Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Continuum Reverberation Mapping of the Accretion Disks in Two Seyfert 1 Galaxies


Dirk Grupe

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We present optical continuum lags for two Seyfert 1 galaxies, MCG+08-11-011 and NGC 2617, using monitoring data from a reverberation mapping campaign carried out in 2014. Our light curves span the ugriz filters over four months, with median cadences of 1.0 and 0.6 days for MCG+08-11-011 and NGC 2617, respectively, combined with roughly daily X-ray and near-UV data from Swift for NGC 2617. We find lags consistent with geometrically thin accretion-disk models that predict a lag-wavelength relation of τ ∝ λ4/3 . However, the observed lags are larger than predictions based on standard thin-disk theory by factors of 3.3 for MCG+08-11-011 and 2.3 for NGC 2617. These differences can be explained if the mass accretion rates are larger than inferred from the optical luminosity by a factor of 4.3 in MCG+08-11-011 and a factor of 1.3 in NGC 2617, although uncertainty in the SMBH masses determines the significance of this result. While the X-ray variability in NGC 2617 precedes the UV/optical variability, the long (2.6 day) lag is problematic for coronal reprocessing models.