The NuSTAR view of nearby compton-thick active galactic nuclei: The cases of NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560

M. Baloković, A. Comastri, F. A. Harrison, D. M. Alexander, D. R. Ballantyne, F. E. Bauer, S. E. Boggs, W. N. Brandt, M. Brightman, F. E. Christensen, W. W. Craig, A. Del Moro, P. Gandhi, C. J. Hailey, M. Koss, G. B. Lansbury, B. Luo, G. M. Madejski, A. Marinucci, G. MattC. B. Markwardt, S. Puccetti, C. S. Reynolds, G. Risaliti, E. Rivers, D. Stern, D. J. Walton, W. W. Zhang

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Abstract

We present X-ray spectral analyses for three Seyfert 2 active galactic nuclei (AGNs), NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560, observed by NuSTAR in the 3-79 keV band. The high quality hard X-ray spectra allow detailed modeling of the Compton reflection component for the first time in these sources. Using quasi-simultaneous NuSTAR and Swift/XRT data, as well as archival XMM-Newton data, we find that all three nuclei are obscured by Compton-thick material with column densities in excess of 5 × 1024 cm-2, and that their X-ray spectra above 3 keV are dominated by reflection of the intrinsic continuum on Compton-thick material. Due to the very high obscuration, absorbed intrinsic continuum components are not formally required by the data in any of the sources. We constrain the intrinsic photon indices and the column density of the reflecting medium through the shape of the reflection spectra. Using archival multi-wavelength data we recover the intrinsic X-ray luminosities consistent with the broadband spectral energy distributions. Our results are consistent with the reflecting medium being an edge-on clumpy torus with a relatively large global covering factor and overall reflection efficiency of the order of 1%. Given the unambiguous confirmation of the Compton-thick nature of the sources, we investigate whether similar sources are likely to be missed by commonly used selection criteria for Compton-thick AGNs, and explore the possibility of finding their high-redshift counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume794
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2014

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active galactic nuclei
x rays
continuums
occultation
XMM-Newton telescope
spectral energy distribution
newton
coverings
luminosity
broadband
wavelength
nuclei
photons
wavelengths
modeling
energy
material

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Baloković, M., Comastri, A., Harrison, F. A., Alexander, D. M., Ballantyne, D. R., Bauer, F. E., ... Zhang, W. W. (2014). The NuSTAR view of nearby compton-thick active galactic nuclei: The cases of NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560. Astrophysical Journal, 794(2), [111]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/794/2/111
Baloković, M. ; Comastri, A. ; Harrison, F. A. ; Alexander, D. M. ; Ballantyne, D. R. ; Bauer, F. E. ; Boggs, S. E. ; Brandt, W. N. ; Brightman, M. ; Christensen, F. E. ; Craig, W. W. ; Moro, A. Del ; Gandhi, P. ; Hailey, C. J. ; Koss, M. ; Lansbury, G. B. ; Luo, B. ; Madejski, G. M. ; Marinucci, A. ; Matt, G. ; Markwardt, C. B. ; Puccetti, S. ; Reynolds, C. S. ; Risaliti, G. ; Rivers, E. ; Stern, D. ; Walton, D. J. ; Zhang, W. W. / The NuSTAR view of nearby compton-thick active galactic nuclei : The cases of NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2014 ; Vol. 794, No. 2.
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abstract = "We present X-ray spectral analyses for three Seyfert 2 active galactic nuclei (AGNs), NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560, observed by NuSTAR in the 3-79 keV band. The high quality hard X-ray spectra allow detailed modeling of the Compton reflection component for the first time in these sources. Using quasi-simultaneous NuSTAR and Swift/XRT data, as well as archival XMM-Newton data, we find that all three nuclei are obscured by Compton-thick material with column densities in excess of 5 × 1024 cm-2, and that their X-ray spectra above 3 keV are dominated by reflection of the intrinsic continuum on Compton-thick material. Due to the very high obscuration, absorbed intrinsic continuum components are not formally required by the data in any of the sources. We constrain the intrinsic photon indices and the column density of the reflecting medium through the shape of the reflection spectra. Using archival multi-wavelength data we recover the intrinsic X-ray luminosities consistent with the broadband spectral energy distributions. Our results are consistent with the reflecting medium being an edge-on clumpy torus with a relatively large global covering factor and overall reflection efficiency of the order of 1{\%}. Given the unambiguous confirmation of the Compton-thick nature of the sources, we investigate whether similar sources are likely to be missed by commonly used selection criteria for Compton-thick AGNs, and explore the possibility of finding their high-redshift counterparts.",
author = "M. Baloković and A. Comastri and Harrison, {F. A.} and Alexander, {D. M.} and Ballantyne, {D. R.} and Bauer, {F. E.} and Boggs, {S. E.} and Brandt, {W. N.} and M. Brightman and Christensen, {F. E.} and Craig, {W. W.} and Moro, {A. Del} and P. Gandhi and Hailey, {C. J.} and M. Koss and Lansbury, {G. B.} and B. Luo and Madejski, {G. M.} and A. Marinucci and G. Matt and Markwardt, {C. B.} and S. Puccetti and Reynolds, {C. S.} and G. Risaliti and E. Rivers and D. Stern and Walton, {D. J.} and Zhang, {W. W.}",
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Baloković, M, Comastri, A, Harrison, FA, Alexander, DM, Ballantyne, DR, Bauer, FE, Boggs, SE, Brandt, WN, Brightman, M, Christensen, FE, Craig, WW, Moro, AD, Gandhi, P, Hailey, CJ, Koss, M, Lansbury, GB, Luo, B, Madejski, GM, Marinucci, A, Matt, G, Markwardt, CB, Puccetti, S, Reynolds, CS, Risaliti, G, Rivers, E, Stern, D, Walton, DJ & Zhang, WW 2014, 'The NuSTAR view of nearby compton-thick active galactic nuclei: The cases of NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 794, no. 2, 111. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/794/2/111

