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A Suzaku, NuSTAR, and XMM-Newton view on variable absorption and relativistic reflection in NGC 4151

Beuchert, T. and Markowitz, A. G. and Dauser, T. and García, J. A. and Keck, M. L. and Wilms, J. and Kadler, M. and Brenneman, L. W. and Zdziarski, A. A. (2017) A Suzaku, NuSTAR, and XMM-Newton view on variable absorption and relativistic reflection in NGC 4151. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 603 . Art. No. A50. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201630293.

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We disentangle X-ray disk reflection from complex line-of-sight absorption in the nearby Seyfert NGC 4151, using a suite of Suzaku, NuSTAR, and XMM-Newton observations. Extending upon earlier published work, we pursue a physically motivated model using the latest angle-resolved version of the lamp-post geometry reflection model relxillCp_lp together with a Comptonization continuum. We use the long-look simultaneous Suzaku/NuSTAR observation to develop a baseline model wherein we model reflected emission as a combination of lamp-post components at the heights of 1.2 and 15.0 gravitational radii. We argue for a vertically extended corona as opposed to two compact and distinct primary sources. We find two neutral absorbers (one full-covering and one partial-covering), an ionized absorber (log ξ = 2.8), and a highly-ionized ultra-fast outflow, which have all been reported previously. All analyzed spectra are well described by this baseline model. The bulk of the spectral variability between ~1 keV and ~6 keV can be accounted for by changes in the column density of both neutral absorbers, which appear to be degenerate and inversely correlated with the variable hard continuum component flux. We track variability in absorption on both short (2 d) and long (~1 yr) timescales; the observed evolution is either consistent with changes in the absorber structure (clumpy absorber at distances ranging from the broad line region to the inner torus or a dusty radiatively driven wind) or a geometrically stable neutral absorber that becomes increasingly ionized at a rising flux level. The soft X-rays below 1 keV are dominated by photoionized emission from extended gas that may act as a warm mirror for the nuclear radiation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Dauser, T.0000-0003-4583-9048
García, J. A.0000-0003-3828-2448
Wilms, J.0000-0003-2065-5410
Additional Information:© 2017 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received: 20 December 2016; Accepted: 27 March 2017; Published online 06 July 2017. We thank the anonymous referee for providing us with a number of detailed comments that greatly improved the clarity of this manuscript. We made use of ISIS functions provided by ECAP/Remeis observatory and MIT ( as well as the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank J. E. Davis for the development of the slxfig module that has been used to prepare the figures in this work. This work used data obtained with the Suzaku satellite, a collaborative mission between the space agencies of Japan (JAXA) and the USA (NASA) as well as XMM-Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and NASA. This work was supported under NASA contract No. NNG08FD60C, and made use of data from the NuSTAR mission, a project led by the California Institute of Technology, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research has made use of the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS) jointly developed by the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC, Italy) and the California Institute of Technology (USA). A.G.M. acknowledges support from NASA grant NNX15AE64G. A.A.Z. has been supported in part by the Polish National Science Centre grants 2013/10/M/ST9/00729 and 2015/18/A/ST9/00746.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
National Science Centre (Poland)2013/10/M/ST9/00729
National Science Centre (Poland)2015/18/A/ST9/00746
Subject Keywords:galaxies: active – galaxies: nuclei – galaxies: individual: NGC4151 – galaxies: Seyfert – X-rays: galaxies
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170901-090512733
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Official Citation:A Suzaku, NuSTAR, and XMM-Newton view on variable absorption and relativistic reflection in NGC 4151 T. Beuchert, A. G. Markowitz, T. Dauser, J. A. García, M. L. Keck, J. Wilms, M. Kadler, L. W. Brenneman and A. A. Zdziarski A&A, 603 (2017) A50 DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81061
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Sep 2017 16:53
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:40

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