Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Dirk Grupe

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We present XMM–Newton, NuSTAR, Swift, and Hubble Space Telescope observations of the Narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 335 in a protracted low state in 2018 and 2019. The X-ray flux is at the lowest level so far observed, and the extremely low continuum flux reveals a host of soft X-ray emission lines from photoionized gas. The simultaneous UV flux drop suggests that the variability is intrinsic to the source, and we confirm this with broad-band X-ray spectroscopy. The dominance of the soft X-ray lines at low energies and distant reflection at high energies, is therefore due to the respective emission regions being located far enough from the X-ray source that they have not yet seen the flux drop. Between the two XMM–Newton spectra, taken 6 months apart, the emission line ratio in the OVII triplet changes drastically. We attribute this change to a drop in the ionization of intervening warm absorption, which means that the absorber must cover a large fraction of the line emitting region, and extend much further from the black hole than previously assumed. The HST spectrum, taken in 2018, shows that new absorption features have appeared on the blue wings of CIII∗, Lyα, NV, Si IV, and CIV, likely due to absorbing gas cooling in response to the low flux state.



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