Isotropic luminosity indicators in a complete AGN sample

Aleksandar M. Diamond-Stanic, George H. Rieke, Jane R. Rigby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


The [O IV] λ25.89 μm line has been shown to be an accurate indicator of active galactic nucleus (AGN) intrinsic luminosity in that it correlates well with hard (10-200 keV) X-ray emission. We present measurements of [O IV] for 89 Seyfert galaxies from the unbiased revised Shapley-Ames (RSA) sample. The [O IV] luminosity distributions of obscured and unobscured Seyferts are indistinguishable, indicating that their intrinsic AGN luminosities are quite similar and that the RSA sample is well suited for tests of the unified model. In addition, we analyze several commonly used proxies for AGN luminosity, including [O III] λ5007 , 6 cm radio, and 2-10keV X-ray emission. We find that the radio luminosity distributions of obscured and unobscured AGNs show no significant difference, indicating that radio luminosity is a useful isotropic luminosity indicator. However, the observed [O III] and 2-10keV luminosities are systematically smaller for obscured Seyferts, indicating that they are not emitted isotropically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-631
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Galaxies: Seyfert
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: nuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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