10.1051/0004-6361/201219956

Multiwavelength campaign on Mrk 509

Abstract

The origin of the different spectral components present in the high-energy (UV to X-rays/gamma-rays) spectra of Seyfert galaxies is still being debated a lot. One of the major limitations, in this respect, is the lack of really simultaneous broad-band observations that allow us to disentangle the behavior of each component and to better constrain their interconnections. The simultaneous UV to X-rays/gamma rays data obtained during the multiwavelength campaign on the bright Seyfert 1 Mrk 509 are used in this paper and tested against physically motivated broad band models. Mrk 509 was observed by XMM-Newton and INTEGRAL in October/November 2009, with one observation every four days for a total of ten observations. Each observation has been fitted with a realistic thermal Comptonization model for the continuum emission. Prompted by the correlation between the UV and soft X-ray flux, we used a thermal Comptonization component for the soft X-ray excess. We also included a warm absorber and a reflection component, as required by the precise studies previously done by our consortium. The UV to X-ray/gamma-ray emission of Mrk 509 can be well fitted by these components. The presence of a relatively hard high-energy spectrum points to the existence of a hot (kT ~ 100 keV), optically-thin (τ ~ 0.5) corona producing the primary continuum. In contrast, the soft X-ray component requires a warm (kT ~ 1 keV), optically-thick (τ ~ 10−20) plasma. Estimates of the amplification ratio for this warm plasma support a configuration relatively close to the “theoretical” configuration of a slab corona above a passive disk. An interesting consequence is the weak luminosity-dependence of its emission, which is a possible explanation of the roughly constant spectral shape of the soft X-ray excess seen in AGNs. The temperature (~3 eV) and flux of the soft-photon field entering and cooling the warm plasma suggests that it covers the accretion disk down to a transition radius Rin of 10 − 20 Rg. This plasma could be the warm upper layer of the accretion disk. In contrast, the hot corona has a more photon-starved geometry. The high temperature (~100 eV) of the soft-photon field entering and cooling it favors a localization of the hot corona in the inner flow. This soft-photon field could be part of the comptonized emission produced by the warm plasma. In this framework, the change in the geometry (i.e. Rin) could explain most of the observed flux and spectral variability

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Last time updated on April 10, 2020

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