XMM-newton reveals the quasar outflow in PG 1115+080

G. Chartas, W. N. Brandt, S. C. Gallagher

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We report on an observation of the broad absorption line (BAL) quasar PG 1115+080 performed with the XMM-Newton observatory. Spectral analysis reveals the second case of a relativistic X-ray-absofbing outflow in a BAL quasar. The first case was revealed in a recent observation of APM 08279+5255 with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. As in the case of APM 08279+5255, the observed flux of PG 1115+080 is greatly magnified by gravitational lensing. The relatively high redshift (z = 1.72) of the quasar places the red-shifted energies of resonant absorption features in a sensitive portion of the XMM-Newton spectral response. The spectrum indicates the presence of complex low-energy absorption in the 0.2-0.6 keV observed energy band and high-energy absorption in the 2-5 keV observed energy band. The high-energy absorption is best modeled by two Gaussian absorption lines with rest-frame energies of 7.4 and 9.5 keV. Assuming that these two lines are produced by resonant absorption due to Fe xxv Kα, we infer that the X-ray absorbers are out-flowing with velocities of ∼ 0.10c and ∼ 0.34c, respectively. We have detected significant variability of the energies and widths of the X-ray BALs in PG 1115+080 and APM 08279+5255 over timescales of 19 and 1.8 weeks (proper time), respectively. The BAL variability observed from APM 08279+5255 supports our earlier conclusion that these absorbers are most likely launched at relatively small radii of ≲ 1016(Mbh/M8)1/2 cm. A comparison of the ionization properties and column densities of the low-energy and high-energy absorbers indicates that these absorbers are likely distinct; however, higher spectral resolution is needed to confirm this result. Finally, we comment on prospects for constraining the kinematic and ionization properties of these X-ray BALs with the next generation of X-ray observatories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Sep 20 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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