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Preprint 03/01


XMM-EPIC observation of MCG-6-30-15: Direct evidence for the extraction of energy from a spinning black hole?

Jörn Wilms (1), Christopher S. Reynolds (2,3), Mitchell C. Begelman (3,4), James Reeves (5), Silvano Molendi (6), Rüdiger Staubert (1), Eckhard Kendziorra (1)

(1) Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Astronomie, Universität Tübingen, Sand 1, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
(2) Dept. of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
(3) JILA, Campus Box 440, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309
(4) Dept. of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309
(5) X-Ray Astronomy Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Leicester University, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
(6) Istituto di Fisica Cosmica, CNR, via Bassini 15, I-20133 Milano, Italy

To appear in: MNRAS Letters

Abstract. We present XMM-Newton European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) observations of the bright Seyfert 1 galaxy MCG-6-30-15, focusing on the broad Fe K-alpha line at ~6keV and the associated reflection continuum, which is believed to originate from the inner accretion disk. We find these reflection features to be extremely broad and red-shifted, indicating its origin from the very most central regions of the accretion disk. It seems likely that we have caught this source in the "deep minimum" state first observed by Iwasawa et al. (1996). The implied central concentration of X-ray illumination is difficult to understand in any pure accretion disk model. We suggest that we are witnessing the extraction and dissipation of rotational energy from a spinning black hole by magnetic fields connecting the black hole or plunging region to the disk.

Key words: accretion disks - black hole physics - galaxies: individual (MCG-6-30-15) - galaxies: Seyferts

Paper (76k gzip'ed Postscript including figures)
astro-ph 0110520


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