NuSTAR and XMM-Newton observations of NGC 1365: Extreme absorption variability and a constant inner accretion disk

D. J. Walton, G. Risaliti, F. A. Harrison, A. C. Fabian, J. M. Miller, P. Arevalo, D. R. Ballantyne, S. E. Boggs, L. W. Brenneman, Finn Erland Christensen, W. W. Craig, M. Elvis, F. Fuerst, P. Gandhi, B. W. Grefenstette, C. J. Hailey, E. Kara, B. Luo, K. K. Madsen, A. MarinucciG. Matt, M. L. Parker, C. S. Reynolds, E. Rivers, R. R. Ross, D. Stern, W. W. Zhang

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Abstract

We present a spectral analysis of four coordinated NuSTAR+XMM-Newton observations of the Seyfert galaxy NGC 1365. These exhibit an extreme level of spectral variability, which is primarily due to variable line-of-sight absorption, revealing relatively unobscured states in this source for the first time. Despite the diverse range of absorption states, each of the observations displays the same characteristic signatures of relativistic reflection from the inner accretion disk. Through time-resolved spectroscopy, we find that the strength of the relativistic iron line and the Compton reflection hump relative to the intrinsic continuum are well correlated, which is expected if they are two aspects of the same broadband reflection spectrum. We apply self-consistent disk reflection models to these time-resolved spectra in order to constrain the inner disk parameters, allowing for variable, partially covering absorption to account for the vastly different absorption states that were observed. Each of the four observations is treated independently to test the consistency of the results obtained for the black hole spin and the disk inclination, which should not vary on observable timescales. We find both the spin and the inclination determined from the reflection spectrum to be consistent, confirming that NGC 1365 hosts a rapidly rotating black hole; in all cases the dimensionless spin parameter is constrained to be a* > 0.97 (at 90% statistical confidence or better).
Original languageEnglish
Article number76
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume788
Issue number1
Number of pages12
ISSN0004-637X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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