EAS Publications Series
Volume 34, 2009Astronomy in the Submillimeter and Far Infrared Domains with the Herschel Space Observatory
|Page(s)||237 - 246|
|Published online||20 December 2008|
L. Pagani and M. Gerin (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 34 (2009) 237-246
Infrared spectroscopic diagnostics for Active Galactic Nuclei
Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, INAF, via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 0133 Roma, Italy
Infrared spectroscopy in the mid- and far-infrared provides powerful diagnostics for studying the emission regions in active galaxies. The large variety of ionic fine structure lines can probe gas conditions in a variety of physical conditions, from highly ionized gas excited by photons originated by black hole accretion to gas photoionized by young stellar systems. The critical density and the ionization potential of these transitions allow to fully cover the density-ionization parameter space. Some examples of line ratios diagrams using both mid-infrared and far-infrared ionic fine structure lines are presented. The upcoming space observatory Herschel will be able to observe the far-infrared spectra of large samples of local active galaxies. Based on the observed near-to-far infrared emission line spectrum of the template galaxy NGC 1068, are presented the predictions for the line fluxes expected for galaxies at high redshift. To observe spectroscopically large samples of distant galaxies, we will have to wait for the future space missions, like SPICA and, ultimately, FIRI.
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2009
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