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Hubble Space Telescope Imaging of the Circumnuclear Environments of the CfA Seyfert Galaxies: Nuclear Spirals and FuelingWe present archival Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images of the nuclear regions of 43 of the 46 Seyfert galaxies found in the volume limited,spectroscopically complete CfA Redshift Survey sample. Using an improved method of image contrast enhancement, we created detailed high-quality " structure maps " that allow us to study the distributions of dust, star clusters, and emission-line gas in the circumnuclear regions (100-1000 pc scales) and in the associated host galaxy. Essentially all of these Seyfert galaxies have circumnuclear dust structures with morphologies ranging from grand-design two-armed spirals to chaotic dusty disks. In most Seyfert galaxies there is a clear physical connection between the nuclear dust spirals on hundreds of parsec scales and large-scale bars and spiral arms in the host galaxies proper. These connections are particularly striking in the interacting and barred galaxies. Such structures are predicted by numerical simulations of gas flows in barred and interacting galaxies and may be related to the fueling of active galactic nuclei by matter inflow from the host galaxy disks. We see no significant differences in the circumnuclear dust morphologies of Seyfert 1s and 2s, and very few Seyfert 2 nuclei are obscured by large-scale dust structures in the host galaxies. If Sevfert 2s are obscured Sevfert Is, then the obscuration must occur on smaller scales than those probed by HST.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Pogge, Richard W. (Ohio State Univ. Columbus, OH, United States)
Martini, Paul (Carnegie Institution of Washington Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
April 19, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
Volume: 569
Issue: 2 Pt 1
ISSN: 0004-637X
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits