González-Martín, Omaira;Masegosa, Josefa;Hernán-Caballero, Antonio;Márquez, Isabel;Ramos Almeida, Cristina;Alonso-Herrero, Almudena;Aretxaga, Itziar;Rodríguez-Espinosa, José Miguel;Acosta-Pulido, Jose Antonio;Hernández-García, Lorena;Esparza-Arredondo, Donaji;Martínez-Paredes, Mariela;Bonfini, Paolo;Pasetto, Alice;Dultzin, Deborah. 2017. Hints on the Gradual Resizing of the Torus in AGNs through Decomposition of Spitzer/IRS Spectra. Astrophysical Journal 841, 1, DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa6f16
Several authors have claimed that less luminous active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are not capable of sustaining a dusty torus structure. Thus, a gradual resizing of the torus is expected when the AGN luminosity decreases. Our aim is to examine mid-infrared observations of local AGNs of different luminosities for the gradual resizing and disappearance of the torus. We applied the decomposition method described by Hernan-Caballero et al. to a sample of similar to 100 Spitzer/IRS spectra of low-luminosity AGNs and powerful Seyferts in order to decontaminate the torus component from other contributors. We have also included Starburst objects to ensure secure decomposition of the Spitzer/IRS spectra. We have used the affinity propagation (AP) method to cluster the data into five groups within the sample according to torus contribution to the 5-15 mu m range (C-torus) and bolometric luminosity (L-bol). The AP groups show a progressively higher torus contribution and an increase of the bolometric luminosity from Group 1 (C-torus similar to 0% and log(L-bol) similar to 41) up to Group 5 (C-torus similar to 80% and log(L-bol) similar to 44). We have fitted the average spectra of each of the AP groups to clumpy models. The torus is no longer present in Group 1, supporting its disappearance at low luminosities. We were able to fit the average spectra for the torus component in Groups 3 (C-torus similar to 40% and log(L-bol) similar to 42.6), 4 (C-torus similar to 60% and log(L-bol) similar to 43.7), and 5 to Clumpy torus models. We did not find a good fitting to Clumpy torus models for Group 2 (C-torus similar to 18% and log(L-bol) similar to 42). This might suggest a different configuration and/or composition of the clouds for Group 2, which is consistent with the different gas content seen in Groups 1, 2, and 3, according to detections of H-2 molecular lines. Groups 3, 4, and 5 show a trend of decreasing torus width (which leads to a likely decrease of the geometrical covering factor), although we cannot confirm it with the present data. Finally, Groups 3, 4, and 5 show an increase of the outer radius of the torus for higher luminosities, consistent with a resizing of the torus according to AGN luminosity.