Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) have long been known to be variable, but the amplitude, timescale and nature of these changes can often differ dramatically from object to object. The richest source of information about the properties of AGN and the physical processes driving these remains the optical spectrum. While this spectrum has remained remarkably steady over decades for some AGN, other objects, referred to as Changing Look AGN, have experienced a comprehensive spectral transformation. Developments in the detection technology have enabled detailed probing in other wavebands, highlighting for example often quite different variability patterns for high energy emission. This paper explores the current characteristics of some long-known (and almost forgotten) Seyfert galaxies. It compares their present optical spectral properties, determined from recent observations at the South African Astronomical Observatory, with those from much earlier epochs. It furthermore considers the implication of the changes that have taken place, alternatively the endurance of specific spectral features, on our understanding of the mechanisms of the observed targets in particular, and on AGN models in general.
- Pub Date:
- January 2020
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- submitted for publication in the Proceedings of IAU Symposium 356, Nuclear Activity in Galaxies across Cosmic Time, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Oct 2019