Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1307.0403 (F. Tombesi et al.)

An outburst scenario for the X-ray spectral variability in 3C 111    [PDF]

F. Tombesi, J. N. Reeves, C. S. Reynolds, J. Garcia, A. Lohfink
We present a combined Suzaku and Swift BAT broad-band E=0.6-200keV spectral analysis of three 3C 111 observations obtained in 2010. The data are well described with an absorbed power-law continuum and a weak (R~0.2) cold reflection component from distant material. We constrain the continuum cutoff at E_c~150-200keV, which is in accordance with X-ray Comptonization corona models and supports claims that the jet emission is only dominant at much higher energies. Fe XXVI Ly\alpha emission and absorption lines are also present in the first and second observations, respectively. The modelling and interpretation of the emission line is complex and we explore three possibilities. If originating from ionized disc reflection, this should be emitted at r_in> 50r_g or, in the lamp-post configuration, the illuminating source should be at a height of h> 30r_g over the black hole. Alternatively, the line could be modeled with a hot collisionally ionized plasma with temperature kT = 22.0^{+6.1}_{-3.2} keV or a photo-ionized plasma with log\xi=4.52^{+0.10}_{-0.16} erg s^{-1} cm and column density N_H > 3x10^23 cm^{-2}. However, the first and second scenarios are less favored on statistical and physical grounds, respectively. The blue-shifted absorption line in the second observation can be modelled as an ultra-fast outflow (UFO) with ionization parameter log\xi=4.47^{+0.76}_{-0.04} erg s^{-1} cm, column density N_H=(5.3^{+1.8}_{-1.3})x 10^{22} cm^{-2} and outflow velocity v_out = 0.104+/-0.006 c. Interestingly, the parameters of the photo-ionized emission model remarkably match those of the absorbing UFO. We suggest an outburst scenario in which an accretion disc wind, initially lying out of the line of sight and observed in emission, then crosses our view to the source and it is observed in absorption as a mildly-relativistic UFO.
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