Volume 452, Number 3, June IV 2006
|Page(s)||845 - 856|
|Published online||06 June 2006|
X-ray emission from the blazar AO 0235+16: the XMM-Newton and Chandra point of view
INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese (TO), Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3 Radioastronomisches Institut der Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
4 Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Clippinger 339, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701-2979, USA
5 Osservatorio Astronomico, Università di Perugia, via B. Bonfigli, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Accepted: 3 March 2006
We analyse five observations of the BL Lac object AO 0235+16 performed with the Chandra and XMM-Newton satellites during the years 2000–2005. In the February 2002 observation the source is found in a bright state and presents a steep X-ray spectrum, while in all the other epochs it is faint and the spectrum is hard. The soft X-ray spectrum appears to be strongly absorbed, likely by the intervening system at , which also absorbs the optical-UV radiation. We find that models that consider spectral curvature are superior to single power law ones in fitting the X-ray spectrum. In particular, we favour a double power law model, which agrees with the assumption of a superposition of two different components in the X-ray domain. Both in the Chandra and in one of the XMM-Newton observations, a tentative detection of the redshifted Fe Kα emission line may suggest its origin from the inner part of an accretion disc. Thermal emission from this accretion disc might explain the UV-soft-X-ray bump that appears in the spectral energy distributions, when the X-ray spectra are complemented with the optical-UV data from the Optical Monitor onboard XMM-Newton. More likely, the bump can be interpreted in terms of an additional synchrotron component emitted from an inner region of the jet with respect to that where the lower-energy emission comes from. An inspection of the X-ray light curves reveals that intraday variability occurs only when the source is in a bright state.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: BL Lacertae objects: general / galaxies: BL Lacertae objects: individual: AO 0235+16 / galaxies: jets / galaxies: quasars: general
© ESO, 2006
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