We present results of five Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) observations of the type 2 active galactic nucleus (AGN) in IC 751, three of which were performed simultaneously with XMM-Newton or Swift/X-Ray Telescope. We find that the nuclear X-ray source underwent a clear transition from a Compton-thick () to a Compton-thin () state on timescales of months, which makes IC 751 the first changing look AGN discovered by NuSTAR. Changes of the line of sight column density at the ∼2σ level are also found on a timescale of ∼48 hr (). From the lack of spectral variability on timescales of ∼100 ks, we infer that the varying absorber is located beyond the emission-weighted average radius of the broad-line region (BLR), and could therefore be related either to the external part of the BLR or a clumpy molecular torus. By adopting a physical torus X-ray spectral model, we are able to disentangle the column density of the non-varying absorber () from that of the varying clouds , and to constrain that of the material responsible for the reprocessed X-ray radiation (). We find evidence of significant intrinsic X-ray variability, with the flux varying by a factor of five on timescales of a few months in the 2-10 and 10-50 keV band.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science