Mrk 1239: A Type-2 Counterpart of Narrow-line Seyfert-1?

Xiang Pan, Hongyan Zhou, Chenwei Yang, Luming Sun, Paul S. Smith, Tuo Ji, Ning Jiang, Peng Jiang, Wenjuan Liu, Honglin Lu, Xiheng Shi, Xuejie Dai, Shaohua Zhang

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We present new spectrophotometric and spectropolarimetric observations of Mrk 1239, one of the 8 prototypes that defines type-1 narrow-line Seyfert galaxies (NLS1s). Unlike the other typical NLS1s though, a high degree of polarization (P ∼ 5.6%) and red optical-IR (g-W 4 = 12.35) colors suggest that Mrk 1239 is more similar to type-2 active galactic nuclei like NGC 1068. Detailed analysis of spectral energy distribution in the UV-optical-IR yields two components from the nucleus: a direct and transmitted component that is heavily obscured (E B-V ≈ 1.6), and another indirect and scattered one with mild extinction (E B-V ∼ 0.5). Such a two-light-paths scenario is also found in previous reports based on the X-ray data. Comparison of emission lines and the detection of He i∗λ10830 BAL at [-3000, -1000] km s-1 indicates that the obscuring clouds are at physical scale between the sublimation radius and that of the narrow emission line regions. The potential existence of powerful outflows is found as both the obscurer and scatterer are outflowing. Similar to many other type-2s, jet-like structure in the radio band is found in Mrk 1239, perpendicular to the polarization angle, suggesting polar scattering. We argue that Mrk 1239 is very probably a type-2 counterpart of NLS1s. The identification of 1 out of 8 prototype NLS1s as a type-2 counterpart implies that there can be a substantial amount of analogs of Mrk 1239 misidentified as type-1s in the optical band. Properties of these misidentified objects are going to be explored in our future works.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 10 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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