Astrophys. J., 564, 196-208 (2002/January-1)
Chandra observations of Markarian 273: unveiling the central active galactic nucleus and the extended hot gas halo.
XIA X.-Y., XUE S.-J., MAO S., BOLLER T., DENG Z.-G. and WU H.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report X-ray observations of the field containing the ultraluminous IRAS galaxy Mrk 273. The data were obtained using the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer S3 instrument on board Chandra. The high-resolution X-ray image for the first time reveals a compact hard X-ray nucleus in Mrk 273. Its position is coincident with the northern nucleus identified in the optical, infrared, and radio and in molecular CO maps. Its X-ray energy distribution is well described by a heavily obscured active galactic nucleus (AGN) spectrum with an absorbed power law plus a narrow Fe Kα emission line at 6.4 keV. The neutral hydrogen column density is about 4x1023.cm–2, implying an absorption-corrected X-ray luminosity (0.1-10 keV) for the nucleus of LX~6.5x1043 ergs .s–1 for H0=50 km.s–1.Mpc–1. The X-ray properties therefore firmly establish the northern nucleus of Mrk 273 as a Seyfert 2 AGN. There are also bright soft X-ray clumps and diffuse soft X-ray emissions surrounding the central hard X-ray nucleus within the 10" of the nuclear region. Its spectrum can be fitted by a MEKAL thermal model with a temperature of about 0.8 keV and high metallicity (Z∼1.5 Z☉) plus emission lines from α elements and ions. We find that a soft X-ray clump, about 4" (projected separation of about 4 kpc) southwest of the northern hard X-ray nucleus, is coincident with a nebula with strong [O III] λ5007 emissions. Further outside the central region, the Chandra observations reveal a very extended hot halo in Mrk 273. The X-ray halo encompasses the entire optical tidal tail and plume, with a projected diameter of about 108x68 kpc. The total soft X-ray luminosity (0.1-2.4 keV) of the hot halo is LX~1.9x1041 ergs .s–1, in the range of the soft X-ray luminosity of bright elliptical galaxies. The temperature of the hot gas is about 0.62 keV with a low metallicity (Z∼0.1 Z☉). We discuss the nature of the AGN in Mrk 273 and the implications of our results on the origin of X-ray halos in elliptical galaxies. We also discuss the properties of Mrk 273x, a background AGN at redshift z=0.46 in the Mrk 273 field. The AGN has an X-ray luminosity of LX~2.43x1044 ergs .s–1 in the 0.5-10 keV band. Its X-ray properties resemble those of Seyfert 1 galaxies, while its optical properties are similar to Seyfert 2 galaxies. Such mixed classifications in the optical and X-ray may be a challenge for the unification scheme of AGNs.
Galaxies: Active - Galaxies: Individual: Name: Markarian 273 - Galaxies: Interactions - Galaxies: ISM - Galaxies: Seyfert - X-Rays: Galaxies
Fig.2: [XXM2002] A (Nos A-C). Fig.4, Table 1: [XXM2002] Hard X N=1, [XXM2002] Clump WWN (Nos N, SE, SW1, SW2).
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