NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0386

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Proposal Information for 2006A-0386


PI: Catherine Buchanan, RIT, clbsps@cis.rit.edu
Address: Department of Physics, 84 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5603, USA

CoI: Jack Gallimore, Bucknell University
CoI: Chris O'Dea, RIT
CoI: Andrew Robinson, RIT
CoI: Stefi Baum, RIT
CoI: David Axon, RIT
CoI: Moshe Elitzur, University of Kentucky
CoI: Martin Elvis, Harvard University CfA

Title: The Optical and Infrared Emission from Seyfert Galaxies: Towards a comprehensive understanding

Abstract: We are conducting a comprehensive study of the thermal infrared emission from nearby active galaxies using the Spitzer Space Telescope. We propose to obtain optical spectra of our sample of Seyfert galaxies to maximize the return on the IR data. Our science goals are: (1) to determine accurate and uniform spectroscopic classifications using line ratio diagrams and Balmer line widths; (2) to derive ionizing photon luminosities from Balmer lines to constrain dust radiative transfer models; (3) to quantify the AGN and starburst contributions via line ratios and continuum decomposition; and (4) investigate relationships between the optical spectra and IR emission properties. A homogeneous set of optical spectra with wavelength coverage ~3600 - 7000 \AA, and signal-to noise ratio \gtrsim40 is essential to achieve our science goals and not available from existing sources. The proposed observations will produce a unique dataset that will be a legacy to the scientific community. Using the spectra in conjunction with our Spitzer data, we will address the outstanding issues of the nature of nuclear obscuration in AGN and the starburst/AGN connection.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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