The inevitable spread in properties of the toroidal obscuration of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) invalidates the widespread notion that type 1 and 2 AGNs are intrinsically the same objects, drawn randomly from the distribution of torus covering factors. Instead, AGNs are drawn preferentially from the distribution; type 2 are more likely drawn from the distribution higher end, type 1 from its lower end. Type 2 AGNs have a higher IR luminosity, lower narrow-line luminosity, and a higher fraction of Compton thick X-ray obscuration than type 1. Meaningful studies of unification statistics cannot be conducted without first determining the intrinsic distribution function of torus covering factors.

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Published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, v. 747, no. 2, L33, p. 1-3.

© 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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Support by NASA and NSF is gratefully acknowledged.

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