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Hard and Soft X-ray Variability of Gravitational Lens RXJ1131-1231

Presentation #101.20 in the session AGN & Quasars — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Hard and Soft X-ray Variability of Gravitational Lens RXJ1131-1231

X-ray emission from active galactic nuclei (AGN) is believed to come from a combination of inverse Compton scattering of photons from the accretion disk and reprocessing of the emission by reflection. The corona photons originate from within tens of gravitational radii from the central engine, allowing us to use spectra to probe the geometry of the innermost regions of AGN. Furthermore, as our line of sight transverses the magnification map of a gravitationally lensed quasar system such as RXJ1131-1231, the ratio of hard and soft X-ray emission encodes the size of the respective X-ray emitting regions within the microlensing variability of the source. Therefore RXJ1131 presents a unique opportunity to study the scale of the reflection component relative to the direct emission. We performed X-ray analysis of joint Swift and NuSTAR observations to measure the relative hard and soft X-ray flux variability over a period of several years, where we find that the source continues to be highly variable, suggesting a compact X-ray emitting region. Joint spectral analysis of paired Swift/NuSTAR observations allows us to decompose the reflection and direct components, measure the relative microlensing variability, and constrain their relative emission sizes.

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