SALT long-slit spectroscopy of quasar HE 0435-4312: fast displacement of the Mg II emission line⋆,⋆⋆
1 Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
2 Center for Theoretical Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Al. Lotnikow 32/46, 02-668 Warsaw, Poland
3 Astronomical Observatory of the Jagiellonian University, Orla 171, 30-244 Cracow, Poland
4 INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, 35122 Padova, Italy
5 Key Laboratory for Particle Astrophysics, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19B Yuquan Road, 100049 Beijing, PR China
6 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, Niels Bohrweg 2, 2333 CA Leiden, The Netherlands
Received: 5 February 2016
Accepted: 15 January 2017
Context. The Mg II emission line is visible in the optical band for intermediate redshift quasars (0.4 < z < 1.6) and it is thus an extremely important tool to measure the black hole mass and to understand the structure of the Broad line region (BLR).
Aims. We aim to determine the substructure and the variability of the Mg II line with the aim to identify which part of the line comes from a medium in Keplerian motion.
Methods. Using the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) with the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS) we performed ten spectroscopic observations of quasar HE 0435-4312 (z = 1.2231) over a period of three years (Dec. 23/24, 2012 to Dec. 7/8, 2015).
Results. Both the Mg II line and the Fe II pseudo-continuum increase with time. We clearly detect the systematic shift of the Mg II line with respect to the Fe II over the years, corresponding to the acceleration of 104 ± 14 km s-1 yr-1 in the quasar rest frame. The Mg II line shape is clearly non-Gaussian but single-component, and the increase in line equivalent width and line shift is not accompanied with significant evolution of the line shape. We analyse the conditions in the Mg II and Fe II formation region and we note that the very large difference in the covering factor and the turbulent velocity also support the conclusion that the two regions are spatially separated.
Conclusions. The measured acceleration of the line systematic shift is too large to connect it with the orbital motion at a distance of the BLR in this source. It may imply a precessing inner disk illuminating the BLR. Further monitoring is still needed to better constrain the variability mechanism.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / black hole physics / line: profiles / galaxies: active / quasars: emission lines / quasars: individual: HE 0435-4312
Based on observations made with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) under program 2012-2-POL-003 and 2013-1-POL-RSA-002 (PI: B. Czerny).
Spectra shown in Figs. 3 and 4 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/601/A32
© ESO, 2017