We present a study of available Hubble Space Telescope (HST) spectroscopic and imaging observations of the low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER) galaxy NGC 1052. The WFPC2 imagery clearly differentiates extended nebular Hα emission from that of the compact core. Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS) observations provide a full set of optical and UV data (1200-6800 Å). These spectral data sample the innermost region (0″.86 × 0″.86 ≃ 82 × 82 pc) and exclude the extended Hα emission seen in the WFPC2 image. The derived emission-line fluxes allow a detailed analysis of the physical conditions within the nucleus. The measured flux ratio for Hα/Hβ, FHα/FHβ = 4.53, indicates substantial intrinsic reddening, E(B -V) = 0.42, for the nuclear nebular emission. This is the first finding of a large extinction of the nuclear emission-line fluxes in NGC 1052. If the central ionizing continuum is assumed to be attenuated by a comparable amount, then the emission-line fluxes can be reproduced well by a simple photoionization model using a central power-law continuum source with a spectral index of α = - 1.2 as deduced from the observed flux distribution. A multidensity, dusty gas gives the best fit to the observed emission-line spectrum. Our calculations show that the small contribution from a highly ionized gas observed in NGC 1052 can also be reproduced solely by photoionization modeling. The high gas covering factor determined from our model is consistent with the assumption that our line of sight to the central engine is obscured.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science