An X-ray view of the active nucleus in NGC4258

W Pietsch, Andrew Read

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18 Citations (Scopus)


XMM-Newton observed the Seyfert 1.9 galaxy NGC 4258 in December 2000. At energies above 2 keV a hard nuclear point source is resolved that can be fitted by a highly absorbed power-law spectrum (N-H= (8.0 +/- 0.4) x 10(22) cm(-2), photon index 1.64 +/- 0.08) with an unabsorbed luminosity of 7.5 x 10(40) ergs(-1) in the (2-10) keV band. No narrow iron Kalpha emission line is detected (90% upper limit of equivalent width EW similar to 40 eV). The nuclear emission flux was observed to remain constant over the observation. A short archival Chandra observation taken in March 2000 further constrains the hard emission to a point source coincident with the radio nucleus. A point source similar to3" southwest of the nucleus does not contribute significantly. Spectral results of the Chandra nuclear source are comparable (within the limited statistics) to the XMM-Newton parameters. The comparison of our iron line upper limit with reported detections indicates variability of the line EW. These results can be explained by the relatively low nuclear absorption of NGC 4258 (which is in the range expected for its intermediate Seyfert type) and some variability of the absorbing material. Reflection components as proposed to explain the large iron line EW of highly absorbed Seyfert 2 galaxies and/or variations in the accretion disk are however imposed by the time variability of the iron line flux.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-798
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2002


  • galaxies : individual : NGC 4258
  • X-rays : galaxies
  • galaxies : Seyfert


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