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Title: The shocked outflow in NGC 4051-momentum-driven feedback, ultrafast outflows and warm absorbers
Authors: Pounds, Kenneth Alwyne
King, A. R.
First Published: 1-Aug-2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Citation: Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society, 2013, 433 (2), pp. 1369-1377 (9)
Abstract: An extended XMM–Newton observation of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4051 in 2009 revealed an unusually rich absorption spectrum with outflow velocities, in both Reflection Grating Spectrometers and EPIC spectra, up to ∼9000 km s[Superscript: −1]. Evidence was again seen for a fast ionized wind with velocity ∼0.12c. Detailed modelling with the xstar photoionization code now confirms the general correlation of velocity and ionization predicted by mass conservation in a Compton-cooled shocked wind. We attribute the strong column density gradient in the model to the addition of strong two-body cooling in the later stages of the flow, causing the ionization (and velocity) to fall more quickly, and confining the lower ionization gas to a narrower region. The column density and recombination time-scale of the highly ionized flow component, seen mainly in Fe K lines, determine the primary shell thickness which, when compared with the theoretical Compton cooling length, determines a shock radius of ∼10[Superscript: 17] cm. Variable radiative recombination continua (RRC) provide a key to scaling the lower ionization gas, with the RRC flux then allowing a consistency check on the overall flow geometry. We conclude that the 2009 observation of NGC 4051 gives strong support to the idea that a fast, highly ionized wind, launched from the vicinity of the supermassive black hole, will lose much of its mechanical energy after shocking against the interstellar medium (ISM) at a sufficiently small radius for strong Compton cooling. However, the total flow momentum will be conserved, retaining the potential for a powerful AGN wind to support momentum-driven feedback. We speculate that the ‘warm absorber’ components often seen in AGN spectra result from the accumulation of shocked wind and ejected ISM.
DOI Link: 10.1093/mnras/stt807
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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