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Space Telescope and Optical Reverberation Mapping Project. VII. Understanding the Ultraviolet Anomaly in NGC 5548 with X-Ray Spectroscopy

Mathur, S. and Adams, S. M. (2017) Space Telescope and Optical Reverberation Mapping Project. VII. Understanding the Ultraviolet Anomaly in NGC 5548 with X-Ray Spectroscopy. Astrophysical Journal, 846 (1). Art. No. 55. ISSN 1538-4357.

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During the Space Telescope and Optical Reverberation Mapping Project observations of NGC 5548, the continuum and emission-line variability became decorrelated during the second half of the six-month-long observing campaign. Here we present Swift and Chandra X-ray spectra of NGC 5548 obtained as part of the campaign. The Swift spectra show that excess flux (relative to a power-law continuum) in the soft X-ray band appears before the start of the anomalous emission-line behavior, peaks during the period of the anomaly, and then declines. This is a model-independent result suggesting that the soft excess is related to the anomaly. We divide the Swift data into on- and off-anomaly spectra to characterize the soft excess via spectral fitting. The cause of the spectral differences is likely due to a change in the intrinsic spectrum rather than to variable obscuration or partial covering. The Chandra spectra have lower signal-to-noise ratios, but are consistent with the Swift data. Our preferred model of the soft excess is emission from an optically thick, warm Comptonizing corona, the effective optical depth of which increases during the anomaly. This model simultaneously explains all three observations: the UV emission-line flux decrease, the soft-excess increase, and the emission-line anomaly.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Mathur, S.0000-0002-0129-0316
Adams, S. M.0000-0001-5855-5939
Alternate Title:Space Telescope and Optical Reverberation Mapping Project. VII. Understanding the UV anomaly in NGC 5548 with X-Ray Spectroscopy
Additional Information:© 2017 American Astronomical Society. Received 2017 April 20. Accepted 2017 July 29. Published 2017 August 31. We are grateful to Christine Done for discussions on the warm Comptonization model. Support for this work was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through Chandra Award Number G04-15114X to S.M. issued by the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of NASA under contract NAS8-03060. Support for HST program GO-13330 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. C.S.K. is supported in part by NSF grants AST-1515876 and AST-1515927. K.H. acknowledges support from STFC grant ST/M001296/1. K.L.P. and P.A.E. ackowledge support from the UK Space Agency. A.V.F.'s group at UC Berkeley is grateful for financial assistance from NSF grant AST-1211916, the TABASGO Foundation, and the Christopher R. Redlich Fund. Y.K. acknowledges support from the grant PAIIPIT IN104215 and CONACYT grant168519. This work made use of data supplied by the UK Swift Science Data Centre at the University of Leicester (see Evans et al. 2009).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/M001296/1
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)UNSPECIFIED
Christopher R. Redlich FundUNSPECIFIED
Programa de Apoyo a Proyectos de Investigaciόn e Innovaciόn Tecnolόgica (PAiiPIT)IN104215
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)168519
Subject Keywords:galaxies: active; galaxies: individual (NGC 5548) ; X-rays: galaxies; X-rays: individual (NGC 5548)
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170905-143653632
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Official Citation:S. Mathur et al 2017 ApJ 846 55
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81153
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:06 Sep 2017 17:31
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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