Large-scale outflows in edge-on Seyfert galaxies. I. Optical emission-line imaging and optical spectroscopy

Edward J.M. Colbert, Stefi A. Baum, Jack F. Gallimore, Christopher P. O'Dea, Matthew D. Lehnert, Zlatan I. Tsvetanov, John S. Mulchaey, Saul Caganoff

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We have launched a search for large-scale (≳ 1 kpc) minor axis outflows in edge-on Seyfert galaxies in order to assess their frequency of occurrence and to study their properties. Here we present optical continuum and Hα + [N II] line images and/or minor axis long-slit spectra of 22 edge-on Seyfert galaxies. Six of these galaxies show at least one of the following: (i) bi-symmetric Hα halos extending along the minor axis, (ii) bright emission-line complexes at distances ≳4 kpc (in projection) out of the disk, and (iii) double-peaked emission-line profiles from the gas along the minor axis, suggesting that a windblown bubble is present. Our results indicate that ≳1/4 of Seyfert galaxies have good evidence for minor axis galactic outflows. Kinetic luminosities of the galactic outflows in our sample Seyfert galaxies are ∼1040-1042 ergs s-1, assuming all the observed minor axis emission is produced by the outflow. These values are, in general, ∼0.1 as large as those well-studied cases of superwinds in starburst galaxies (Heckman, Armus, & Miley 1990). However, far-infrared luminosities of our sample Seyfert galaxies are also ∼0.1 as large. Both starburst-driven superwinds and wide-angled outflows from the active galactic nucleus are possible explanations for the observed large-scale outflows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-92
Number of pages18
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1996



  • Cooling flows
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: Seyfert
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Colbert, E. J. M., Baum, S. A., Gallimore, J. F., O'Dea, C. P., Lehnert, M. D., Tsvetanov, Z. I., Mulchaey, J. S., & Caganoff, S. (1996). Large-scale outflows in edge-on Seyfert galaxies. I. Optical emission-line imaging and optical spectroscopy. Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series, 105(1), 75-92.