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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We have obtained a deep, simultaneous observation of the bright, nearby Seyfert galaxy IC 4329A with Suzaku and NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array). Through a detailed spectral analysis, we are able to robustly separate the continuum, absorption, and distant reflection components in the spectrum. The absorbing column is found to be modest (approximately 6 times 10 (sup 21) per square centimeter), and does not introduce any significant curvature in the Fe K band. We are able to place a strong constraint on the presence of a broadened Fe K alpha line (E (sub rest) equals 6.46 (from plus 0.08 to minus 0.07) kiloelectronvolts with sigma equals 0.33 (from plus 0.08 to minus 0.07) kiloelectronvolts and EW equals 34 (from plus 8 to minus 7) electronvolts), though we are not able to constrain any of the parameters of a relativistic reflection model. These results highlight the range in broad Fe K line strengths observed in nearby, bright, active galactic nuclei (roughly an order of magnitude), and imply a corresponding range in the physical properties of the inner accretion disk in these sources. We have also updated our previously reported measurement of the high-energy cutoff of the hard X-ray emission using both observatories rather than just NuSTAR alone: E (sub cut) equals 186 plus or minus 14 kiloelectronvolts. This high-energy cutoff acts as a proxy for the temperature of the coronal electron plasma, enabling us to further separate this parameter from the plasmas optical depth and to update our results for these parameters as well. We derive kT 50 (from plus 6 to minus 3) kiloelectronvolts with tau equals 2.34 (from plus +0.16 to minus 0.11) using a spherical geometry, kT equals 61 plus or minus1 kiloelectronvolt with tau equals 0.68 plus or minus 0.02 for a slab geometry, with both having an equivalent goodness-of-fit.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN16945 , The Astrophysical Journal (ISSN 2041-8205) (e-ISSN 2041-8213); 788; 1; 61
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: In core-collapse supernovae, titanium-44 (Ti-44) is produced in the innermost ejecta, in the layer of material directly on top of the newly formed compact object. As such, it provides a direct probe of the supernova engine. Observations of supernova 1987A (SN1987A) have resolved the 67.87- and 78.32-kilo-electron volt emission lines from decay of Ti-44 produced in the supernova explosion. These lines are narrow and redshifted with a Doppler velocity of ~700 kilometers per second, direct evidence of large-scale asymmetry in the explosion.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN34983 , Science Magazine (e-ISSN 1095-9203); 348; 6235; 670-671
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We present an analysis of an approximately 160 ks NuSTAR observation of the nearby bright Seyfert galaxy IC 4329A. The highquality broadband spectrum enables us to separate the effects of distant reflection from the direct coronal continuum, and to therefore accurately measure the high-energy cutoff to be E(sub cut) = 178 (+74 / 40) keV. The coronal emission arises from accretion disk photons Compton up-scattered by a thermal plasma, with the spectral index and cutoff being due to a combination of the finite plasma temperature and optical depth. Applying standard Comptonization models, we measure both physical properties independently using the best signal to noise obtained to date in an active galactic nucleus over the 3 - 79 keV band. We derive kT(sub e) = 37(+7 /6) keV with tau = 1.25(+0.20 / 0.10) assuming a slab geometry for the plasma, and kT(sub e) = 33(+6 / 6) keV with tau = 3.41(+0.58 / 0.38) for a spherical geometry, with both having an equivalent goodness-of-fit.
