Clues to Quasar Broad-Line Region Geometry and Kinematics

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Clues to Quasar Broad-Line Region Geometry and Kinematics

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Title: Clues to Quasar Broad-Line Region Geometry and Kinematics
Author: Vestergaard, M.; Wilkes, Belinda Jane; Barthel, P. D.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Vestergaard, M., B. J. Wilkes, and P. D. Barthel. 2000. “Clues to Quasar Broad-Line Region Geometry and Kinematics.” The Astrophysical Journal 538 (2) (August 1): L103–L106. doi:10.1086/312805.
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Abstract: We present evidence that the high-velocity C IV λ1549 emission-line gas of radio-loud quasars may originate in a disklike configuration, in close proximity to the accretion disk often assumed to emit the low-ionization lines. For a sample of 36 radio-loud z ≈ 2 quasars, we find the 20%-30% peak widths to show significant inverse correlations with the fractional radio core-flux density R, which is the radio axis inclination indicator. Highly inclined systems have broader line wings, consistent with a high-velocity field perpendicular to the radio axis. By contrast, the narrow line core shows no such relation with R, so the lowest velocity C IV-emitting gas has an inclination-independent velocity field. We propose that this low-velocity gas is located at higher disk altitudes than the high-velocity gas. A planar origin of the high-velocity C IV emission is consistent with the current results and with an accretion disk wind emitting the broad lines. A spherical distribution of randomly orbiting broad-line clouds and a polar high-ionization outflow are ruled out.
Published Version: doi:10.1086/312805
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