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Absorption variability in obscured AGN

Presentation #106.23 in the session “AGN (Poster)”.

Published onApr 01, 2022
Absorption variability in obscured AGN

Active Galactic Nuclei are assumed to be obscured by a dusty gas torus, originally described as homogeneous. Recent studies, both in infrared and X-rays, lead us to believe the torus may be patchy rather than uniform. X-ray measurements are an ideal tool to probe the structure of the torus, since they allow us to estimate the hydrogen column density in our line of sight, as well as the torus average column density, and its covering factor. In a patchy torus scenario, we expect the measurements to vary significantly in monthly timescales. Sources without variability, or with variability only on long-term scales, pose a challenge to the current understanding of AGN structure. In here, we analyze the 0.5-60 keV spectra of a sample of nearby Compton-thin AGN with multiple observations, taken on timescales of weeks to years. We present the results of this analysis, and discuss the constraints these allow us to place on both torus structure and current X-ray models of reprocessed emission.

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