skip to main content

Title: Intensive disc-reverberation mapping of Fairall 9: first year of Swift and LCO monitoring
ABSTRACT We present results of time-series analysis of the first year of the Fairall 9 intensive disc-reverberation campaign. We used Swift and the Las Cumbres Observatory global telescope network to continuously monitor Fairall 9 from X-rays to near-infrared at a daily to subdaily cadence. The cross-correlation function between bands provides evidence for a lag spectrum consistent with the τ ∝ λ4/3 scaling expected for an optically thick, geometrically thin blackbody accretion disc. Decomposing the flux into constant and variable components, the variable component’s spectral energy distribution is slightly steeper than the standard accretion disc prediction. We find evidence at the Balmer edge in both the lag and flux spectra for an additional bound-free continuum contribution that may arise from reprocessing in the broad-line region. The inferred driving light curve suggests two distinct components, a rapidly variable (<4 d) component arising from X-ray reprocessing, and a more slowly varying (>100 d) component with an opposite lag to the reverberation signal.
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Award ID(s):
1909199 1907290 1816537
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
5399 to 5416
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. ABSTRACT Using a month-long X-ray light curve from RXTE/PCA and 1.5 month-long UV continuum light curves from IUE spectra in 1220–1970 Å, we performed a detailed time-lag study of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 7469. Our cross-correlation analysis confirms previous results showing that the X-rays are delayed relative to the UV continuum at 1315 Å by 3.49 ± 0.22 d, which is possibly caused by either propagating fluctuation or variable Comptonization. However, if variations slower than 5 d are removed from the X-ray light curve, the UV variations then lag behind the X-ray variations by 0.37 ± 0.14 d, consistent with reprocessing of the X-rays by a surrounding accretion disc. A very similar reverberation delay is observed between Swift/XRT X-ray and Swift/UVOT UVW2, U light curves. Continuum light curves extracted from the Swift/GRISM spectra show delays with respect to X-rays consistent with reverberation. Separating the UV continuum variations faster and slower than 5 d, the slow variations at 1825 Å lag those at 1315 Å by 0.29 ± 0.06 d, while the fast variations are coincident (0.04 ± 0.12 d). The UV/optical continuum reverberation lag from IUE, Swift, and other optical telescopes at different wavelengths are consistent with the relationship: τ ∝ λ4/3, predicted for the standard accretion disc theory while the best-fitting X-ray delay from RXTE and Swift/XRT shows a negativemore »X-ray offset of ∼0.38 d from the standard disc delay prediction.« less
  2. ABSTRACT We present the first intensive continuum reverberation mapping study of the high accretion-rate Seyfert galaxy Mrk 110. The source was monitored almost daily for more than 200 d with the Swift X-ray and ultraviolet (UV)/optical telescopes, supported by ground-based observations from Las Cumbres Observatory, the Liverpool Telescope, and the Zowada Observatory, thus extending the wavelength coverage to 9100 Å. Mrk 110 was found to be significantly variable at all wavebands. Analysis of the intraband lags reveals two different behaviours, depending on the time-scale. On time-scales shorter than 10 d the lags, relative to the shortest UV waveband (∼1928 Å), increase with increasing wavelength up to a maximum of ∼2 d lag for the longest waveband (∼9100 Å), consistent with the expectation from disc reverberation. On longer time-scales, however, the g-band lags the Swift BAT hard X-rays by ∼10 d, with the z-band lagging the g-band by a similar amount, which cannot be explained in terms of simple reprocessing from the accretion disc. We interpret this result as an interplay between the emission from the accretion disc and diffuse continuum radiation from the broad-line region.

    The nature and geometry of the accretion flow in the low/hard state of black hole binaries is currently controversial. While most properties are generally explained in the truncated disc/hot inner flow model, the detection of a broad residual around the iron line argues for strong relativistic effects from an untruncated disc. Since spectral fitting alone is somewhat degenerate, we combine it with the additional information in the fast X-ray variability and perform a full spectral-timing analysis for NICER and NuSTAR data on a bright low/hard state of MAXI J1820+070. We model the variability with propagating mass accretion rate fluctuations by combining two separate current insights: that the hot flow is spectrally inhomogeneous, and that there is a discontinuous jump in viscous time-scale between the hot flow and variable disc. Our model naturally gives the double-humped shape of the power spectra, and the increasing high-frequency variability with energy in the second hump. Including reflection and reprocessing from a disc truncated at a few tens of gravitational radii quantitatively reproduces the switch in the lag-frequency spectra, from hard lagging soft at low frequencies (propagation through the variable flow) to the soft lagging hard at the high frequencies (reverberation from the hardmore »X-ray continuum illuminating the disc). The viscous time-scale of the hot flow is derived from the model, and we show how this can be used to observationally test ideas about the origin of the jet.

    « less
  4. ABSTRACT We present a revised analysis of the photometric reverberation mapping campaign of the narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy PKS 0558 − 504 carried out with the Swift Observatory during 2008–2010. Previously, Gliozzi et al. (2013) found using the Discrete Correlation Function (DCF) method that the short-wavelength continuum variations lagged behind variations at longer wavelengths, the opposite of the trend expected for thermal reprocessing of X-rays by the accretion disc, and they interpreted their results as evidence against the reprocessing model. We carried out new DCF measurements that demonstrate that the inverted lag-wavelength relationship found by Gliozzi et al. resulted from their having interchanged the order of the driving and responding light curves when measuring the lags. To determine the inter-band lags and uncertainties more accurately, we carried out new measurements with four independent methods. These give consistent results showing time delays increasing as a function of wavelength, as expected for the disc reprocessing scenario. The slope of the re-analysed delay spectrum appears to be roughly compatible with the predicted τ ∝ λ4/3 relationship for reprocessing by an optically thick and geometrically thin accretion disc, although the data points exhibit a large scatter about the fitted power-law trend.

    We report on daily monitoring of the Seyfert galaxy ngc 7469, around 95 and 143 GHz, with the iram (Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique) 30- m radio telescope, and with the Swift X-ray and UV/optical telescopes, over an overlapping period of 45 d. The source was observed on 36 d with iram, and the flux density in both mm bands was on average ∼10 mJy, but varied by $\pm 50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, and by up to a factor of 2 between days. The present iram variability parameters are consistent with earlier monitoring, which had only 18 data points. The X-ray light curve of ngc 7469 over the same period spans a factor of 5 in flux with small uncertainties. Similar variability in the mm band and in the X-rays lends support to the notion of both sources originating in the same physical component of the active galactic nucleus (AGN), likely the accretion disc corona. Simultaneous monitoring in eight UV/optical bands shows much less variability than the mm and X-rays, implying this light originates from a different AGN component, likely the accretion disc itself. We use a tentative 14-d lag of the X-ray light curve with respect to the 95 GHz light curve to speculate on coronal implications. Moremore »precise mm-band measurements of a sample of X-ray-variable AGN are needed, preferably also on time-scales of less than a day where X-rays vary dramatically, in order to properly test the physical connection between the two bands.

    « less