Department of Physics and Astronomy: Publications and Other Research


Date of this Version



Preprint of an article published in New Astronomy Reviews 44, 564 (2000). Published by Elsevier.
Journal homepage: New Astronomy Reviews


The evidence is reviewed that the Broad Line Region (BLR) probably has two distinct components located at about the same distance from the central black hole. One component, BLR II, is optically-thick, low-ionization emission at least some of which arises from a disc and the other, BLR I, is probably optically-thin emission from a more spherically symmetric halo or atmosphere. The high Fe II/Hβ ratios seen in Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 galaxies (NLS1s) are not due to strong Fe II emission, as is commonly thought, but to unusually weak Balmer emission, probably caused by higher densities. NLS1s probably differ from non-NLS1s because of the higher density of gas near the black hole. This produces a higher accretion rate, a denser BLR, and a view of the central regions that is more face-on.

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