Implications of the Warm Corona and Relativistic Reflection Models for the Soft Excess in Mrk 509

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Garcia JA, Kara E, Walton D, Beuchert T, Dauser T, Gatuzz E, Balokovic M, Steiner JF, Tombesi F, Connors RMT, Kallman TR, Harrison FA, Fabian A, Wilms J, Stern D, Lanz L, Ricci C, Ballantyne DR
Journal: Astrophysical Journal
Publication year: 2019
Volume: 871
Journal issue: 1
ISSN: 0004-637X
eISSN: 1538-4357


We present the analysis of the first Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array observations (similar to 220 ks), simultaneous with the last Suzaku observations (similar to 50 ks), of the active galactic nucleus of the bright Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 509. The time-averaged spectrum in the 1-79 keV X-ray band is dominated by a power-law continuum (Gamma similar to 1.8-1.9), a strong soft excess around 1 keV, and signatures of X-ray reflection in the form of Fe K emission (similar to 6.4 keV), an Fe K absorption edge (similar to 7.1 keV), and a Compton hump due to electron scattering (similar to 20-30 keV). We show that these data can be described by two very different prescriptions for the soft excess: a warm (kT similar to 0.5-1 keV) and optically thick (tau similar to 10-20) Comptonizing corona or a relativistically blurred ionized reflection spectrum from the inner regions of the accretion disk. While these two scenarios cannot be distinguished based on their fit statistics, we argue that the parameters required by the warm corona model are physically incompatible with the conditions of standard coronae. Detailed photoionization calculations show that even in the most favorable conditions, the warm corona should produce strong absorption in the observed spectrum. On the other hand, while the relativistic reflection model provides a satisfactory description of the data, it also requires extreme parameters, such as maximum black hole spin, a very low and compact hot corona, and a very high density for the inner accretion disk. Deeper observations of this source are thus necessary to confirm the presence of relativistic reflection and further understand the nature of its soft excess.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Dauser, Thomas Dr.
Dr.Karl-Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg, Astronomisches Institut
Wilms, Jörn Prof. Dr.
Professur für Astronomie und Astrophysik

External institutions with authors

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Dartmouth College
Diego Portales University / Universidad Diego Portales
European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Georgia Institute of Technology
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
University of Amsterdam
University of Cambridge
University of Maryland

How to cite

Garcia, J.A., Kara, E., Walton, D., Beuchert, T., Dauser, T., Gatuzz, E.,... Ballantyne, D.R. (2019). Implications of the Warm Corona and Relativistic Reflection Models for the Soft Excess in Mrk 509. Astrophysical Journal, 871(1).

Garcia, Javier A., et al. "Implications of the Warm Corona and Relativistic Reflection Models for the Soft Excess in Mrk 509." Astrophysical Journal 871.1 (2019).


Last updated on 2019-23-08 at 08:33