Journal Article

The quasar PG 0844+349 in an X-ray weak state

L. C. Gallo, D. Grupe, N. Schartel, S. Komossa, G. Miniutti, A. C. Fabian and M. Santos-Lleo

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 412, issue 1, pages 161-170
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The quasar PG 0844+349 in an X-ray weak state

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In 2009 March the well-studied quasar, PG 0844+349, was discovered with Swift to be in an X-ray weak state. A follow-up XMM–Newton observation several weeks later generated a good-quality spectrum of the source, showing substantial curvature and spectral hardening. In combination with archival data at two previous epochs when the source was in a bright state, we examine the long-term spectral and timing properties of PG 0844+349 spanning nearly 10 yr and a factor of 10 in brightness. Partial covering and blurred reflection models are compared to the data at each flux state while attempting to maintain consistency between the various epochs. In terms of the blurred reflection model, PG 0844+349 is in a reflection-dominated state during the 2009 X-ray weak observations, which can be understood in terms of light bending. Moreover, the light bending scenario can also account for the short-term (i.e. ∼1000 s) spectral variability in the source. Other models cannot be decisively ruled out, but we note distinguishing features of the models that can be explored for in higher signal-to-noise ratio data from current and future observatories.

Keywords: galaxies: active; galaxies: individual: PG 0844+349; galaxies: nuclei; X-rays: galaxies

Journal Article.  7200 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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