We have obtained HST FOC long-slit optical spectroscopy of the Narrow Line Region of the Seyfert 2 galaxy Mrk 3. In the region cospatial with the radio-jet the velocity field is highly perturbed and shows two velocity systems separated by as much as 1700 km/s. We interpret this to be the consequence of the rapid expansion of a cocoon of hot gas, shocked and heated by the radio-emitting outflow, which compresses and accelerates the ambient gas. The NLR itself is essentially a cylindrical shell expanding supersonically. From the size and velocity of the expanding region, we derive an upper limit to the radio-source age, ~< 1.5 E5 years, and a lower limit for the jet power, ~> 2 E42 erg/s required to inflate the cocoon and estimate that the jet minimum advance speed is 3 E-3 pc per year. The total kinetic energy of the high velocity NLR gas can be estimated as ~6 E54 erg, comparable to the total energy carried by the jet over its lifetime and this quantitatively supports the idea that the NLR gas is accelerated by the jet. If the advance speed of Mrk 3 is representative of the Seyfert population then these sources must also be short lived and probably recurrent. The jet kinetic luminosity of Mrk 3 is between 2 and 3 orders of magnitude smaller than that derived for radio-loud AGNs with similar emission-line luminosity. On the other hand, the fraction of jet power dissipated in radio-emission is similar. We speculate that the main distinction between radio-quiet and radio-loud AGN is ascribed to a difference in jet power rather than to a different efficiency in synchrotron emission production. (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas).

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Also archived in: arXiv:astro-ph/9811381 v1 24 Nov 1998 Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555 and by STScI grant GO-3594.01-91A.ISSN:1538-4357 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus