Heavy absorption and soft X-ray emission lines in the XMM-Newton spectrum of the type 2 radio-loud quasar 3C 234
Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (INAF), via Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio Catone, Roma, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi Roma 3, via della Vasca Navale 84, 00146 Roma, Italy
3 Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
4 European Space Astronomy Center of ESA, Apartado 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
5 Instituto de Astronomía, UNAM, Apartado 70264, 04510 Ciudad de México, Mexico
Accepted: 20 November 2007
Aims.We report results on a 40 ks XMM-Newton observation of the type 2 quasar 3C 234. Optical spectropolarimetric data have demonstrated the presence of a hidden broad-line region in this powerful (MV ≤ -24.2 after reddening and starlight correction) narrow-line FRII radio galaxy. Our analysis is aimed at investigating the X-ray spectral properties of this peculiar source that have remained poorly known so far.
Methods.We analyze the 0.5–10 keV spectroscopic data collected by the EPIC cameras in 2006.
Results.The X-ray spectrum of this radio-loud quasar is typical of a local Compton-thin Seyfert 2 galaxy. It exhibits strong absorption (NH ~ 3.5 1023 cm-2) and a narrow, neutral Fe Kα emission line with an equivalent width of ≈140 ± 40 eV. Our observation also reveals that the soft portion of the spectrum is characterized by strong emission lines with a very low level of scattered primary continuum. A possible explanation of these features in terms of thermal emission from a two-temperature, collisionally ionized plasma emission seems to be unlikely due to the high luminosity estimated for this component (L0.5-2 ~ 6 1042 erg s-1). It is likely that most of the soft X-ray emission originates from a photoionized plasma as commonly observed in obscured, radio-quiet Seyfert-like AGNs.
Conclusions.This X-ray observation has definitively confirmed the presence of a hidden quasar in 3C 234. The line-rich spectrum and the steepness of the hard X-ray continuum (Γ ≈ 1.7) found in this source weaken the hypothesis that the bulk of the X-ray emission in radio-loud AGNs with high-excitation optical lines arises from jet non-thermal emission.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: nuclei / quasars: individual: 3C 234 / X-rays: galaxies
© ESO, 2008