AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationQian Yang et al 2018 ApJ 862 109
Rights© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
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AbstractThe rare case of changing-look (CL) active galactic nuclei (AGNs), with the appearance or disappearance of broad Balmer emission lines within a few years, challenges our understanding of the AGN unified model. We present a sample of 21 new CL AGNs at 0.08 < z < 0.58, which doubles the number of such objects known to date. These new CL AGNs were discovered in various ways, from (1) repeat spectra in the SDSS, (2) repeat spectra in the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and SDSS, and (3) photometric variability and new spectroscopic observations. We use the photometric data from surveys, including the SDSS imaging survey, the Pan-STARRS1, the DESI Legacy imaging survey, the Wide field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey, and the Palomar Transient Factory. The estimated upper limits of the transition timescale of the CL AGNs in this sample spans from 0.9 to 13 years in the rest-frame. The continuum flux in the optical and mid-infrared becomes brighter when the CL AGNs turn on, or vice versa. Variations of more than 0 2 mag in the W1 band were detected in 15 CL AGNs during the transition. The optical and mid-infrared variability is not consistent with the scenario of variable obscuration in 10 CL AGNs at more than the 3o confidence level. We confirm a bluer-when-brighter trend in the optical. However, the mid-infrared WISE colors Wl-W2 become redder when the objects become brighter in the W1 band, possibly due to a stronger hot dust contribution in the W2 band when the AGN activity becomes stronger. The physical mechanism of type transition is important for understanding the evolution of AGNs.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Key R&D Program of China [2016YFA0400703]; National Key Basic Research Program of China [2014CB845700]; NSFC [11373008, 11533001]; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; National Science Foundation; U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science; University of Arizona; Brazilian Participation Group; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Carnegie Mellon University; University of Florida; French Participation Group; German Participation Group; Harvard University; Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias; Michigan State/NotreDame/JINA Participation Group; Johns Hopkins University; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics; Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics; New Mexico State University; New York University; Ohio State University; Pennsylvania State University; University of Portsmouth; Princeton University; Spanish Participation Group; University of Tokyo; University of Utah; Vanderbilt University; University of Virginia; University of Washington; Yale University; National Development and Reform Commission; National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NNX08AR22G, NNG05GF22G]; National Science Foundation [AST-1238877]; US National Science Foundation [AST-0909182, AST-1313422]