Since the discovery of the first broad iron-K line in 1995 from the Seyfert Galaxy MCG-6-30-15 1 , broad iron-K lines have been found in several other Seyfert galaxies 2 , from accreting stellar mass black holes 3 and even from accreting neutron stars 4 . The iron-K line is prominent in the reflection spectrum 5,6 created by the hard X-ray continuum irradiating dense accreting matter. Relativistic distortion 7 of the line makes it sensitive to the strong gravity and spin of the black hole 8 . The accompanying iron-L line emission should be detectable when the iron abundance is high. Here we report the first discovery of both iron-K and L emission, using XMM-Newton observations of the Narrow-1
High resolution spectra of Galactic Black Holes (GBH) reveal the presence of highly ionised absorbers. In one GBH, accreting close to the Eddington limit for more than a decade, a powerful accretion disc wind is observed to be present in softer X-ray states and it has been suggested that it can carry away enough mass and energy to quench the radio jet. Here we report that these winds, which may have mass outflow rates of the order of the inner accretion rate or higher, are an ubiquitous component of the jet-free soft states of all GBH. We furthermore demonstrate that these winds have an equatorial geometry with opening angles of few tens of degrees, and so are only observed in sources in which the disc is inclined at a large angle to the line of sight. The decrease in Fe XXV / Fe XXVI line ratio with Compton temperature, observed in the soft state, suggests a link between higher wind ionisation and harder spectral shapes. Although the physical interaction between the wind, accretion flow and jet is still not fully understood, the mass flux and power of these winds, and their presence ubiquitously during the soft X-ray states suggests they are fundamental components of the accretion phenomenon.Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS Letter
Context. We report on the results of the first XMM-Newton systematic "excess variance" study of all the radio quiet, X-ray un-obscured AGN. The entire sample consist of 161 sources observed by XMM-Newton for more than 10 ks in pointed observations, which is the largest sample used so far to study AGN X-ray variability on time scales less than a day. Aims. Recently it has been suggested that the same engine might be at work in the core of every black hole (BH) accreting object. In this hypothesis, the same variability should be observed in all AGN, once rescaled by the M BH (M BH ) and accretion rate (ṁ). Methods. We systematically compute the excess variance for all AGN, on different time-scales (10, 20, 40 and 80 ks) and in different energy bands (0.3-0.7, 0.7-2 and 2-10 keV). Results. We observe a highly significant and tight (∼0.7 dex) correlation between σ 2 rms and M BH . The subsample of reverberation mapped AGN shows an even smaller scatter (only a factor of 2-3) comparable to the one induced by the M BH uncertainties. This implies that X-ray variability can be used as an accurate tool to measure M BH and this method is more accurate than the ones based on single epoch optical spectra. This allows us to measure M BH for 65 AGN and estimate lower limits for the remaining 96 AGN. On the other hand, the σ 2 rms vs. accretion rate dependence is weaker than expected based on the PSD break frequency scaling. This strongly suggests that both the PSD high frequency break and the normalisation depend on accretion rate in such a way that they almost completely counterbalance each other (PSD amp ∝ṁ −0.8 ). A highly significant correlation between σ 2 rms and 2-10 keV spectral index is observed. The highly significant correlations between σ 2 rms and both the L Bol and the FWHM Hβ are consistent with being just by-products of the σ 2 rms vs. M BH relation. The soft and medium σ 2 rms is very well correlated with the hard σ 2 rms , with no deviations from a linear one to one correlation. This suggests that the additional soft components (i.e. soft excess, warm absorber) add a minor contribution to the total variability. Once the variability is rescaled for M BH andṁ, no significant difference between narrow-line and broad-line Seyfert 1 is observed. Conclusions. The results are in agreement with a picture where, to first approximation, all local AGN have the same variability properties once rescaled for M BH andṁ.
