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Title: THE HARD X-RAY SPECTRUM OF NGC 1365: SCATTERED LIGHT, NOT BLACK HOLE SPIN

Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) show excess X-ray emission above 10 keV compared with extrapolation of spectra from lower energies. Risaliti et al. have recently attempted to model the hard X-ray excess in the type 1.8 AGN NGC 1365, concluding that the hard excess most likely arises from Compton-scattered reflection of X-rays from an inner accretion disk close to the black hole. Their analysis disfavored a model in which the hard excess arises from a high column density of circumnuclear gas partially covering a primary X-ray source, despite such components being required in the NGC 1365 data below 10 keV. Using a Monte Carlo radiative transfer approach, we demonstrate that this conclusion is invalidated by (1) use of slab absorption models, which have unrealistic transmission spectra for partial covering gas, (2) neglect of the effect of Compton scattering on transmitted spectra, and (3) inadequate modeling of the spectrum of scattered X-rays. The scattered spectrum is geometry-dependent and, for high global covering factors, may dominate above 10 keV. We further show that, in models of circumnuclear gas, the suppression of the observed hard X-ray flux by reprocessing may be no larger than required by the ''light bending'' model invoked for inner diskmore » reflection, and the expected emission line strengths lie within the observed range. We conclude that the time-invariant ''red wing'' in AGN X-ray spectra is probably caused by continuum transmitted through and scattered from circumnuclear gas, not by highly redshifted line emission, and that measurement of black hole spin is not possible.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Physics, Oxford University, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom)
  2. Department of Physics, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22140253
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 773; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCRETION DISKS; BLACK HOLES; COMPTON EFFECT; DENSITY; EMISSION; EXTRAPOLATION; GALAXY NUCLEI; HARD X RADIATION; LINEAR ABSORPTION MODELS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; RADIANT HEAT TRANSFER; RED SHIFT; REFLECTION; SIMULATION; SPIN; TRANSMISSION; X-RAY GALAXIES; X-RAY SOURCES; X-RAY SPECTRA