Thursday, June 13, 2013

1306.2636 (Martin A. Bourne et al.)

Inverse Compton X-ray signature of AGN feedback    [PDF]

Martin A. Bourne, Sergei Nayakshin
Bright AGN frequently show ultra-fast outflows (UFOs) with outflow velocities vout ! 0.1c. These outflows may be the source of AGN feedback on their host galaxies sought by galaxy formation modellers. The exact effect of the outflows on the ambient galaxy gas strongly depends on whether the shocked UFOs cool rapidly or not. This in turn depends on whether the shocked electrons share the same temperature as ions (one temperature regime; 1T) or decouple (2T), as has been recently suggested. Here we calculate the Inverse Compton spectrum emitted by such shocks, finding a broad feature potentially detectable either in mid-to-high energy X-rays (1T case) or only in the soft X-rays (2T). We argue that current observations of AGN do not seem to show evidence for the 1T component, while the limits on the 2T emission are far weaker. This suggests that UFOs are in the energy-driven regime outside the central few pc, and must pump considerable amounts of not only momentum but also energy into the ambient gas. We encourage X-ray observers to look for the Inverse Compton components calculated here in order to constrain AGN feedback models further.
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