The prominent broad Fe II emission blends in the spectra of active galactic nuclei have been shown to vary in response to continuum variations, but past attempts to measure the reverberation lag time of the optical Fe II lines have met with only limited success. Here we report the detection of Fe II reverberation in two Seyfert 1 galaxies, NGC 4593 and Mrk 1511, based on data from a program carried out at Lick Observatory in Spring 2011. Light curves for emission lines including Hβ and Fe II were measured by applying a fitting routine to decompose the spectra into several continuum and emission-line components, and we use cross-correlation techniques to determine the reverberation lags of the emission lines relative to V-band light curves. In both cases, the measured lag (τcen) of Fe II is longer than that of Hβ, although the inferred lags are somewhat sensitive to the choice of Fe II template used in the fit. For spectral decompositions done using the Fe II template of Véron-Cetty et al., we find τcen (Fe II)/τcen (Hβ) = 1.9 ± 0.6 in NGC 4593 and 1.5 ± 0.3 in Mrk 1511. The detection of highly correlated variations between Fe II and continuum emission demonstrates that the Fe II emission in these galaxies originates in photoionized gas, located predominantly in the outer portion of the broad-line region.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- galaxies: active
- galaxies: individual (Mrk 1511, NGC 4593)
- galaxies: nuclei