Scattering of X-rays around Growing Supermassive Black Holes

23 March 2021

Observing X-rays is an important method used to identify and characterize active galactic nuclei. Decades of effort have gone into understanding the physical processes that give rise to the observed X-rays; these processing include emission from hot plasma as well as scattering and absorption by gas and dust. In “Scattered X-Ray Radiation in Obscured Active Galactic Nuclei” (Gupta+) we investigate the properties of the scattered X-ray radiation in a sample of active galactic nuclei. Comparison of the fraction of observed X-ray emission with other derived AGN properties suggests that the scattering arises in the “narrow line” region of AGN and that the fraction of scattered X-ray emission is anti-correlated with the amount of obscuring material along the line of sight. The later has implications for the scattering itself or for the amount of the ski (as viewed by the black hole) “covered” by obscuring dust and gas.

The paper has been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and a preprint is available on arXiv.