XMM-Newton spectroscopy of the highly polarized and luminous broad absorption line quasar CSO 755

O. Shemmer, W. N. Brandt, S. C. Gallagher, C. Vignali, Th Boller, G. Chartas, A. Comastri

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16 Scopus citations


We present the results from XMM-Newton observations of the highly optically polarized broad absorption line quasar (BALQSO) CSO 755. By analyzing its X-ray spectrum with a total of ∼3000 photons, we find that this source has the X-ray continuum of a typical radio-quiet quasar, with a photon index of Γ = 1.83 -0.06 +0.07 and a rather flat (X-ray bright) intrinsic optical-X-ray spectral slope of α ox = -1.51. The source shows evidence for intrinsic absorption, and fitting the spectrum with a neutral-absorption model gives a column density of N H ∼ 1.2 × 10 22 cm -2; this is among the lowest X-ray columns measured for BALQSOs. We do not detect, with high significance, any other absorption features in the X-ray spectrum. We place upper limits on the rest-frame equivalent width of a neutral (ionized) Fe Kα line, ≤180 eV (≤120 eV), and on the Compton-reflection component parameter, R ≤ 0.2, suggesting that most of the X-rays from the source are directly observed rather than being scattered or reflected; this is also supported by the relatively flat intrinsic α ox we measure. The possibility that most of the X-ray flux is scattered due to the high level of UV-optical polarization is ruled out. Considering data for 46 BALQSOs from the literature, including CSO 755, we have found that the UV-optical continuum polarization level of BALQSOs is not correlated with any of their X-ray properties. A lack of significant short- and long-term X-ray flux variations in the source may be attributed to a large black hole mass in CSO 755. We note that another luminous BALQSO, PG 2112+059, has both similar shallow C IV BALs and moderate X-ray absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2522-2528
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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