Volume 611, March 2018
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Published online||27 March 2018|
Testing warm Comptonization models for the origin of the soft X-ray excess in AGNs
Univ. Grenoble Alpes,
38000 Grenoble, France
2 INAF-IASF Bologna, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
3 INAF/Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologie Spaziali, Via Fosso del Cavaliere, 00133 Roma, Italy
4 Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Via della Vasca Navale 84, 00146 Roma, Italy
5 IRAP, Université de toulouse, CNRS, UPS, CNES, Toulouse, France
Accepted: 13 October 2017
The X-ray spectra of many active galactic nuclei (AGNs) show a soft X-ray excess below 1–2 keV on top of the extrapolated high-energy power law. The origin of this component is uncertain. It could be a signature of relativistically blurred, ionized reflection or the high-energy tail of thermal Comptonization in a warm (kT ~ 1 keV), optically thick (τ ≃ 10–20) corona producing the optical/UV to soft X-ray emission. The purpose of the present paper is to test the warm corona model on a statistically significant sample of unabsorbed, radio-quiet AGNs with XMM-Newton archival data, providing simultaneous optical/UV and X-ray coverage. The sample has 22 objects and 100 observations. We use two thermal Comptonization components to fit the broadband spectra, one for the warm corona emission and one for the high-energy continuum. In the optical/UV, we also include the reddening, the small blue bump, and the Galactic extinction. In the X-rays, we include a warm absorber and a neutral reflection. The model gives a good fit (reduced χ2 < 1.5) to more than 90% of the sample. We find the temperature of the warm corona to be uniformly distributed in the 0.1–1 keV range, while the optical depth is in the range ~10–40. These values are consistent with a warm corona covering a large fraction of a quasi-passive accretion disk, i.e., that mostly reprocesses the warm corona emission. The disk intrinsic emission represents no more than 20% of the disk total emission. According to this interpretation, most of the accretion power would be released in the upper layers of the accretion flow.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: Seyfert / X-rays: galaxies
© ESO 2018
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