Hönig, S., Beckert, T., Ohnaka, K., Weigelt, G.

Radiative Transfer Modeling of Three-Dimensional Clumpy AGN Tori and its Application to NGC1068

Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol.452, pg. 459 (2006)


Recent observations of NGC1068 and other AGN support the idea of a geometrically and optically thick dust torus surrounding the central supermassive black hole and accretion disk of AGN. In type 2 AGN, the torus is seen roughly edge-on, leading to obscuration of the central radiation source and a silicate absorption feature near 10 µm. While most of the current torus models distribute the dust smoothly, there is growing evidence that the dust must be arranged in clouds. We describe a new method for modeling near- and mid-infrared emission of 3-dimensional clumpy tori using Monte Carlo simulations. We calculate the radiation fields of individual clouds at various distances from the AGN and distribute these clouds within the torus region. The properties of the individual clouds and their distribution within the torus are determined from a theoretical approach of self-gravitating clouds close to the shear limit in a gravitational potential. We demonstrate that clumpiness in AGN tori can overcome the problem of over-pronounced silicate features. Finally, we present model calculations for the prototypical Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC1068 and compare them to recent high-resolution measurements. Our model is able to reproduce both the SED and the interferometric observations of NGC1068 in the near- and mid-infrared.

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