In an effort to explain the short-timescale variability of the broad, double-peaked profiles of some active galactic nuclei, we constructed stochastically perturbed accretion disk models and calculated Ha line profile series as the bright spots rotate, shear, and decay. We determined the dependence of the properties of the line profile variability on the spot properties. We compared the variability of the line profile from the models to the observed variability of the Ha line of Arp 102B and 3C 390.3. We find that spots need to be concentrated in the outer parts of the line-emitting region to reproduce the observed variability properties for Arp 102B. This rules out spot production by star/disk collisions and favors a scenario where the radius of marginal self-gravity is within the line-emitting region, creating a sharp increase in the radial spot distribution in the outer parts. In the case of 3C 390.3, all the families of models that we tested can reproduce the observed variability for a suitable choice of model parameters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science