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Probing variability patterns of the Fe K line complex in bright nearby AGNs

By B. De Marco, K. Iwasawa, M. Dadina, F. Tombesi, G. Ponti, A. Celotti and G. Miniutti


Context. The unprecedented sensitivity of current X-ray telescopes allows for the first time to address the issue of the Fe K line complex variability patterns in bright, nearby AGNs. These kind of studies have the potential to map the accretion flow in the strong gravity regime of supermassive black holes. Aims. We examine XMM-Newton observations of the brightest sources of the FERO sample of radio–quiet type 1 AGNs (for a total of 72 observations) with the aim of characterizing the temporal behaviour of Fe K complex features. Methods. A systematic mapping of residual flux above and below the continuum in the 4–9 keV range is performed in the time vs energy domain, with the purpose of identifying interesting spectral features in the three energy bands: 5.4–6.1 keV, 6.1–6.8 keV and 6.8–7.2 keV, corresponding respectively to the redshifted, rest frame and blueshifted or highly ionized Fe Kα line bands. The variability significance of rest frame and energy shifted Fe K lines is assessed by extracting light curves and comparing them with Monte Carlo simulations. Results. The time-averaged profile of the Fe K complex revealed spectral complexity in several observations. Red- and blue- shifted components (either in emission or absorption) were observed in 30 out of 72 observations, with an average〈EW〉 ∼ 90 eV for emissio

Year: 2009
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