We present the result of a study of the X-ray emission from the Galactic Centre (GC) Molecular Clouds (MC) within 15 arcmin from Sgr A*. We use XMM-Newton data (about 1.2 Ms of observation time) spanning about 8 years. The MC spectra show all the features characteristic of reflection: i) intense Fe Kα, with EW of about 0.7-1 keV, and the associated Kβ line; ii) flat power law continuum and iii) a significant Fe K edge (τ ∼ 0.1 − 0.3). The diffuse low ionisation Fe K emission follows the MC distribution, nevertheless not all MC are Fe K emitters. The long baseline monitoring allows the characterisation of the temporal evolution of the MC emission. A complex pattern of variations is shown by the different MC, with some having constant Fe K emission, some increasing and some decreasing. In particular, we observe an apparent super-luminal motion of a light front illuminating a Molecular nebula. This might be due to a source outside the MC (such as Sgr A* or a bright and long outburst of a X-ray binary), while it cannot be due to low energy cosmic rays or a source located inside the cloud. We also observe a decrease of the X-ray emission from G0.11-0.11, behaviour similar to the one of Sgr B2. The line intensities, clouds dimensions, columns densities and positions with respect to Sgr A*, are consistent with being produced by the same Sgr A* flare. The required high luminosity (about 1.5×10 39 erg s −1 ) can hardly be produced by a binary system, while it is in agreement with a flare of Sgr A* fading about 100 years ago. The low intensity of the Fe K emission coming from the 50 and the 20 km s −1 MC places an upper limit of 10 36 erg s −1 to the mean luminosity of Sgr A* in the last 60-90 years. The Fe K emission and variations from these MC might have been produced by a single flare of Sgr A*.
We carried out a systematic analysis of time lags between X-ray energy bands in a large sample (32 sources) of unabsorbed, radio quiet active galactic nuclei (AGN), observed by XMM-Newton. The analysis of X-ray lags (up to the highest/shortest frequencies/time-scales), is performed in the Fourier-frequency domain, between energy bands where the soft excess (soft band) and the primary power law (hard band) dominate the emission. We report a total of 15 out of 32 sources displaying a high frequency soft lag in their light curves. All 15 are at a significance level exceeding 97 per cent and 11 are at a level exceeding 99 per cent. Of these soft lags, 7 have not been previously reported in the literature, thus this work significantly increases the number of known sources with a soft/negative lag. The characteristic time-scales of the soft/negative lag are relatively short (with typical frequencies and amplitudes of ν ∼ 0.07 − 4 × 10 −3 Hz and τ ∼ 10 − 600 s, respectively), and show a highly significant ( > ∼ 4σ) correlation with the black hole mass. The measured correlations indicate that soft lags are systematically shifted to lower frequencies and higher absolute amplitudes as the mass of the source increases. To first approximation, all the sources in the sample are consistent with having similar mass-scaled lag properties. These results strongly suggest the existence of a mass-scaling law for the soft/negative lag, that holds for AGN spanning a large range of masses (about 2.5 orders of magnitude), thus supporting the idea that soft lags originate in the innermost regions of AGN and are powerful tools for testing their physics and geometry.
A detailed analysis of a long XMM–Newton observation of the narrow‐line type 1 Seyfert galaxy 1H0707‐495 is presented, including spectral fitting, spectral variability and timing studies. The two main features in the spectrum are the drop at ∼7 keV and a complex excess below 1 keV. These are well described by two broad, K and L, iron lines. Alternative models based on absorption, although they may fit the high‐energy drop, cannot account for the 1 keV complexity and the spectrum as a whole. Spectral variability shows that the spectrum is composed of at least two components, which are interpreted as a power law dominating between 1–4 keV and a reflection component outside this range. The high count rate at the iron L energies has enabled us to measure a significant soft lag of ∼30 s between 0.3–1 and 1–4 keV, meaning that the direct hard emission leads the reflected emissions. We interpret the lag as a reverberation signal originating within a few gravitational radii of the black hole.
Supermassive black holes in the nuclei of active galaxies expel large amounts of matter through powerful winds of ionized gas. The archetypal active galaxy NGC 5548 has been studied for decades, and high-resolution x-ray and ultraviolet (UV) observations have previously shown a persistent ionized outflow. An observing campaign in 2013 with six space observatories shows the nucleus to be obscured by a long-lasting, clumpy stream of ionized gas not seen before. It blocks 90% of the soft x-ray emission and causes simultaneous deep, broad UV absorption troughs. The outflow velocities of this gas are up to five times faster than those in the persistent outflow, and, at a distance of only a few light days from the nucleus, it may likely originate from the accretion disk.
Aims. We present CAIXA, a Catalogue of AGN In the XMM-Newton Archive. It consists of all the radio-quiet X-ray unobscured (N H < 2 × 10 22 cm −2 ) active galactic nuclei (AGN) observed by XMM-Newton in targeted observations, whose data are public as of March 2007. With its 156 sources, this is the largest catalogue of high signal-to-noise X-ray spectra of AGN. Methods. All the EPIC pn spectra of the sources in CAIXA were extracted homogeneously, and a baseline model was applied in order to derive their basic X-ray properties. These data are complemented by multiwavelength data found in the literature: black hole masses, full width half maximum (FWHM) of Hβ, radio and optical fluxes. Results. Here we describe our homogeneous spectral analysis of the X-ray data in CAIXA and present all the results on the parameters adopted in our best-fit models.
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