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IC 3639 - A new bona fide Compton thick AGN unveiled by NuSTAR

IC 3639 - A new bona fide Compton thick AGN unveiled by NuSTAR
IC 3639 - A new bona fide Compton thick AGN unveiled by NuSTAR
We analyze high-quality NuSTAR observations of the local (z = 0.011) Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus (AGN) IC 3639, in conjunction with archival Suzaku and Chandra data. This provides the first broadband X-ray spectral analysis of the source, spanning nearly two decades in energy (0.5–30 keV). Previous X-ray observations of the source below 10 keV indicated strong reflection/obscuration on the basis of a pronounced iron fluorescence line at 6.4 keV. The hard X-ray energy coverage of NuSTAR, together with self-consistent toroidal reprocessing models, enables direct broadband constraints on the obscuring column density of the source. We find the source to be heavily Compton-thick (CTK) with an obscuring column in excess of 3.6 × 1024 cm-2, unconstrained at the upper end. We further find an intrinsic 2–10 keV luminosity of log10 (L2-10 keV [erg.s-1]) = 43.4-1.1+0.6 to 90% confidence, almost 400 times the observed flux, and consistent with various multiwavelength diagnostics. Such a high ratio of intrinsic to observed flux, in addition to an Fe-Kα fluorescence line equivalent width exceeding 2 keV, is extreme among known bona fide CTK AGNs, which we suggest are both due to the high level of obscuration present around IC 3639. Our study demonstrates that broadband spectroscopic modeling with NuSTAR enables large corrections for obscuration to be carried out robustly and emphasizes the need for improved modeling of AGN tori showing intense iron fluorescence.
1538-4357
1-18
Boorman, P.
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Gandhi, P.
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Alexander, D.
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Annuar, A.
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Ballantyne, D.R.
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Bauer, F.
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Boggs, S.E.
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Brandt, N.
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Brightman, M.
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Christensen, F.E.
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Craig, W.W.
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Farrah, D.
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Hailey, C.J.
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Harrison, F.A.
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Hoenig, Sebastian
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Koss, M.
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LaMassa, S.M.
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Masini, A.
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Ricci, C.
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Risaliti, G.
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Stern, D.
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Zhang, W.W.
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Boorman, P.
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Gandhi, P.
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Alexander, D.
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Annuar, A.
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Ballantyne, D.R.
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Bauer, F.
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Boggs, S.E.
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Brandt, N.
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Brightman, M.
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Christensen, F.E.
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Craig, W.W.
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Farrah, D.
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Hailey, C.J.
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Harrison, F.A.
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Hoenig, Sebastian
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Koss, M.
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LaMassa, S.M.
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Masini, A.
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Ricci, C.
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Risaliti, G.
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Stern, D.
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Zhang, W.W.
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Boorman, P., Gandhi, P., Alexander, D., Annuar, A., Ballantyne, D.R., Bauer, F., Boggs, S.E., Brandt, N., Brightman, M., Christensen, F.E., Craig, W.W., Farrah, D., Hailey, C.J., Harrison, F.A., Hoenig, Sebastian, Koss, M., LaMassa, S.M., Masini, A., Ricci, C., Risaliti, G., Stern, D. and Zhang, W.W. (2016) IC 3639 - A new bona fide Compton thick AGN unveiled by NuSTAR. The Astrophysical Journal, 833 (2), 1-18. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/833/2/245).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We analyze high-quality NuSTAR observations of the local (z = 0.011) Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus (AGN) IC 3639, in conjunction with archival Suzaku and Chandra data. This provides the first broadband X-ray spectral analysis of the source, spanning nearly two decades in energy (0.5–30 keV). Previous X-ray observations of the source below 10 keV indicated strong reflection/obscuration on the basis of a pronounced iron fluorescence line at 6.4 keV. The hard X-ray energy coverage of NuSTAR, together with self-consistent toroidal reprocessing models, enables direct broadband constraints on the obscuring column density of the source. We find the source to be heavily Compton-thick (CTK) with an obscuring column in excess of 3.6 × 1024 cm-2, unconstrained at the upper end. We further find an intrinsic 2–10 keV luminosity of log10 (L2-10 keV [erg.s-1]) = 43.4-1.1+0.6 to 90% confidence, almost 400 times the observed flux, and consistent with various multiwavelength diagnostics. Such a high ratio of intrinsic to observed flux, in addition to an Fe-Kα fluorescence line equivalent width exceeding 2 keV, is extreme among known bona fide CTK AGNs, which we suggest are both due to the high level of obscuration present around IC 3639. Our study demonstrates that broadband spectroscopic modeling with NuSTAR enables large corrections for obscuration to be carried out robustly and emphasizes the need for improved modeling of AGN tori showing intense iron fluorescence.

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Accepted/In Press date: 26 October 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 December 2016
Published date: 20 December 2016
Organisations: Astronomy Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 403000
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/403000
ISSN: 1538-4357
PURE UUID: 5c97e87e-e534-4c42-91ee-6533a419dee1
ORCID for P. Boorman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9379-4716
ORCID for P. Gandhi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3105-2615

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Date deposited: 21 Nov 2016 15:18
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 04:38

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Contributors

Author: P. Boorman ORCID iD
Author: P. Gandhi ORCID iD
Author: D. Alexander
Author: A. Annuar
Author: D.R. Ballantyne
Author: F. Bauer
Author: S.E. Boggs
Author: N. Brandt
Author: M. Brightman
Author: F.E. Christensen
Author: W.W. Craig
Author: D. Farrah
Author: C.J. Hailey
Author: F.A. Harrison
Author: M. Koss
Author: S.M. LaMassa
Author: A. Masini
Author: C. Ricci
Author: G. Risaliti
Author: D. Stern
Author: W.W. Zhang

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