An XMM-Newton observation of Ton S180: Constraints on the continuum emission in ultrasoft Seyfert galaxies

S. Vaughan, Th Boller, A. C. Fabian, D. R. Ballantyne, W. N. Brandt, J. Trümper

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Abstract

We present an XMM-Newton observation of the bright, narrow-line, ultrasoft type 1 Seyfert galaxy Ton S180. The 0.3-10 keV X-ray spectrum is steep and curved, showing a steep slope above 2.5 keV (Γ ∼ 2.3) and a smooth, featureless excess of emission at lower energies. The spectrum can be adequately parametrized using a simple double power-law model. The source is strongly variable over the course of the observation but shows only weak spectral variability, with the fractional variability amplitude remaining approximately constant over more than a decade in energy. The curved continuum shape and weak spectral variability are discussed in terms of various physical models for the soft X-ray excess emission, including reflection off the surface of an ionized accretion disc, inverse Compton scattering of soft disc photons by thermal electrons, and Comptonization by electrons with a hybrid thermal/non-thermal distribution. We emphasize the possibility that the strong soft excess may be produced by dissipation of accretion energy in the hot, upper atmosphere of the putative accretion disc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume337
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 21 2002

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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