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Title: The hard X-ray continuum of Cen a observed with INTEGRAL SPI

We revisit the average hard X-ray spectrum from the active galactic nucleus (AGN) of Centaurus A (Cen A) using 10 yr worth of observations with INTEGRAL SPI. This source has the highest flux observed from any AGNs in the SPI bandpass (23 keV-8 MeV). The 10 year light curve of Cen A is presented, and hardness ratios confirm that the spectral shape changes very little despite the luminosity varying by a factor of a few. Primarily, we establish the presence of a reflection component in the average spectrum by demonstrating an excess between 20 and 60 keV, from extending the spectral shape observed at low energy to the SPI regime. The excess in Chandra HETGS and INTEGRAL SPI data is well described by reflection of the dominant power-law spectrum from a neutral, optically thick atmosphere. We find that the reprocessed emission contributes 20%-25% of the 23-100 keV flux. The existence of a cutoff at tens to hundreds of kiloelectron volts remains controversial. Using simulated spectra, we demonstrate that a high energy cutoff reproduces the observed spectral properties of Cen A more readily than a simple power law. However, we also show that such a cutoff is probably underestimated when neglectingmore » (even modest) reflection, and for Cen A would be at energies >700 keV, with a confidence of >95%. This is atypically high for thermal Comptonizing plasmas observed in AGNs, and we propose that we are in fact modeling the more gradual change in spectral shape expected of synchrotron self-Compton spectra.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. CNRS, IRAP, 9 Avenue Colonel Roche, BP 44346, F-31028 Toulouse cedex 4 (France)
  2. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356850
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 787; 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; ATMOSPHERES; BL LACERTAE OBJECTS; CERIUM NITRIDES; EMISSION; GAMMA RADIATION; HARD X RADIATION; LUMINOSITY; MEV RANGE; PLASMA; REFLECTION; SIMULATION; SPECTRA; SYNCHROTRONS; VISIBLE RADIATION; X-RAY GALAXIES