complete unbiased 12 um flux limited sample of local Seyfert galaxies selected from the IRAS Faint Source Catalog, obtained with the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on-board Spitzer Space Telescope. For 70 of the sources observed in the IRS mapping mode, uniformly extracted nuclear spectra are presented for the first time. We performed an analysis of the continuum emission, the strength of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) and astronomical silicate features of the sources. We find that on average, the 15-30 um slope of the continuum is alpha_{15-30}=-0.85+-0.61 for Seyfert 1s and -1.53+-0.84 for Seyfert 2s, and there is substantial scatter in each type. Moreover, nearly 32% of Seyfert 1s, and 9% of Seyfert 2s, display a peak in the mid-infrared spectrum at 20 um, which is attributed to an additional hot dust component. The PAH equivalent width decreases with increasing dust temperature, asindicated by the global infrared color of the host galaxies. However, no statistical difference in PAH equivalent width is detected between the two Seyfert types, 1 and 2, of the same bolometric luminosity. The silicate features at 9.7 and 18um in Seyfert 1 galaxies are rather weak, while Seyfert 2s are more likely to display strong silicate absorption. Those Seyfert 2s with the highest silicate absorption also have high infrared luminosity and high absorption (hydrogen column density N_H>10^23 cm^-2 as measured from the X-rays. Finally, we propose a new method to estimate the AGN contribution to the integrated 12 um galaxy emission, by subtracting the "star formation" component in the Seyfert galaxies, making use of the tight correlation between PAH 11.2 um luminosity and 12 um luminosity for star forming galaxies. Comment: accepted for publication in ApJ

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Available from: Vassilis Charmandaris
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