Suzaku view of X-ray Spectral Variability of the Radio Galaxy Centaurus A : Partial Covering Absorber, Reflector, and Possible Jet Component
AstrophysJ_743_124.pdf 1.25 MB
galaxies: individual (Centaurus A)
We observed a nearby radio galaxy, Centaurus A (Cen A), three times with Suzaku in 2009 and measured the wide-band X-ray spectral variability more accurately than previous measurements. The Cen A was in an active phase in 2009, and the flux became higher by a factor of 1.5-2.0 and the spectrum became harder than that in 2005. The Fe-K line intensity increased by 20%-30% from 2005 to 2009. The correlation of the count rate between the XIS 3-8 keV and PIN 15-40 keV band showed a complex behavior with a deviation from a linear relation. The wide-band X-ray continuum in 2-200 keV can be fitted with an absorbed power-law model plus a reflection component, or a power law with a partial covering Compton-thick absorption. The difference spectra between high and low flux periods in each observation were reproduced by a power law with a partial covering Compton-thick absorption. Such a Compton-thick partial covering absorber was observed for the first time in Cen A. The power-law photon index of the difference spectra in 2009 is almost the same as that of the time-averaged spectra in 2005, but steeper by similar to 0.2 than that of the time-averaged spectra in 2009. This suggests an additional hard power-law component with a photon index of <1.6 in 2009. This hard component could be a lower part of the inverse-Compton-scattered component from the jet, whose gamma-ray emission has recently been detected with the Fermi Large Area Telescope.
The Astrophysical Journal
IOP Publishing Ltd
(c) 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.