    Keywords: Astronomy; Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN64665 , GSFC-E-DAA-TN16193 , The Astrophysical Journal (ISSN 0004-637X) (e-ISSN 1538-4357); 781; 2; 83
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Following a serendipitous detection with the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), we present a multiepoch spectral and temporal analysis of an extreme ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) located in the outskirts of the Circinus galaxy, hereafter Circinus ULX5, including coordinated XMM-Newton+NuSTAR follow-up observations. The NuSTAR data presented here represent one of the first instances of a ULX reliably detected at hard (E greater than 10 keV) X-rays. CircinusULX5is variable on long time scales by at least a factor of approx. 5 in flux, and was caught in a historically bright state during our 2013 observations (0.3-30.0 keV luminosity of 1.6 10(exp 40) erg s(exp1)). During this epoch, the source displayed a curved 3-10 keV spectrum, broadly similar to other bright ULXs. Although pure thermal models result in a high energy excess in the NuSTAR data, this excess is too weak to be modeled with the disk reflection interpretation previously proposed to explain the 3-10 keV curvature in other ULXs. In addition to flux variability, clear spectral variability is also observed. While in many cases the interpretation of spectral components in ULXs is uncertain, the spectral and temporal properties of all the high quality data sets currently available strongly support a simple disk-corona model reminiscent of that invoked for Galactic binaries, with the accretion disk becoming more prominent as the luminosity increases. However, although the disk temperature and luminosity are well correlated across all time scales currently probed, the observed luminosity follows L alpha T (exp 1.70+/-0.17), flatter than expected for simple blackbody radiation. The spectral variability displayed here is highly reminiscent of that observed from known Galactic black hole binaries (BHBs) at high luminosities. This comparison implies a black hole mass of approx. 90M for Circinus ULX5. However, given the diverse behavior observed from Galactic BHB accretion disks, this mass estimate is still uncertain. Finally, the limits placed on any undetected iron absorption features with the 2013 data set imply that we are not viewing the central regions of Circinus ULX5 through any extreme super-Eddington outflow.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN16073 , The Astrophysical Journal; 779; 2; 148
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Asymmetry is required by most numerical simulations of stellar core collapse explosions, however the nature differs significantly among models. The spatial distribution of radioactive Ti-44, synthesized in an exploding star near the boundary between material falling back onto the collapsing core and that ejected into the surrounding medium, directly probes the explosion1asymmetries. Cassiopeia A is a young, nearby, core-collapse remnant from which Ti-44 emission has previously been detected, but not imaged. Asymmetries in the explosion have been indirectly inferred from a high ratio of observed Ti-44 emission to that estimated from (56)Ni9, from optical light echoes, and by jet-like features seen in the X-ray and optical ejecta. Here we report on the spatial maps and spectral properties of Ti-44 in Cassiopeia A. We find the Ti-44 to be distributed non-uniformly in the un-shocked interior of the remnant. This may explain the unexpected lack of correlation between the Ti-44 and iron X-ray emission, the latter only being visible in shock heated material. The observed spatial distribution rules out symmetric explosions even with a high level of convective mixing, as well as highly asymmetric bipolar explosions resulting from a fast rotating progenitor. Instead, these observations provide strong evidence for the development of low-mode convective instabilities in core-collapse supernovae.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN21572 , Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science (ISSN 0028-0836); 506; 7488; 339-342
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We present an analysis of an approximately 160 ks NuSTAR observation of the nearby bright Seyfert galaxy IC 4329A. The highquality broadband spectrum enables us to separate the effects of distant reflection from the direct coronal continuum, and to therefore accurately measure the high-energy cutoff to be E(sub cut) = 178 (+74 / 40) keV. The coronal emission arises from accretion disk photons Compton up-scattered by a thermal plasma, with the spectral index and cutoff being due to a combination of the finite plasma temperature and optical depth. Applying standard Comptonization models, we measure both physical properties independently using the best signal to noise obtained to date in an active galactic nucleus over the 3 - 79 keV band. We derive kT(sub e) = 37(+7 /6) keV with tau = 1.25(+0.20 / 0.10) assuming a slab geometry for the plasma, and kT(sub e) = 33(+6 / 6) keV with tau = 3.41(+0.58 / 0.38) for a spherical geometry, with both having an equivalent goodness-of-fit.
    Keywords: Astronomy; Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN21799 , The Astrophysical Journal; 781; 2; 83
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is the first focusing hard X-ray mission in orbit and operates in the 3-79 keV range. NuSTAR's sensitivity is roughly two orders of magnitude better than previous missions in this energy band thanks to its superb angular resolution. Since its launch in 2012 June, NuSTAR has performed excellently and observed many interesting sources including four magnetars, two rotation-powered pulsars and the cataclysmic variable AE Aquarii. NuSTAR also discovered 3.76-s pulsations from the transient source SGR J1745-29 recently found by Swift very close to the Galactic center, clearly identifying the source as a transient magnetar. For magnetar 1E 1841-045, we show that the spectrum is well fit by an absorbed blackbody plus broken power-law model with a hard power-law photon index of approximately 1.3. This is consistent with previous results by INTEGRAL and RXTE. We also find an interesting double-peaked pulse profile in the 25-35 keV band. For AE Aquarii, we show that the spectrum can be described by a multi-temperature thermal model or a thermal plus non-thermal model; a multi-temperature thermal model without a non-thermal component cannot be ruled out. Furthermore, we do not see a spiky pulse profile in the hard X-ray band, as previously reported based on Suzaku observations. For other magnetars and rotation-powered pulsars observed with NuSTAR, data analysis results will be soon available.
