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Multiwavelength campaign on Mrk 509. IV. Optical-UV-X-ray variability and the nature of the soft X-ray excess

Abstract : We present the analysis of XMM-Newtonand Swiftoptical-UV and X-ray observations of the Seyfert-1/QSO Mrk 509, part of an unprecedented multi-wavelength campaign, investigating the nuclear environment of this AGN. The XMM-Newtondata are from a series of 10 observations of about 60 ks each, spaced from each other by about 4 days, taken in Oct.-Nov. 2009. During our campaign, Mrk 509 was also observed with Swiftfor a period of about 100 days, monitoring the behaviour of the source before and after the XMM-Newtonobservations. With these data we have established the continuum spectrum in the optical-UV and X-ray bands and investigated its variability on the timescale of our campaign with a resolution time of a few days. In order to measure and model the continuum as far as possible into the UV, we also made use of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) cosmic origin spectrograph (COS) observations of Mrk 509 (part of our coordinated campaign) and of an archival Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) observation. We have found that in addition to an X-ray power-law, the spectrum displays soft X-ray excess emission below 2 keV, which interestingly varies in association with the thermal optical-UV emission from the accretion disc. The change in the X-ray power-law component flux (albeit smaller than that of the soft excess), on the other hand, is uncorrelated to the flux variability of the soft X-ray excess and the disc component on the probed timescale. The results of our simultaneous broad-band spectral and timing analysis suggest that, on a resolution time of a few days, the soft X-ray excess of Mrk 509 is produced by the Comptonisation of the thermal optical-UV photons from the accretion disc by a warm (0.2 keV) optically thick (τ ~ 17) corona surrounding the inner regions of the disc. This makes Mrk 509, with a black hole mass of about 1-3 × 108 M, the highest mass known system to display such behaviour and origin for the soft X-ray excess.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 29, 2022 - 4:59:08 PM
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M. Mehdipour, G. Branduardi-Raymont, J. S. Kaastra, P. O. Petrucci, G. A. Kriss, et al.. Multiwavelength campaign on Mrk 509. IV. Optical-UV-X-ray variability and the nature of the soft X-ray excess. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2011, 534, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201116875⟩. ⟨insu-03623398⟩



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