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Journal Article

X-ray spectral and eclipsing model of the clumpy obscurer in active galactic nuclei


Nandra,  Kirpal
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Buchner, J., Brightman, M., Nandra, K., Nikutta, R., & Bauer, F. E. (2019). X-ray spectral and eclipsing model of the clumpy obscurer in active galactic nuclei. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 629: A16. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201834771.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-20D2-9
We present a unification model for a clumpy obscurer in active galactic nuclei (AGN) and investigate the properties of the resulting X-ray spectrum. Our model is constructed to reproduce the column density distribution of the AGN population and cloud eclipse events in terms of their angular sizes and frequency. We developed and released a generalised Monte Carlo X-ray radiative transfer code, XARS, to compute X-ray spectra of obscurer models. The geometry results in strong Compton scattering, causing soft photons to escape also along Compton-thick sight lines. This makes our model spectra very similar to our TORUS previous model. However, only if we introduce an additional Compton-thick reflector near the corona, we achieve good fits to NuSTAR spectra. This additional component in our model can be interpreted as part of the dust-free broad-line region, an inner wall or rim, or a warped disk. It cannot be attributed to a simple disk because the reflector must simultaneously block the line of sight to the corona and reflect its radiation. We release our model as an Xspec table model and present corresponding CLUMPY infrared spectra, paving the way for self-consistent multi-wavelength analyses.