ASCA spectroscopy of IRAS 23060 + 0505: Penetrating the torus of a type 2 quasar with X-rays

W. N. Brandt, A. C. Fabian, K. Takahashi, R. Fujimoto, A. Yamashita, H. Inoue, Y. Ogasaka

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We report on a pointed ASCM observation of the powerful (Lbol ≈ 1.3 × 1046 erg s-1) type 2 infrared luminous galaxy IRAS 23060 + 0505. This galaxy has been the subject of detailed spectroscopic and spectropolarimetric studies which have revealed a hidden broad-line region and have been used to construct a detailed model of the light paths in this source. Our observation detects IRAS 23060 + 0505 in the X-ray band for the first time and complements the optical and infrared studies. We detect hard X-ray emission that can be modelled as a power law with a 2-10 keV luminosity of 1.5 × 1044 erg s-1, thereby verifying the existence of an accreting supermassive black hole in IRAS 23060 + 0505. The obscuring torus of IRAS 23060 + 0505 appears to be Compton thin along our line of sight, and we measure a column to the nuclear X-ray source of about 8 × 1022 cm-2. Comparison of the X-ray column with the Av=30±4 mag extinction measurement by Young et al. suggests that the torus may have a dust-to-gas ratio rather similar to that in the interstellar medium of the Milky Way. We also find some evidence for iron K-line emission. The apparent X-ray to bolometric luminosity ratio for IRAS 23060 + 0505 is ≲, 1 per cent, a rather low value, and we consider possible explanations for this low ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-622
Number of pages6
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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