The warm absorber and X-ray variability of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 3516 as seen by the XMM-Newton RGS
Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6NT, UK e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 17 February 2010
Aims. We present a new analysis of the soft and medium energy X-ray spectrum of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 3516 taken with the Reflection Grating Spectrometer (RGS) and European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) on board the XMM-Newton observatory. We examine four observations made in October 2006. We investigate whether the observed variability is due to absorption by the warm absorber and/or is intrinsic to the source emission.
Methods. We analyse in detail the EPIC-pn and RGS spectra of each observation separately.
Results. The warm absorber in NGC 3516 is found to consist of three phases of ionisation, two of which have outflow velocities of more than 1000 km s-1. The third phase (the least ionised one) is much slower at 100 km s-1. One of the high ionisation phases, with log of 2.4, is found to have a partial covering fraction of about 60%. It has previously been suggested that the passage of a cloud, part of a disc wind, in front of the source (producing a change in the covering fraction) was the cause of a significant dip in the lightcurve during one of the observations. From our modelling of the EPIC-pn and RGS spectra, we find that variation in the covering fraction cannot be solely responsible for this. We show that intrinsic change in the source continuum plays a much more significant role in explaining the observed flux and spectral variability than originally thought.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: Seyfert / galaxies: individual: NGC 3516 / X-rays: galaxies / techniques: spectroscopic
© ESO, 2010