Journal Article

<i>Chandra</i> unveils a binary active galactic nucleus in Mrk 463

Stefano Bianchi, Marco Chiaberge, Enrico Piconcelli, Matteo Guainazzi and Giorgio Matt

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 386, issue 1, pages 105-110
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Chandra unveils a binary active galactic nucleus in Mrk 463

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We analyse Chandra, XMM–Newton and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data of the double-nucleus Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxy (ULIRG), Mrk 463. The Chandra detection of two luminous (L2–10 keV= 1.5 × 1043 and 3.8 × 1042 erg cm−2 s−1), unresolved nuclei in Mrk 463 indicates that this galaxy hosts a binary active galactic nucleus (AGN), with a projected separation of ≃3.8 kpc (3.83 ± 0.01 arcsec). While the East nucleus was already known to be a type 2 Seyfert (and this is further confirmed by our Chandra detection of a neutral iron line), this is the first unambiguous evidence in favour of the AGN nature of the West nucleus. Mrk 463 is therefore the clearest case so far for a binary AGN, after NGC 6240.

Keywords: galaxies: active; galaxies: Seyfert; X-rays: individual: Mrk 463; X-rays: individual: Mrk 463E; X-rays: individual: Mrk 463W

Journal Article.  3997 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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