    Keywords: Astronomy
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN21801 , Astronomische Nachrichten; 335; 3; 280-284
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Mkn 421 is a nearby active galactic nucleus dominated at all wavelengths by a very broad nonthermal continuum thought to arise from a relativistic jet seen at a small angle to the line of sight. Its spectral energy distribution peaks in the X-ray and TeV gamma-ray bands, where the energy output is dominated by cooling of high-energy electrons in the jet. In order to study the electron distribution and its evolution, we carried out a dedicated multi-wavelength campaign, including extensive observations by the recently launched highly sensitive hard X-ray telescope NuSTAR, between December 2012 and May 2013. Here we present some intial results based on NuSTAR data from January through March 2013, as well as calibration observations conducted in 2012. Although the observations cover some of the faintest hard X-ray flux states ever observed for Mkn 421, the sensitivity is high enough to resolve intra-day spectral variability. We find that in this low state the dominant f ux variations are smooth on timescales of hours, with typical intra-hour variations of approximately less than 5%. We do not find evidence for either a cutoff in the hard X-ray spectrum, or a rise towards a high-energy component, but rather that at low flux the spectrum assumes a power law shape with a photon index of approximately 3. The spectrum is found to harden with increasing brightness.
    Keywords: Astrophysics; Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: The Innermost Regions of Relativistic Jets and Their Magnetic Fields; 10-14 Jun. 2013; Granada; Spain
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We present Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) hard X-ray observations of two X-ray weak broad absorption line (BAL) quasars, PG 1004+130 (radio loud) and PG 1700+518 (radio quiet). Many BAL quasars appear X-ray weak, probably due to absorption by the shielding gas between the nucleus and the accretion-disk wind. The two targets are among the optically brightest BAL quasars, yet they are known to be significantly X-ray weak at rest-frame 2-10 keV (16-120 times fainter than typical quasars). We would expect to obtain approx. or equal to 400-600 hard X-ray (is greater than or equal to 10 keV) photons with NuSTAR, provided that these photons are not significantly absorbed N(sub H) is less than or equal to 10(exp24) cm(exp-2). However, both BAL quasars are only detected in the softer NuSTAR bands (e.g., 4-20 keV) but not in its harder bands (e.g., 20-30 keV), suggesting that either the shielding gas is highly Compton-thick or the two targets are intrinsically X-ray weak. We constrain the column densities for both to be N(sub H) 7 10(exp 24) cm(exp-2) if the weak hard X-ray emission is caused by obscuration from the shielding gas. We discuss a few possibilities for how PG 1004+130 could have Compton-thick shielding gas without strong Fe K line emission; dilution from jet-linked X-ray emission is one likely explanation. We also discuss the intrinsic X-ray weakness scenario based on a coronal-quenching model relevant to the shielding gas and disk wind of BAL quasars. Motivated by our NuSTAR results, we perform a Chandra stacking analysis with the Large Bright Quasar Survey BAL quasar sample and place statistical constraints upon the fraction of intrinsically X-ray weak BAL quasars; this fraction is likely 17%-40%.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN11751 , The Astrophysical Journal; 772; 2; 153
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We report on the first 10 identifications of sources serendipitously detected by the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) to provide the first sensitive census of the cosmic X-ray background source population at approximately greater than 10 keV. We find that these NuSTAR-detected sources are approximately 100 times fainter than those previously detected at approximately greater than 10 keV and have a broad range in redshift and luminosity (z = 0.020-2.923 and L(sub 10-40 keV) approximately equals 4 10(exp 41) - 5 10(exp 45) erg per second; the median redshift and luminosity are z approximately equal to 0.7 and L(sub 10-40 keV) approximately equal to 3 10(exp 44) erg per second, respectively. We characterize these sources on the basis of broad-band approximately equal to 0.5 - 32 keV spectroscopy, optical spectroscopy, and broad-band ultraviolet-to-mid-infrared spectral energy distribution analyses. We find that the dominant source population is quasars with L(sub 10-40 keV) greater than 10(exp 44) erg per second, of which approximately 50% are obscured with N(sub H) approximately greater than 10(exp 22) per square centimeters. However, none of the 10 NuSTAR sources are Compton thick (N(sub H) approximately greater than 10(exp 24) per square centimeters) and we place a 90% confidence upper limit on the fraction of Compton-thick quasars (L(sub 10-40 keV) greater than 10(exp 44) erg per second) selected at approximately greater than 10 keV of approximately less than 33% over the redshift range z = 0.5 - 1.1. We jointly fitted the rest-frame approximately equal to 10-40 keV data for all of the non-beamed sources with L(sub 10-40 keV) greater than 10(exp 43) erg per second to constrain the average strength of reflection; we find R less than 1.4 for gamma = 1.8, broadly consistent with that found for local active galactic nuclei (AGNs) observed at approximately greater than 10 keV. We also constrain the host-galaxy masses and find a median stellar mass of approximately 10(exp 11) solar mass, a factor approximately 5 times higher than the median stellar mass of nearby high-energy selected AGNs, which may be at least partially driven by the order of magnitude higher X-ray luminosities of the NuSTAR sources. Within the low source-statistic limitations of our study, our results suggest that the overall properties of the NuSTAR sources are broadly similar to those of nearby high-energy selected AGNs but scaled up in luminosity and mass.
    Keywords: Astronomy; Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN11750 , The Astrophysical Journal; 773; 2; 125
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