One enigmatic class of objects whose structures are interesting and only recently explored are active galactic nuclei (AGN). These are galaxies in which massive black holes sit at the center and accrete matter. The term "active" refers to energetic processes which are not directly attributable to stars and which occur in the innermost portions of galaxies. Astrophysicists have developed general descriptions of AGN, but details about these objects remain incomplete. Notably, the thermal and ionization structures of AGN accretion disks and the geometries of the circum-source clouds which surround the black hole and comprise an important portion of the energy emitting core, as well as the importance of thermal stability to the emission of radiation, is unclear at this time. Therefore, along with my research advisor, Dr. Cynthia Hess, I have studied the unusual active galaxies NGC 4258, NGC 1097, and NGC 1068 in an attempt to shed light upon the morphologies oftheir central regions.
Kotter '98, Jeremy, "X-Ray Spectroscopic Mapping of Three Unusual Active Galaxies (NGC 4258, NGC 1097, and NGC 1068)" (1998). Honors Projects. Paper 6.