Non-lte models and theoretical spectra of accretion disks in active galactic nuclei. ii. vertical structure of the disk

Ivan Hubeny, Veronika Hubeny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


We have calculated several representative models of vertical structure of an accretion disk around a supermassive Kerr black hole. The interaction of radiation and matter is treated self-consistently, taking into account departures from LTE for calculating both the disk structure and the radiation field. The structural equations are described in detail, and various approximations are discussed. We have demonstrated that departures from LTE are very important for determining the disk structure, even at the midplane, as well as the emergent radiation, particularly for hot and electron-scattering-dominated disks. We have shown that at least for the disk parameters studied in this paper, non-LTE effects tend to reduce the value of the Lyman jump with respect to the LTE predictions, regardless whether LTE predicts an emission or absorption jump. We have studied the effects of various values of viscosity on the model structure and predicted spectral energy distribution. The viscosity is parameterized through a parameter α0 that describes the vertically averaged viscous stress, two power-law exponents, ζ0 and ζ1, and the division point md between these two forms. The disk structure and emergent radiation is sensitive mainly to the values of α0, while the other parameters influence the disk structure to a much lesser extent. However, although the detailed shape of the predicted spectrum is sensitive to adopted value of α0, the overall appearance of the spectrum is quite similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-576
Number of pages19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART I
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Galaxies: Active
  • Galaxies: Nuclei
  • Radiative transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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