Broad-line region structure and line profile variations in the changing look AGN HE 1136-2304

W. Kollatschny, M. W. Ochmann, M. Zetzl, M. Haas, D. Chelouche, S. Kaspi, F. Pozo Nuñez, D. Grupe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims. A strong X-ray outburst was detected in HE 1136-2304 in 2014. Accompanying optical spectra revealed that the spectral type has changed from a nearly Seyfert 2 type (1.95), classified by spectra taken 10 and 20 years ago, to a Seyfert 1.5 in our most recent observations. We seek to investigate a detailed spectroscopic campaign on the spectroscopic properties and spectral variability behavior of this changing look AGN and compare this to other variable Seyfert galaxies. Methods. We carried out a detailed spectroscopic variability campaign of HE 1136-2304 with the 10 m Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) between 2014 December and 2015 July. Results. The broad-line region (BLR) of HE 1136-2304 is stratified with respect to the distance of the line-emitting regions. The integrated emission line intensities of Hα, Hβ, HeIλ5876, and HeII λ4686 originate at distances of 15.0-3.8 +4.2, 7.5-5.7 +4.6, 7.3-4.4 +2.8, and 3.0-3.7 +5.3 light days with respect to the optical continuum at 4570 Å. The variability amplitudes of the integrated emission lines are a function of distance to the ionizing continuum source as well. We derived a central black hole mass of 3.8 ± 3.1 × 107 Mo based on the linewidths and distances of the BLR. The outer line wings of all BLR lines respond much faster to continuum variations indicating a Keplerian disk component for the BLR. The response in the outer wings is about two light days shorter than the response of the adjacent continuum flux with respect to the ionizing continuum flux. The vertical BLR structure in HE 1136-2304 confirms a general trend that the emission lines of narrow line active galactic nuclei (AGNs) originate at larger distances from the midplane in comparison to AGNs showing broader emission lines. Otherwise, the variability behavior of this changing look AGN is similar to that of other AGN.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA168
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 ESO.


  • Galaxies: Seyfert
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: individual: HE 1136-2304
  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • Quasars: emission lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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