Suzaku studies of the central engine in the typical type i Seyfert NGC 3227: Detection of multiple primary X-ray continua with distinct properties

Hirofumi Noda, Kazuo Makishima, Shin'Ya Yamada, Kazuhiro Nakazawa, Soki Sakurai, Katsuma Miyake

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16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The type I Seyfert galaxy NGC 3227 was observed by Suzaku six times in 2008, with intervals of ∼1 week and net exposures of ∼50 ks each. Among the six observations, the source varied by nearly an order of magnitude; it was brightest in the first observation with a 2-10 keV luminosity of 1.2 × 1042erg s-1, while faintest in the fourth observation with 2.9 × 1041erg s-1. As it became fainter, the continuum in the 2-45 keV band became harder, while the narrow Fe-Kα emission line, detected on all occasions at 6.4 keV of the source rest frame, remained approximately constant in the photon flux. Through a method of variability-assisted broadband spectroscopy, the 2-45 keV spectrum of NGC 3227 was decomposed into three distinct components. One is a relatively soft power-law continuum with a photon index of ∼2.3, weakly absorbed and highly variable on timescales of ∼5 ks; it was observed only when the source was above a threshold luminosity of ∼6.6 × 1041erg s-1(in 2-10 keV), and was responsible for further source brightening beyond. Another is a harder and more absorbed continuum with a photon index of ∼1.6, which persisted through the six observations and varied slowly on timescales of a few weeks by a factor of ∼2. This component, carrying a major fraction of the broadband emission when the source is below the threshold luminosity, is considered as an additional primary emission. The last one is a reflection component with the narrow iron line, produced at large distances from the central black hole.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume794
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 10

Keywords

  • X-rays: galaxies
  • galaxies: Seyfert
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: individual (NGC 3227)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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