X-ray absorption by ionized oxygen in ASCA spectra of the infrared quasar IRAS 13349+2438

W. N. Brandt, S. Mathur, C. S. Reynolds, M. Elvis

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We present evidence for X-ray absorption by ionized oxygen in ASCA spectra of the prototype infrared quasar IRAS 13349+2438. This powerful (Lbol ≥ 2 × 1046 erg s-1) quasar was studied in detail with ROSAT, and the combination of the X-ray data and optical/near-infrared spectropolarimetry strongly suggested the presence of a dusty ionized ('warm') absorber along the line of sight to the central X-ray source. The ASCA spectra, in contrast to an earlier claim, show evidence for ionized oxygen edges, and the presence of such edges appears to provide the most physically plausible interpretation of the data. Thus, the ASCA spectra support the dusty warm absorber hypothesis. The ASCA data also allow the physical properties of the warm absorber to be constrained far better than before. A one-zone warm absorber model indicates the ionized column to be in the range (2-6) × 1021 cm-2, and it gives an ionization parameter of ξ=31-21+21 erg cm s-1. The dusty warm absorber appears to have a density of ≲3 × 108 cm-3, and it is probably located outside the broad-line region. The dust in the warm absorber does not appear to have been heavily sputtered or destroyed via other means. Based on the ASCA fitting, we suggest that ultraviolet absorption lines from the warm absorber may be detectable and discuss how they can be used to further constrain the warm absorber properties. We compare and contrast the X-ray properties of IRAS 13349+2438 with those of broad absorption line quasars. We comment on the steep > 2 keV continuum of IRAS 13349+2438 and examine the relevance to some models of radiative Fe II formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-413
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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