We present results from an XMM-Newton observation of the nearby Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 5643. The nucleus exhibits a very flat X-ray continuum above 2 keV, together with a prominent K fluorescent iron line. This indicates heavy obscuration. We measure an absorbing column density N-H in the range 6-10 x 10(23) cm(-2), either directly covering the nuclear emission, or covering its Compton reflection. In the latter case, we might be observing a rather unusual geometry for the absorber, whereby reflection from the inner far side of a torus is in turn obscured by its near side outer atmosphere. The nuclear emission might be then either covered by a Compton-thick absorber, or undergoing a transient state of low activity. A second source (christened 'X-1' in this paper) at the outskirts of the NGC 5643 optical surface outshines the nucleus in X-rays. If belonging to NGC 5643, it is the third brightest (L-X similar to 4 x 10(40) erg s(-1)) known ultraluminous X-ray source. Comparison with past large aperture spectra of NGC 5643 unveils dramatic X-ray spectral changes above 1 keV. We interpret these as due to variability of the active nucleus and of source X-1 intrinsic X-ray powers by factors of greater than or equal to10 and 5, respectively.

Guainazzi M, Rodriguez-Pascual P, Fabian AC, Iwasawa K, & Matt G (2004). Unveiling the nature of the highly obscured active galactic nucleus in NGC 5643 with XMM-Newton. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 355(1), 297-306 [10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.08317.x].

Unveiling the nature of the highly obscured active galactic nucleus in NGC 5643 with XMM-Newton

MATT, Giorgio
2004

Abstract

We present results from an XMM-Newton observation of the nearby Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 5643. The nucleus exhibits a very flat X-ray continuum above 2 keV, together with a prominent K fluorescent iron line. This indicates heavy obscuration. We measure an absorbing column density N-H in the range 6-10 x 10(23) cm(-2), either directly covering the nuclear emission, or covering its Compton reflection. In the latter case, we might be observing a rather unusual geometry for the absorber, whereby reflection from the inner far side of a torus is in turn obscured by its near side outer atmosphere. The nuclear emission might be then either covered by a Compton-thick absorber, or undergoing a transient state of low activity. A second source (christened 'X-1' in this paper) at the outskirts of the NGC 5643 optical surface outshines the nucleus in X-rays. If belonging to NGC 5643, it is the third brightest (L-X similar to 4 x 10(40) erg s(-1)) known ultraluminous X-ray source. Comparison with past large aperture spectra of NGC 5643 unveils dramatic X-ray spectral changes above 1 keV. We interpret these as due to variability of the active nucleus and of source X-1 intrinsic X-ray powers by factors of greater than or equal to10 and 5, respectively.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/132536
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