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Title: CORONAL PROPERTIES OF THE SEYFERT 1.9 GALAXY MCG-05-23-016 DETERMINED FROM HARD X-RAY SPECTROSCOPY WITH NuSTAR

Measurements of the high-energy cut-off in the coronal continuum of active galactic nuclei have long been elusive for all but a small number of the brightest examples. We present a direct measurement of the cut-off energy in the nuclear continuum of the nearby Seyfert 1.9 galaxy MCG-05-23-016 with unprecedented precision. The high sensitivity of NuSTAR up to 79 keV allows us to clearly disentangle the spectral curvature of the primary continuum from that of its reflection component. Using a simple phenomenological model for the hard X-ray spectrum, we constrain the cut-off energy to 116{sub −5}{sup +6} keV with 90% confidence. Testing for more complex models and nuisance parameters that could potentially influence the measurement, we find that the cut-off is detected robustly. We further use simple Comptonized plasma models to provide independent constraints for both the kinetic temperature of the electrons in the corona and its optical depth. At the 90% confidence level, we find kT{sub e} = 29 ± 2 keV and τ {sub e} = 1.23 ± 0.08 assuming a slab (disk-like) geometry, and kT{sub e} = 25 ± 2 keV and τ {sub e} = 3.5 ± 0.2 assuming a spherical geometry. Both geometries are found tomore » fit the data equally well and their two principal physical parameters are correlated in both cases. With the optical depth in the τ {sub e} ≳ 1 regime, the data are pushing the currently available theoretical models of the Comptonized plasma to the limits of their validity. Since the spectral features and variability arising from the inner accretion disk have been observed previously in MCG-05-23-016, the inferred high optical depth implies that a spherical or disk-like corona cannot be homogeneous.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ;  [5] ;  [6] ; ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10]
  1. Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  2. Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, via della Vasca Navale 84, I-00146 Roma (Italy)
  3. Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States)
  4. Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 (United States)
  5. Space Science Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
  6. DTU Space National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej 327, DK-2800 Lyngby (Denmark)
  7. Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)
  8. Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States)
  9. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)
  10. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364217
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 800; 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; ACCURACY; GALAXY NUCLEI; HARD X RADIATION; KEV RANGE; LIMITING VALUES; PLASMA; POTENTIALS; REFLECTION; SENSITIVITY; SPHERICAL CONFIGURATION; STELLAR CORONAE; X-RAY GALAXIES; X-RAY SPECTRA