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Implications of the Warm Corona and Relativistic Reflection Models for the Soft Excess in Mrk 509

García, Javier A. and Kara, Erin and Walton, Dominic and Beuchert, Tobias and Dauser, Thomas and Gatuzz, Efrain and Baloković, Mislav and Steiner, James F. and Tombesi, Francesco and Connors, Riley M. T. and Kallman, Timothy R. and Harrison, Fiona A. and Fabian, Andrew and Wilms, Jörn and Stern, Daniel and Lanz, Lauranne and Ricci, Claudio and Ballantyne, David R. (2019) Implications of the Warm Corona and Relativistic Reflection Models for the Soft Excess in Mrk 509. Astrophysical Journal, 871 (1). Art. No. 88. ISSN 1538-4357.

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We present the analysis of the first Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array observations (~220 ks), simultaneous with the last Suzaku observations (~50 ks), of the active galactic nucleus of the bright Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 509. The time-averaged spectrum in the 1–79 keV X-ray band is dominated by a power-law continuum (Γ ~ 1.8–1.9), a strong soft excess around 1 keV, and signatures of X-ray reflection in the form of Fe K emission (~6.4 keV), an Fe K absorption edge (~7.1 keV), and a Compton hump due to electron scattering (~20–30 keV). We show that these data can be described by two very different prescriptions for the soft excess: a warm (kT ~ 0.5–1 keV) and optically thick (τ ~ 10–20) Comptonizing corona or a relativistically blurred ionized reflection spectrum from the inner regions of the accretion disk. While these two scenarios cannot be distinguished based on their fit statistics, we argue that the parameters required by the warm corona model are physically incompatible with the conditions of standard coronae. Detailed photoionization calculations show that even in the most favorable conditions, the warm corona should produce strong absorption in the observed spectrum. On the other hand, while the relativistic reflection model provides a satisfactory description of the data, it also requires extreme parameters, such as maximum black hole spin, a very low and compact hot corona, and a very high density for the inner accretion disk. Deeper observations of this source are thus necessary to confirm the presence of relativistic reflection and further understand the nature of its soft excess.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
García, Javier A.0000-0003-3828-2448
Kara, Erin0000-0003-0172-0854
Walton, Dominic0000-0001-5819-3552
Dauser, Thomas0000-0003-4583-9048
Gatuzz, Efrain0000-0002-3252-9633
Baloković, Mislav0000-0003-0476-6647
Steiner, James F.0000-0002-5872-6061
Tombesi, Francesco0000-0002-6562-8654
Connors, Riley M. T.0000-0002-8908-759X
Kallman, Timothy R.0000-0002-5779-6906
Harrison, Fiona A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Fabian, Andrew0000-0002-9378-4072
Wilms, Jörn0000-0003-2065-5410
Stern, Daniel0000-0003-2686-9241
Lanz, Lauranne0000-0002-3249-8224
Ricci, Claudio0000-0001-5231-2645
Ballantyne, David R.0000-0001-8128-6976
Alternate Title:The Soft-Excess in Mrk 509: Warm Corona or Relativistic Reflection?
Additional Information:© 2019 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 September 24; revised 2018 November 26; accepted 2018 December 7; published 2019 January 24. We thank P.O. Petrucci, J. Malzac, B. Czerny, A. Różańska, C. Done, and the members of the FERO collaboration for insightful discussions that promoted many aspects of this paper. We also thank F. Ursini for comments that improved the manuscript. J.A.G. acknowledges support from NASA grant NNX15AV31G and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. R.M.T.C. has been supported by NASA grant 80NSSC177K0515. M.B. acknowledges support from the black hole initiative at Harvard University, which is funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. J.F.S. has been supported by NASA Einstein Fellowship grant PF5-160144. F.T. acknowledges support by the Programma per Giovani Ricercatori—anno 2014 "Rita Levi Montalcini." L.L. acknowledges support from NASA through grant No. NNX15AP24G C.R. acknowledges support from the CONICYT+PAI Convocatoria Nacional subvención a instalación en la academia convocatoria año 2017 PAI77170080. This work was partially 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. We thank the NuSTAR Operations, Software, and Calibration teams for support with the execution and analysis of these observations. 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). Facilities: NuSTAR - The NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission, Suzaku (XIS) - . Software: xspec (v12.9.0d; Arnaud 1996), MYtorus (Murphy & Yaqoob 2009), borus02 (Baloković et al. 2018), xillver (García & Kallman 2010; García et al. 2013), relxill (v1.2.0; García et al. 2014; Dauser et al. 2014), xstar (v2.41; Kallman & Bautista 2001), nustardas (v1.6.0).
Group:NuSTAR, Space Radiation Laboratory, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
John Templeton FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF5-160144
Programma per Giovani Ricercatorianno 2014
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)PAI77170080
Subject Keywords:accretion, accretion disks – black hole physics – galaxies: active – galaxies: individual (Mrk 509) – galaxies: nuclei
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190124-112047031
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Javier A. García et al 2019 ApJ 871 88
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92453
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Jan 2019 19:58
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:44

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