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NuSTAR unveils a Compton-thick type 2 quasar in MrK 34

NuSTAR unveils a Compton-thick type 2 quasar in MrK 34
NuSTAR unveils a Compton-thick type 2 quasar in MrK 34
We present Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) 3-40 keV observations of the optically selected Type 2 quasar (QSO2) SDSS J1034+6001 or Mrk 34. The high-quality hard X-ray spectrum and archival XMM-Newton data can be fitted self-consistently with a reflection-dominated continuum and a strong Fe K? fluorescence line with equivalent width >1 keV. Prior X-ray spectral fitting below 10 keV showed the source to be consistent with being obscured by Compton-thin column densities of gas along the line of sight, despite evidence for much higher columns from multiwavelength data. NuSTAR now enables a direct measurement of this column and shows that N H lies in the Compton-thick (CT) regime. The new data also show a high intrinsic 2-10 keV luminosity of L 2-10 ~ 1044 erg s–1, in contrast to previous low-energy X-ray measurements where L 2-10 lesssim 1043 erg s–1 (i.e., X-ray selection below 10 keV does not pick up this source as an intrinsically luminous obscured quasar). Both the obscuring column and the intrinsic power are about an order of magnitude (or more) larger than inferred from pre-NuSTAR X-ray spectral fitting. Mrk 34 is thus a "gold standard" CT QSO2 and is the nearest non-merging system in this class, in contrast to the other local CT quasar NGC 6240, which is currently undergoing a major merger coupled with strong star formation. For typical X-ray bolometric correction factors, the accretion luminosity of Mrk 34 is high enough to potentially power the total infrared luminosity. X-ray spectral fitting also shows that thermal emission related to star formation is unlikely to drive the observed bright soft component below ~3 keV, favoring photoionization instead.
0004-637X
1-13
Gandhi, P.
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Lansbury, G.B.
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Alexander, D.M.
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Stern, D.
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Arévalo, P.
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Ballantyne, D.R.
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Baloković, M.
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Bauer, F.E.
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Boggs, S.E.
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Brandt, W.N.
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Brightman, M.
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Christensen, F.E.
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Comastri, A.
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Craig, W.W.
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Del Moro, A.
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Hailey, C.J.
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Harrison, F.A.
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Hickox, R.C.
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Koss, M.
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LaMassa, S.M.
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Luo, B.
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Madejski, G.M.
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Ptak, A.F.
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Puccetti, S.
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Teng, S.H.
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Urry, C.M.
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Walton, D.J.
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Zhang, W.W.
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Gandhi, P.
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Lansbury, G.B.
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Alexander, D.M.
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Stern, D.
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Arévalo, P.
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Ballantyne, D.R.
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Baloković, M.
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Bauer, F.E.
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Boggs, S.E.
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Brandt, W.N.
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Brightman, M.
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Christensen, F.E.
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Comastri, A.
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Craig, W.W.
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Del Moro, A.
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Elvis, M.
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Fabian, A.C.
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Hailey, C.J.
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Harrison, F.A.
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Hickox, R.C.
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Koss, M.
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LaMassa, S.M.
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Luo, B.
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Madejski, G.M.
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Ptak, A.F.
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Puccetti, S.
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Teng, S.H.
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Urry, C.M.
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Walton, D.J.
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Zhang, W.W.
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Gandhi, P., Lansbury, G.B., Alexander, D.M., Stern, D., Arévalo, P., Ballantyne, D.R., Baloković, M., Bauer, F.E., Boggs, S.E., Brandt, W.N., Brightman, M., Christensen, F.E., Comastri, A., Craig, W.W., Del Moro, A., Elvis, M., Fabian, A.C., Hailey, C.J., Harrison, F.A., Hickox, R.C., Koss, M., LaMassa, S.M., Luo, B., Madejski, G.M., Ptak, A.F., Puccetti, S., Teng, S.H., Urry, C.M., Walton, D.J. and Zhang, W.W. (2014) NuSTAR unveils a Compton-thick type 2 quasar in MrK 34. The Astrophysical Journal, 792 (117), 1-13. (doi:10.1088/0004-637X/792/2/117).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) 3-40 keV observations of the optically selected Type 2 quasar (QSO2) SDSS J1034+6001 or Mrk 34. The high-quality hard X-ray spectrum and archival XMM-Newton data can be fitted self-consistently with a reflection-dominated continuum and a strong Fe K? fluorescence line with equivalent width >1 keV. Prior X-ray spectral fitting below 10 keV showed the source to be consistent with being obscured by Compton-thin column densities of gas along the line of sight, despite evidence for much higher columns from multiwavelength data. NuSTAR now enables a direct measurement of this column and shows that N H lies in the Compton-thick (CT) regime. The new data also show a high intrinsic 2-10 keV luminosity of L 2-10 ~ 1044 erg s–1, in contrast to previous low-energy X-ray measurements where L 2-10 lesssim 1043 erg s–1 (i.e., X-ray selection below 10 keV does not pick up this source as an intrinsically luminous obscured quasar). Both the obscuring column and the intrinsic power are about an order of magnitude (or more) larger than inferred from pre-NuSTAR X-ray spectral fitting. Mrk 34 is thus a "gold standard" CT QSO2 and is the nearest non-merging system in this class, in contrast to the other local CT quasar NGC 6240, which is currently undergoing a major merger coupled with strong star formation. For typical X-ray bolometric correction factors, the accretion luminosity of Mrk 34 is high enough to potentially power the total infrared luminosity. X-ray spectral fitting also shows that thermal emission related to star formation is unlikely to drive the observed bright soft component below ~3 keV, favoring photoionization instead.

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Accepted/In Press date: 6 July 2014
Published date: 10 September 2014
Organisations: Astronomy Group

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Local EPrints ID: 402035
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/402035
ISSN: 0004-637X
PURE UUID: 97da36cb-0e07-4c54-a82c-88dcff1af40c
ORCID for P. Gandhi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3105-2615

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Date deposited: 27 Oct 2016 08:38
Last modified: 26 Nov 2019 01:33

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Contributors

Author: P. Gandhi ORCID iD
Author: G.B. Lansbury
Author: D.M. Alexander
Author: D. Stern
Author: P. Arévalo
Author: D.R. Ballantyne
Author: M. Baloković
Author: F.E. Bauer
Author: S.E. Boggs
Author: W.N. Brandt
Author: M. Brightman
Author: F.E. Christensen
Author: A. Comastri
Author: W.W. Craig
Author: A. Del Moro
Author: M. Elvis
Author: A.C. Fabian
Author: C.J. Hailey
Author: F.A. Harrison
Author: R.C. Hickox
Author: M. Koss
Author: S.M. LaMassa
Author: B. Luo
Author: G.M. Madejski
Author: A.F. Ptak
Author: S. Puccetti
Author: S.H. Teng
Author: C.M. Urry
Author: D.J. Walton
Author: W.W. Zhang

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