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The obscuring starburst of NGC 6221 and implications for the hard x-ray background

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The obscuring starburst of NGC 6221 and implications for the hard x-ray background

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Título The obscuring starburst of NGC 6221 and implications for the hard x-ray background
Autor Levenson, Nancy A.
Fernandes Junior, Roberto Cid
Weaver, Kim A.
Heckman, Timothy M.
Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa
Abstract We present NGC 6221 as a case study of "X-ray-loud composite galaxies", which appear similar to starbursts at optical wavelengths and resemble traditional active galactic nuclei in X-rays. The net optical spectrum of NGC 6221 is properly characterized as a starburst galaxy, but in X-rays, NGC 6221 is similar to Seyfert 1 galaxies, exhibiting a power-law continuum spectrum, a broad Fe Kα line, and continuum variability on timescales of days and years. High-resolution images reveal that the detected active nucleus is relatively weak, not only at optical, but also at near-infrared wavelengths. An obscuring starburst, in which the interstellar gas and dust associated with the starburst conceal the active nucleus, accounts for these peculiar features. We demonstrate quantitatively that obscuration by column density NH=10 22 cm-² combined with relatively weak intrinsic nuclear activity can produce an optical spectrum that is characteristic of the surrounding starburst alone. While optical surveys would not identify the active nuclei that make these galaxies significant X-ray sources, such galaxies may, in fact, be important contributors to the X-ray background.
Contido em The astrophysical journal. Chicago. Vol. 557, no. 1, pt. 1 (Aug. 2001), p. 54-66
Assunto Galaxias seyfert
Materia interestelar
[en] Galaxies : individual (NGC 6221)
[en] Galaxies : Seyfert
[en] Galaxies : starburst
[en] X-rays: di†use background
[en] X-rays: galaxies
Origem Estrangeiro
Tipo Artigo de periódico
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10183/108882
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