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Extreme relativistic reflection in the active galaxy ESO 033-G002

Walton, D. J. and Baloković, M. and Fabian, A. C. and Gallo, L. C. and Koss, M. and Nardini, E. and Reynolds, C. S. and Ricci, C. and Stern, D. and Alston, W. N. and Dauser, T. and García, J. A. and Kosec, P. and Reynolds, M. T. and Harrison, F. A. and Miller, J. M. (2021) Extreme relativistic reflection in the active galaxy ESO 033-G002. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 506 (2). pp. 1557-1572. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stab1290.

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We present the first high signal-to-noise broad-band X-ray spectrum of the radio-quiet type-2 Seyfert ESO 033-G002, combining data from XMM–Newton and NuSTAR. The nuclear X-ray spectrum is complex, showing evidence for both neutral and ionized absorption, as well as reflection from both the accretion disc and more distant material, but our broad-band coverage allows us to disentangle all of these different components. The total neutral column during this epoch is N_H ∼ (5−6) × 10²² cm⁻²⁠, consistent with the optical classification of ESO 033-G002 as a type-2 Seyfert but not so large as to prevent us from robustly determining the properties of the innermost accretion flow. The ionized absorption – dominated by lines from Fe XXV and Fe XXVI – reveals a moderately rapid outflow (v_(out) ∼ 5400 km s⁻¹) which has a column comparable to the neutral absorption. We find the disc reflection from the innermost regions to be extreme, with a reflection fraction of R_(frac) ∼ 5. This requires strong gravitational lightbending and, in turn, both an extremely compact corona (within ∼2 R_G of the black hole) and a rapidly rotating black hole (a* > 0.96). Despite this tight size constraint, with a temperature of kT_e = 40–70 keV the X-ray corona in ESO 033-G002 appears similar to other active galactic nucle in terms of its placement in the compactness–temperature plane, consistent with sitting close to the limit determined by runaway pair production. Finally, combining X-ray spectroscopy, timing, and updated optical spectroscopy, we also estimate the mass of the black hole to be log[M_(BH)/M_⊙] ∼ 7.0–7.5.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemESA XMM-Newton Science Archive ItemNASA HEASARC Archive
Walton, D. J.0000-0001-5819-3552
Baloković, M.0000-0003-0476-6647
Fabian, A. C.0000-0002-9378-4072
Koss, M.0000-0002-7998-9581
Nardini, E.0000-0001-9226-8992
Reynolds, C. S.0000-0002-1510-4860
Ricci, C.0000-0001-5231-2645
Stern, D.0000-0003-2686-9241
Alston, W. N.0000-0003-2658-6559
Dauser, T.0000-0003-4583-9048
García, J. A.0000-0003-3828-2448
Reynolds, M. T.0000-0003-1621-9392
Harrison, F. A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Additional Information:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2021 April 19; Received 2021 April 13; in original form 2021 March 10; Published: 19 July 2021. DJW acknowledges support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the form of an Ernest Rutherford Fellowship (ST/N004027/1). MB acknowledges support from the YCAA Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship. CSR thanks the STFC for support under Consolidated Grant ST/S000623/1, as well as the European Research Council (ERC) for support under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant 834203). CR acknowledges support from the FONDECYT Iniciacion grant 11190831. JAG acknowledges support from NASA grant 80NSSC19K1020 and from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. This research has made use of data obtained with NuSTAR, a project led by Caltech, funded by NASA and managed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and has utilized the NUSTARDAS software package, jointly developed by the Space Science Data Centre (SSDC; Italy) and Caltech (USA). This research has also made use of data obtained with XMM–Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States. This work has made use of the CORNER package (Foreman-Mackey 2016) for data visualization. Data Availability: All of the data underlying this article will be available from June 2021 via ESA’s XMM-Newton Science Archive ( and NASA’s HEASARC archive (
Group:Astronomy Department, Space Radiation Laboratory, NuSTAR
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/N004027/1
Yale Center for Astronomy and AstrophysicsUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/S000623/1
European Research Council (ERC)834203
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)11190831
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:black hole physics – galaxies: active – X-rays: individual: ESO 033-G002
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211011-221326133
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:D J Walton, M Baloković, A C Fabian, L C Gallo, M Koss, E Nardini, C S Reynolds, C Ricci, D Stern, W N Alston, T Dauser, J A García, P Kosec, M T Reynolds, F A Harrison, J M Miller, Extreme relativistic reflection in the active galaxy ESO 033-G002, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 506, Issue 2, September 2021, Pages 1557–1572,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:111363
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Oct 2021 22:34
Last Modified:11 Oct 2021 22:34

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