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Revealing the location and structure of the accretion disk wind in PDS 456.

Gofford, J. and Reeves, J.N. and Braito, V. and Nardini, E. and Costa, M.T. and Matzeu, G.A. and O'Brien, P. and Ward, M. and Turner, T.J. and Miller, L. (2014) 'Revealing the location and structure of the accretion disk wind in PDS 456.', Astrophysical journal., 784 (1). p. 77.


We present evidence for the rapid variability of the high-velocity iron K-shell absorption in the nearby (z = 0.184) quasar PDS 456. From a recent long Suzaku observation in 2013 (~1 Ms effective duration), we find that the equivalent width of iron K absorption increases by a factor of ~5 during the observation, increasing from <105 eV within the first 100 ks of the observation, toward a maximum depth of ~500 eV near the end. The implied outflow velocity of ~0.25 c is consistent with that claimed from earlier (2007, 2011) Suzaku observations. The absorption varies on timescales as short as ~1 week. We show that this variability can be equally well attributed to either (1) an increase in column density, plausibly associated with a clumpy time-variable outflow, or (2) the decreasing ionization of a smooth homogeneous outflow which is in photo-ionization equilibrium with the local photon field. The variability allows a direct measure of absorber location, which is constrained to within r = 200-3500 r g of the black hole. Even in the most conservative case, the kinetic power of the outflow is gsim 6% of the Eddington luminosity, with a mass outflow rate in excess of ~40% of the Eddington accretion rate. The wind momentum rate is directly equivalent to the Eddington momentum rate which suggests that the flow may have been accelerated by continuum scattering during an episode of Eddington-limited accretion.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Black hole physics, Quasars: individual (PDS456), X-rays: galaxies.
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Publisher statement:© 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:23 June 2014
Date of first online publication:March 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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