We conduct a multiwavelength continuum variability study of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 5548 to investigate the temperature structure of its accretion disk. The 19 overlapping continuum light curves (1158 A oto 9157 A o) combine simultaneous Hubble Space Telescope, Swift, and ground-based observations over a 180 day period from 2014 January to July. Light-curve variability is interpreted as the reverberation response of the accretion disk to irradiation by a central time-varying point source. Our model yields the disk inclination i = 36° ±10° temperature T1 = 44 ±6 ) × 10 3 K at 1 light day from the black hole, and a temperatureradius slope (T ∞r-a) of a = 0.99 ±0.03. We also infer the driving light curve and find that it correlates poorly with both the hard and soft X-ray light curves, suggesting that the X-rays alone may not drive the ultraviolet and optical variability over the observing period. We also decompose the light curves into bright, faint, and mean accretion-disk spectra. These spectra lie below that expected for a standard blackbody accretion disk accreting at L LEdd = 0.1.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science