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Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik

Abteilung Astronomie

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Preprint 16/97

Broad Iron Lines in AGN: A possible test of the Kerr Metric?

Jörn Wilms(1), Roland Speith(2) and Christopher S. Reynolds(3)

(1)Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Astronomie, Universität Tübingen, Waldhäuser Str. 64, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
(2)Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Theoretische Astrophysik, Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 10, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
(3)JILA, University of Colorado, C.B. 440, Boulder, CO 80309-0440, U.S.A.

to appear in Black Holes: Theory and Observation, Lecture Notes in Physics, (Eds. Hehl, F.W., Kiefer, C. and Metzler, R.F.), Springer Verlag, 1998

Abstract. The broad lines in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) discovered recently have been interpreted as evidence for emission close to the central black hole. We briefly describe the physical processes leading to the line emission, describe the computational methods used to compute the emerging line profiles, and summarize the qualitative behavior of these lines. We present the observational evidence for the relativistic lines, concentrating on the properties of the line in MCG -6-30-15, where the line profile shows strong indications that a Kerr black hole is present in the object. Finally, we show how future X-ray missions will help in deepening our understanding of the emission of broad iron lines from AGN.

Paper (59k gzip'ed Postscript including figures)

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Jürgen Barnstedt (barnstedt AT astro.uni-tuebingen.de)
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