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Paper: Tidal Perturbation and Active Galaxy Nuclei
Volume: 209, Small Galaxy Groups, IAU Colloquium 174
Page: 318
Authors: Byrd, Gene; Valtonen, Mauri
Abstract: Theories of nuclear activity mechanisms in disk galaxies (such as Seyfert galaxies) range from intrinsic (e.g. bars) to external (tidal perturbation by passing companions). The Byrd et al. (1986, 1987) simulation survey determined the tidal perturbation necessary to induce nuclear activity. Observational surveys have raised doubt as to the tidal explanation of Seyfert-type activity in galaxies with some suggesting a weak or nonexistent correlation between tidal perturbation and Seyfert activity compared to a normal sample. The simulations show a several hundred million year delay in the appearance of activity after perturbation and a similar duration which can explain these null results. For double galaxies, we derive from the tidal hypothesis that: (1) There should be an excess of pairs where both are active over pairs with one active. (2) Nuclear activity will be preferentially excluded from pairs which are unequal and favorably distributed to pairs where the members are equal. (3) The size of pair members to create activity can be smaller if the pair members are equal in size than if they are unequal. (4) Pairs where one or both members are active should have a smaller velocity difference times separation than if both are normal. All the predictions are seen in observations of activity in Karachentsev's (1983) list of double galaxies. Optimally, statistical studies of nuclear activity and companions should include their sizes, separations, and radial velocities relative to the primary. The study by Dultzin-Hacyan et al. (1999) which finds an excess of large companions around Seyfert 2 galaxies is a step in the right direction.
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