A simultaneous rxte and xmm-newton observation of the broad-line radio galaxy 3C 111

Karen T. Lewis, Michael Eracleous, Mario Gliozzi, Rita M. Sambruna, Richard F. Mushotzky

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Abstract

We present the results of simultaneous XMM-Newton and RXTE observations of the broad-line radio galaxy 3C 111. We find that the Compton reflection bump is extremely weak; however, broad residuals are clearly present in the spectrum near the Fe Kα emission line region. When fitted with a Gaussian emission line, the feature has an equivalent width of 40-100 eV and FWHM of greater than 20,000 km s-1; however, the exact properties of this weak line are highly dependent on the chosen continuum model. The width of the line suggests an origin in the inner accretion disk, which is, however, inconsistent with the lack of Compton reflection. We find that much of the broad residual emission can be attributed to continuum curvature. The data are consistent with a model in which the primary power-law continuum is reprocessed by an accretion disk that is truncated at small radii. Alternatively, the primary source could be partially covered by a dense absorber. The latter model is less attractive than the former because of the small inclination angle of the jet of 3C 111 to the line of sight. We consider it likely that the curved continuum of the partial covering model is fortuitously similar to the continuum shape of the reprocessing model. In both models, the fit is greatly improved by the addition of an unresolved Fe Kα emission line, which could arise in either a Compton-thin obscuring torus or dense clouds lying along the line of sight. We also find that there are unacceptable residuals at low energies in the MOS data in particular, which were modeled as a Gaussian with an energy of ∼1.5 keV; we attribute these residuals to calibration uncertainties of the MOS detectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-829
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume622
Issue number2 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005

Fingerprint

radio galaxies
newton
radio
continuums
accretion disks
line of sight
accretion
X Ray Timing Explorer
XMM-Newton telescope
curvature
inclination
energy
absorbers
power law
coverings
calibration
radii
detectors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Lewis, Karen T. ; Eracleous, Michael ; Gliozzi, Mario ; Sambruna, Rita M. ; Mushotzky, Richard F. / A simultaneous rxte and xmm-newton observation of the broad-line radio galaxy 3C 111. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2005 ; Vol. 622, No. 2 I. pp. 816-829.
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A simultaneous rxte and xmm-newton observation of the broad-line radio galaxy 3C 111. / Lewis, Karen T.; Eracleous, Michael; Gliozzi, Mario; Sambruna, Rita M.; Mushotzky, Richard F.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 622, No. 2 I, 01.04.2005, p. 816-829.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - A simultaneous rxte and xmm-newton observation of the broad-line radio galaxy 3C 111

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AU - Mushotzky, Richard F.

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N2 - We present the results of simultaneous XMM-Newton and RXTE observations of the broad-line radio galaxy 3C 111. We find that the Compton reflection bump is extremely weak; however, broad residuals are clearly present in the spectrum near the Fe Kα emission line region. When fitted with a Gaussian emission line, the feature has an equivalent width of 40-100 eV and FWHM of greater than 20,000 km s-1; however, the exact properties of this weak line are highly dependent on the chosen continuum model. The width of the line suggests an origin in the inner accretion disk, which is, however, inconsistent with the lack of Compton reflection. We find that much of the broad residual emission can be attributed to continuum curvature. The data are consistent with a model in which the primary power-law continuum is reprocessed by an accretion disk that is truncated at small radii. Alternatively, the primary source could be partially covered by a dense absorber. The latter model is less attractive than the former because of the small inclination angle of the jet of 3C 111 to the line of sight. We consider it likely that the curved continuum of the partial covering model is fortuitously similar to the continuum shape of the reprocessing model. In both models, the fit is greatly improved by the addition of an unresolved Fe Kα emission line, which could arise in either a Compton-thin obscuring torus or dense clouds lying along the line of sight. We also find that there are unacceptable residuals at low energies in the MOS data in particular, which were modeled as a Gaussian with an energy of ∼1.5 keV; we attribute these residuals to calibration uncertainties of the MOS detectors.

AB - We present the results of simultaneous XMM-Newton and RXTE observations of the broad-line radio galaxy 3C 111. We find that the Compton reflection bump is extremely weak; however, broad residuals are clearly present in the spectrum near the Fe Kα emission line region. When fitted with a Gaussian emission line, the feature has an equivalent width of 40-100 eV and FWHM of greater than 20,000 km s-1; however, the exact properties of this weak line are highly dependent on the chosen continuum model. The width of the line suggests an origin in the inner accretion disk, which is, however, inconsistent with the lack of Compton reflection. We find that much of the broad residual emission can be attributed to continuum curvature. The data are consistent with a model in which the primary power-law continuum is reprocessed by an accretion disk that is truncated at small radii. Alternatively, the primary source could be partially covered by a dense absorber. The latter model is less attractive than the former because of the small inclination angle of the jet of 3C 111 to the line of sight. We consider it likely that the curved continuum of the partial covering model is fortuitously similar to the continuum shape of the reprocessing model. In both models, the fit is greatly improved by the addition of an unresolved Fe Kα emission line, which could arise in either a Compton-thin obscuring torus or dense clouds lying along the line of sight. We also find that there are unacceptable residuals at low energies in the MOS data in particular, which were modeled as a Gaussian with an energy of ∼1.5 keV; we attribute these residuals to calibration uncertainties of the MOS detectors.

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