Volume 625, May 2019
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||03 May 2019|
X-ray analysis of the accreting supermassive black hole in the radio galaxy PKS 2251+11
Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), Viale Francesco Crispi, 7, 67100 L’Aquila, AQ, Italy
2 Department of Physics, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
3 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
4 NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 662, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
5 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Via Frascati 33, 00078 Monteporzio Catone, Italy
6 INAF-Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma, Italy
Accepted: 13 March 2019
Context. We have investigated the dichotomy between jetted and non-jetted active galactic nuclei (AGNs), focusing on the fundamental differences of these two classes in the accretion physics onto the central supermassive black hole (SMBH). We tested the validity of the unification model of AGNs through the characterization of the mutual interaction between accreting and outflowing matter in radio galaxies.
Aims. Our aim is to study and constrain the structure, kinematics and physical state of the nuclear environment in the broad line radio galaxy (BLRG) PKS 2251+11. The high X-ray luminosity and the relative proximity make such AGN an ideal candidate for a detailed analysis of the accretion regions in radio galaxies. The investigation will help to shed light on the analogies and differences between the BLRGs and the larger class of radio-quiet Seyfert galaxies and hence on the processes that trigger the launch of a relativistic jet.
Methods. We performed a spectral and timing analysis of a ∼64 ks observation of PKS 2251+11 in the X-ray band with XMM-Newton. We modeled the spectrum considering an absorbed power law superimposed to a reflection component. We performed a time-resolved spectral analysis to search for variability of the X-ray flux and of the individual spectral components.
Results. We find that the power law has a photon index Γ = 1.8 ± 0.1, absorbed by an ionized partial covering medium with a column density NH = (10.1 ± 0.8) × 1023 cm−2, a ionization parameter log ξ = 1.3 ± 0.1 erg s−1 cm and a covering factor f ≃ 90%. Considering a density of the absorber typical of the broad line region (BLR), its distance from the central SMBH is of the order of r ∼ 0.1 pc. An Fe Kα emission line is found at 6.4 keV, whose intensity shows variability on timescales of hours. We derive that the reflecting material is located at a distance r ≳ 600rs, where rs is the Schwarzschild radius.
Conclusions. Concerning the X-ray properties, we found that PKS 2251+11 does not differ significantly from the non-jetted AGNs, confirming the validity of the unified model in describing the inner regions around the central SMBH, but the lack of information regarding the state of the very innermost disk and SMBH spin still leaves unconstrained the origin of the jet.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: nuclei / accretion, accretion disks
© ESO 2019
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