2,843 research outputs found

    2003--2005 INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton observations of 3C 273

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    The aim of this paper is to study the evolution of the broadband spectrum of one of the brightest and nearest quasars 3C 273. We analyze the data obtained during quasi-simultaneous INTEGRAL and XMM monitoring of the blazar 3C 273 in 2003--2005 in the UV, X-ray and soft gamma-ray bands and study the results in the context of the long-term evolution of the source. The 0.2-100 keV spectrum of the source is well fitted by a combination of a soft cut-off power law and a hard power law. No improvement of the fit is achieved if one replaces the soft cut-off power law by either a blackbody, or a disk reflection model. During the observation period the source has reached the historically softest state in the hard X-ray domain with a photon index Γ=1.82±0.01\Gamma=1.82\pm 0.01. Comparing our data with available archived X-ray data from previous years, we find a secular evolution of the source toward softer X-ray emission (the photon index has increased by ΔΓ0.30.4\Delta\Gamma\simeq 0.3-0.4 over the last thirty years). We argue that existing theoretical models have to be significantly modified to account for the observed spectral evolution of the source.Comment: 11 pages, accepted to A&

    Synchrotron radio emission in radio-quiet AGNs

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    The basic mechanism responsible for radio emission in radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is assumed to be synchrotron radiation. We suggest here that radio emission in radio-quiet objects is also due to synchrotron radiation of particles accelerated in shocks. We consider generic shocks and study the resulting synchrotron properties. We estimate the synchrotron radio luminosity and compare it with the X-ray component produced by inverse Compton emission. We obtain that the radio to X-ray luminosity ratio is much smaller than unity, with values typical of radio-quiet sources. The predicted trends on source parameters, black hole mass and accretion rate, may account for the anticorrelation between radio-loudness and Eddington ratio observed in different AGN samples.Comment: 5 pages, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysic

    Nuclear and gravitational energies in stars

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    The force that governs the evolution of stars is gravity. Indeed this force drives star formation, imposes thermal and density gradients into stars at hydrostatic equilibrium and finally plays the key role in the last phases of their evolution. Nuclear power in stars governs their lifetimes and of course the stellar nucleosynthesis. The nuclear reactions are at the heart of the changes of composition of the baryonic matter in the Universe. This change of composition, in its turn, has profound consequences on the evolution of stars and galaxies. The energy extracted from the gravitational, respectively nuclear reservoirs during the lifetimes of stars of different masses are estimated. It is shown that low and intermediate mass stars (M < 8 Msol) extract roughly 90 times more energy from their nuclear reservoir than from their gravitational one, while massive stars (M > 8 Msol), which explode in a supernova explosion, extract more than 5 times more energy from the gravitational reservoir than from the nuclear one. We conclude by discussing a few important nuclear reactions and their link to topical astrophysical questions.Comment: 8 pages, 2 figures, Seventh European Summer School on Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics, Santa Tecla, AIP proceeding

    The physical origin of the X-ray power spectral density break timescale in accreting black holes

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    X-ray variability of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and black hole binaries can be analysed by means of the power spectral density (PSD). The break observed in the power spectrum defines a characteristic variability timescale of the accreting system. The empirical variability scaling that relates characteristic timescale, black hole mass, and accretion rate (TBMBH2.1/M˙0.98T_B \propto M_{BH}^{2.1}/\dot{M}^{0.98}) extends from supermassive black holes in AGN down to stellar-mass black holes in binary systems. We suggest that the PSD break timescale is associated with the cooling timescale of electrons in the Comptonisation process at the origin of the observed hard X-ray emission. We obtain that the Compton cooling timescale directly leads to the observational scaling and naturally reproduces the functional dependence on black hole mass and accretion rate (tCMBH2/M˙t_C \propto M_{BH}^{2}/\dot{M}). This result simply arises from general properties of the emission mechanism and is independent of the details of any specific accretion model.Comment: 4 pages, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Letters to the Edito

    Relationship between X-ray and ultraviolet emission in 3C 273

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    In 3C 273, ultraviolet flux and X-ray flux measured by BATSE are not well correlated, contrarily to predictions of several models, unless the X-ray flux lags the UV emission by 1.75 yr. The absence of observed correlation at small lag cannot be due to spectral variability. A Comptonizing corona model is however compatible with all UV and X-ray observations covering the BATSE period.Comment: LaTeX, 4 pages, 6 figures. espcrc2.sty style file included. Poster contribution to the symposium "The Active X-ray Sky: Results from BepppoSAX and Rossi-XTE", Rome, October 199

    AGN's UV and X-ray luminosities in clumpy accretion flows

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    We consider the fuelling of the central massive black hole in Active Galactic Nuclei, through an inhomogeneous accretion flow. Performing simple analytical treatments, we show that shocks between elements (clumps) forming the accretion flow may account for the UV and X-ray emission in AGNs. In this picture, a cascade of shocks is expected, where optically thick shocks give rise to optical/UV emission, while optically thin shocks give rise to X-ray emission. The resulting blue bump temperature is found to be quite similar in different AGNs. We obtain that the ratio of X-ray luminosity to UV luminosity is smaller than unity, and that this ratio is smaller in massive objects compared to less massive sources. This is in agreement with the observed LX/LUVL_{X}/L_{UV} ratio and suggests a possible interpretation of the αOXlUV\alpha_{OX}-l_{UV} anticorrelation.Comment: 8 pages, 1 figure, accepted for publication in A&