NuSTAR reveals the extreme properties of the super-Eddington accreting supermassive black hole in PG 1247+267

G. Lanzuisi, M. Perna, A. Comastri, M. Cappi, M. Dadina, A. Marinucci, A. Masini, G. Matt, F. Vagnetti, C. Vignali, D. R. Ballantyne, F. E. Bauer, S. E. Boggs, W. N. Brandt, M. Brusa, Finn Erland Christensen, W. W. Craig, A. C. Fabian, D. Farrah, C. J. HaileyF. A. Harrison, Birong Luo, E. Piconcelli, S. Puccetti, C. Ricci, C. Saez, D. Stern, D. J. Walton, W. W. Zhang

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PG1247+267 is one of the most luminous known quasars at z similar to 2 and is a strongly super-Eddington accreting supermassive black hole (SMBH) candidate. We obtained NuSTAR data of this intriguing source in December 2014 with the aim of studying its high-energy emission, leveraging the broad band covered by the new NuSTAR and the archival XMM-Newton data. Several measurements are in agreement with the super-Eddington scenario for PG1247+267: the soft power law (Gamma = 2.3 +/- 0.1); the weak ionized Fe emission line; and a hint of the presence of outflowing ionized gas surrounding the SMBH. The presence of an extreme reflection component is instead at odds with the high accretion rate proposed for this quasar. This can be explained with three different scenarios; all of them are in good agreement with the existing data, but imply very different conclusions: i) a variable primary power law observed in a low state, superimposed on a reflection component echoing a past, higher flux state; ii) a power law continuum obscured by an ionized, Compton thick, partial covering absorber; and iii) a relativistic disk reflector in a lamp-post geometry, with low coronal height and high BH spin. The first model is able to explain the high reflection component in terms of variability. The second does not require any reflection to reproduce the hard emission, while a rather low high-energy cutoff of similar to 100 keV is detected for the first time in such a high redshift source. The third model require a face-on geometry, which may affect the SMBH mass and Eddington ratio measurements. Deeper X-ray broad-band data are required in order to distinguish between these possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA77
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • Quasars: individual: PG 1247+267
  • Accretion
  • Accretion disks

Cite this

Lanzuisi, G., Perna, M., Comastri, A., Cappi, M., Dadina, M., Marinucci, A., Masini, A., Matt, G., Vagnetti, F., Vignali, C., Ballantyne, D. R., Bauer, F. E., Boggs, S. E., Brandt, W. N., Brusa, M., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Fabian, A. C., Farrah, D., ... Zhang, W. W. (2016). NuSTAR reveals the extreme properties of the super-Eddington accreting supermassive black hole in PG 1247+267. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 590, [A77].