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Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik

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Preprint H/99


ON THE INABILITY OF COMPTONIZATION TO PRODUCE THE BROAD X­RAY IRON LINES OBSERVED IN SEYFERT NUCLEI

CHRISTOPHER S. REYNOLDS (1;2) AND JÖRN WILMS (3)

(1) JILA, Campus Box 440, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80303
(2) Hubble Fellow
(3) Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Astronomie, Universität Tübingen, Waldhäuser Str. 64, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany

2000, ApJ 533, 821-825

Abstract. It has recently been suggested that Compton downscattering may give rise to the broad iron lines seen in the X­ray spectra of Seyfert 1 galaxies. This challenges the standard model in which these lines originate from the innermost regions of the black hole accretion disk with Doppler shifts and gravitational redshifts giving rise to the broadened line profile. Here, we apply observational constraints to the Compton downscattering model for MCG-6-30-15 and NGC 3516, the two best cases to date of Seyfert galaxies with relativistically broad lines. We show that the continuum source in MCG-6-30-15 required by the contrained model violates the black body linit. In the case of NGC 3516, only a very small region of parameter space is compatible with the constraints. Hence, we conclude that the Comptonization model is not a viable one for the broad line seen in these two objects. The accretion disk model remains the best interpretation of these data.

Key words: galaxies:Seyfert, galaxies:individual:MCG-6-30-15, galaxies:individual:NGC 3516, line:formation, X-ray:galaxies

Paper (44k gzip'ed Postscript including figures)


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