Recent studies have suggested that the short-timescale (≲7 days) variability of the broad (∼10,000 km s-1) double-peaked Hα profile of the LINER nucleus of NGC 1097 could be driven by a variable X-ray emission from a central radiatively inefficient accretion flow. To test this scenario, we have monitored the NGC 1097 nucleus in X-ray and UV continuum with Swift and the Hα flux and profile in the optical spectrum using SOAR and Gemini-South from 2012 August to 2013 February. During the monitoring campaign, the Hα flux remained at a very low level - three times lower than the maximum flux observed in previous campaigns and showing only limited (∼20%) variability. The X-ray variations were small, only ∼13% throughout the campaign, while the UV did not show significant variations. We concluded that the timescale of the Hα profile variation is close to the sampling interval of the optical observations, which results in only a marginal correlation between the X-ray and Hα fluxes. We have caught the active galaxy nucleus in NGC 1097 in a very low activity state, in which the ionizing source was very weak and capable of ionizing just the innermost part of the gas in the disk. Nonetheless, the data presented here still support the picture in which the gas that emits the broad double-peaked Balmer lines is illuminated /ionized by a source of high-energy photons which is located interior to the inner radius of the line-emitting part of the disk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science