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Flaring from the supermassive black hole in Mrk 335 studied with Swift and NuSTAR

Wilkins, D. R. and Gallo, L. C. and Grupe, D. and Bonson, K. and Komossa, S. and Fabian, A. C. (2015) Flaring from the supermassive black hole in Mrk 335 studied with Swift and NuSTAR. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 454 (4). pp. 4440-4451. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stv2130.

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Monitoring of the narrow line Seyfert 1 galaxy Markarian 335 (Mrk 335) with the Swift satellite discovered an X-ray flare beginning 2014 August 29. At the peak, the 0.5–5 keV count rate had increased from that in the low-flux state by a factor of 10. A target of opportunity observation was triggered with NuSTAR, catching the decline of the flare on 2014 September 20. We present a joint analysis of Swift and NuSTAR observations to understand the cause of this flare. The X-ray spectrum shows an increase in directly observed continuum flux and the softening of the continuum spectrum to a photon index of 2.49 +0.08/−0.072.49−0.07+0.08 compared to the previous low-flux observations. The X-ray spectrum remains well described by the relativistically blurred reflection of the continuum from the accretion disc whose emissivity profile suggests that it is illuminated by a compact X-ray source, extending at most 5.2 rg over the disc. A very low reflection fraction of 0.41+0.15−0.150.41−0.15+0.15 is measured, unexpected for such a compact corona. The X-ray flare is, hence, interpreted as arising from the vertical collimation and ejection of the X-ray emitting corona at a mildly relativistic velocity, causing the continuum emission to be beamed away from the disc. As the flare subsides, the base of this jet-like structure collapses into a compact X-ray source that provides the majority of the radiation that illuminates the disc while continuum emission is still detected from energetic particles further out, maintaining the low reflection fraction.

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Grupe, D.0000-0002-9961-3661
Fabian, A. C.0000-0002-9378-4072
Additional Information:© 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2015 September 10. Received 2015 September 10. In original form 2015 April 13. First published online October 30, 2015. DRW is supported by a CITA National Fellowship. This work is based on observations made by the NuSTAR mission, a project led by the California Institute of Technology, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by NASA.
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Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160128-132716870
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64054
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:28 Jan 2016 22:23
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:25

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