We present Fabry-Pérot (FP) imaging and longslit spectroscopy of the nearby Seyfert II galaxy NGC 1068 using the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS) on the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) to observe the impact of the central active galactic nucleus (AGN) on the ionized gas in the galaxy on kiloparsec scales. With SALT RSS FP we are able to observe the Hα + [N II] emission line complex over a ~2.6 arcmin2 field of view. Combined with the longslit observation, we demonstrate the efficacy of FP spectroscopy for studying nearby Type II Seyfert galaxies and investigate the kiloparsec-scale ionized gas in NGC 1068. We confirm the results of previous work from the TYPHOON/Progressive Integral Step Method survey that the kiloparsec-scale ionized features in NGC 1068 are driven by AGN photoionization. We analyze the spatial variation of the AGN intensity to put forward an explanation for the shape and structure of the kiloparsec-scale ionization features. Using a toy model, we suggest the ionization features may be understood as a light echo from a burst of enhanced AGN activity ~2000 yr ago. *Based on observations made with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT).
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- September 2023
- Seyfert galaxies;
- AGN host galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 18 pages, 9 figures. Accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal