Heavy and complex X-ray absorption toward the nucleus of Markarian 6

J. J. Feldmeier, W. N. Brandt, M. Elvis, A. C. Fabian, K. Iwasawa, S. Mathur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have used the ASCA satellite to make the first X-ray spectra of Mrk 6, a bright Seyfert 1.5 galaxy with complex and variable permitted lines, an ionization cone, and remarkable radio structures. Our 0.6-9.5 keV spectra penetrate to the black hole core of this Seyfert and reveal heavy and complex intrinsic X-ray absorption. Both total covering and single partial covering models fail to acceptably fit the observed absorption, and double partial covering or partial covering plus warm absorption appears to be required. The double partial covering model provides the best statistical fit to the data, and we measure large column densities of ≈(3-20) x 1022 cm-2 irrespective of the particular spectral model under consideration. These X-ray columns are over an order of magnitude larger than expected based on observations at longer wavelengths. Our data suggest that most of the X-ray absorption occurs either in gas that has a relatively small amount of dust or in gas that is located within the broad-line region. The X-ray absorber may well be the putative "atmosphere" above the torus that collimates the ionization cone. We also detect an apparently broad 6.4 keV iron Kα line, and we present optical spectra demonstrating that the optical emission lines were in a representative state during our ASCA observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume510
Issue number1 PART 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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