Steep Hard-X-Ray Spectra Indicate Extremely High Accretion Rates in Weak Emission-line Quasars

Andrea Marlar, Ohad Shemmer, S. F. Anderson, W. N. Brandt, A. M. Diamond-Stanic, Xiaohui Fan, B. Luo, R. M. Plotkin, Gordon T. Richards, D. P. Schneider, Jianfeng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present XMM-Newton imaging spectroscopy of 10 weak emission-line quasars (WLQs) at , six of which are radio-quiet, and four that are radio-intermediate. The new X-ray data enabled us to measure the power-law photon index, at rest-frame energies >2 keV, in each source with relatively high accuracy. These measurements allowed us to confirm previous reports that WLQs have steeper X-ray spectra, suggesting higher accretion rates with respect to "typical" quasars. A comparison between the photon indices of our radio-quiet WLQs and those of a control sample of 85 sources shows that the first are significantly higher, at the 3σ level. Collectively, the four radio-intermediate WLQs have lower photon indices with respect to the six radio-quiet WLQs, as may be expected if the spectra of the first group are contaminated by X-ray emission from a jet. Therefore, in the absence of significant jet emission along our line of sight, these results are in agreement with the idea that WLQs constitute the extreme high end of the accretion-rate distribution in quasars. We detect soft excess emission in our lowest-redshift radio-quiet WLQ, in agreement with previous findings suggesting that the prominence of this feature is associated with a high accretion rate. We have not detected signatures of Compton reflection, Fe Kα lines, or strong variability between two X-ray epochs in any of our WLQs, which can be attributed to their relatively high luminosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number92
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume865
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Fingerprint

quasars
accretion
x rays
radio
photons
rate
K lines
XMM-Newton telescope
newton
line of sight
power law
spectroscopy
luminosity
time measurement
signatures

Keywords

  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: nuclei
  • quasars: emission lines
  • quasars: general
  • X-rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Marlar, A., Shemmer, O., Anderson, S. F., Brandt, W. N., Diamond-Stanic, A. M., Fan, X., ... Wu, J. (2018). Steep Hard-X-Ray Spectra Indicate Extremely High Accretion Rates in Weak Emission-line Quasars. Astrophysical Journal, 865(2), [92]. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aad812

Steep Hard-X-Ray Spectra Indicate Extremely High Accretion Rates in Weak Emission-line Quasars. / Marlar, Andrea; Shemmer, Ohad; Anderson, S. F.; Brandt, W. N.; Diamond-Stanic, A. M.; Fan, Xiaohui; Luo, B.; Plotkin, R. M.; Richards, Gordon T.; Schneider, D. P.; Wu, Jianfeng.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 865, No. 2, 92, 01.10.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marlar, A, Shemmer, O, Anderson, SF, Brandt, WN, Diamond-Stanic, AM, Fan, X, Luo, B, Plotkin, RM, Richards, GT, Schneider, DP & Wu, J 2018, 'Steep Hard-X-Ray Spectra Indicate Extremely High Accretion Rates in Weak Emission-line Quasars', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 865, no. 2, 92. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aad812
Marlar, Andrea ; Shemmer, Ohad ; Anderson, S. F. ; Brandt, W. N. ; Diamond-Stanic, A. M. ; Fan, Xiaohui ; Luo, B. ; Plotkin, R. M. ; Richards, Gordon T. ; Schneider, D. P. ; Wu, Jianfeng. / Steep Hard-X-Ray Spectra Indicate Extremely High Accretion Rates in Weak Emission-line Quasars. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2018 ; Vol. 865, No. 2.
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AU - Brandt, W. N.

AU - Diamond-Stanic, A. M.

AU - Fan, Xiaohui

AU - Luo, B.

AU - Plotkin, R. M.

AU - Richards, Gordon T.

AU - Schneider, D. P.

AU - Wu, Jianfeng

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