The NuSTAR view of nearby compton-thick active galactic nuclei : The cases of NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560. / Baloković, M.; Comastri, A.; Harrison, F. A.; Alexander, D. M.; Ballantyne, D. R.; Bauer, F. E.; Boggs, S. E.; Brandt, W. N.; Brightman, M.; Christensen, F. E.; Craig, W. W.; Moro, A. Del; Gandhi, P.; Hailey, C. J.; Koss, M.; Lansbury, G. B.; Luo, B.; Madejski, G. M.; Marinucci, A.; Matt, G.; Markwardt, C. B.; Puccetti, S.; Reynolds, C. S.; Risaliti, G.; Rivers, E.; Stern, D.; Walton, D. J.; Zhang, W. W.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 794, No. 2, 111, 20.10.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The NuSTAR view of nearby compton-thick active galactic nuclei

T2 - The cases of NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560

AU - Baloković, M.

AU - Comastri, A.

AU - Harrison, F. A.

AU - Alexander, D. M.

AU - Ballantyne, D. R.

AU - Bauer, F. E.

AU - Boggs, S. E.

AU - Brandt, W. N.

AU - Brightman, M.

AU - Christensen, F. E.

AU - Craig, W. W.

AU - Moro, A. Del

AU - Gandhi, P.

AU - Hailey, C. J.

AU - Koss, M.

AU - Lansbury, G. B.

AU - Luo, B.

AU - Madejski, G. M.

AU - Marinucci, A.

AU - Matt, G.

AU - Markwardt, C. B.

AU - Puccetti, S.

AU - Reynolds, C. S.

AU - Risaliti, G.

AU - Rivers, E.

AU - Stern, D.

AU - Walton, D. J.

AU - Zhang, W. W.

PY - 2014/10/20

Y1 - 2014/10/20

N2 - We present X-ray spectral analyses for three Seyfert 2 active galactic nuclei (AGNs), NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560, observed by NuSTAR in the 3-79 keV band. The high quality hard X-ray spectra allow detailed modeling of the Compton reflection component for the first time in these sources. Using quasi-simultaneous NuSTAR and Swift/XRT data, as well as archival XMM-Newton data, we find that all three nuclei are obscured by Compton-thick material with column densities in excess of 5 × 1024 cm-2, and that their X-ray spectra above 3 keV are dominated by reflection of the intrinsic continuum on Compton-thick material. Due to the very high obscuration, absorbed intrinsic continuum components are not formally required by the data in any of the sources. We constrain the intrinsic photon indices and the column density of the reflecting medium through the shape of the reflection spectra. Using archival multi-wavelength data we recover the intrinsic X-ray luminosities consistent with the broadband spectral energy distributions. Our results are consistent with the reflecting medium being an edge-on clumpy torus with a relatively large global covering factor and overall reflection efficiency of the order of 1%. Given the unambiguous confirmation of the Compton-thick nature of the sources, we investigate whether similar sources are likely to be missed by commonly used selection criteria for Compton-thick AGNs, and explore the possibility of finding their high-redshift counterparts.

AB - We present X-ray spectral analyses for three Seyfert 2 active galactic nuclei (AGNs), NGC 424, NGC 1320, and IC 2560, observed by NuSTAR in the 3-79 keV band. The high quality hard X-ray spectra allow detailed modeling of the Compton reflection component for the first time in these sources. Using quasi-simultaneous NuSTAR and Swift/XRT data, as well as archival XMM-Newton data, we find that all three nuclei are obscured by Compton-thick material with column densities in excess of 5 × 1024 cm-2, and that their X-ray spectra above 3 keV are dominated by reflection of the intrinsic continuum on Compton-thick material. Due to the very high obscuration, absorbed intrinsic continuum components are not formally required by the data in any of the sources. We constrain the intrinsic photon indices and the column density of the reflecting medium through the shape of the reflection spectra. Using archival multi-wavelength data we recover the intrinsic X-ray luminosities consistent with the broadband spectral energy distributions. Our results are consistent with the reflecting medium being an edge-on clumpy torus with a relatively large global covering factor and overall reflection efficiency of the order of 1%. Given the unambiguous confirmation of the Compton-thick nature of the sources, we investigate whether similar sources are likely to be missed by commonly used selection criteria for Compton-thick AGNs, and explore the possibility of finding their high-redshift counterparts.

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U2 - 10.1088/0004-637X/794/2/111

DO - 10.1088/0004-637X/794/2/111

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