We present long-term (months-years) X-ray spectral variability of the Seyfert 1.8 galaxy NGC 1365 as observed by Swift, which provides well sampled observations over a much longer timescale (6 years) and a much larger flux range than is afforded by other observatories. At very low luminosities the spectrum is very soft, becoming rapidly harder as the luminosity increases and then, above a particular luminosity, softening again. At a given flux level, the scatter in hardness ratio is not very large, meaning that the spectral shape is largely determined by the luminosity. The spectra were therefore summed in luminosity bins and fitted with a variety of models. The best fitting model consists of two power laws, one unabsorbed and another, more luminous, which is absorbed. In this model, we find a range of intrinsic 0.5-10.0 keV luminosities of approximately 1.1-3.5 ergs/s, and a very large range of absorbing columns, of approximately 10^22 – 10^24 cm^-2. Interestingly, we find that the absorbing column decreases with increasing luminosity, but that this result is not due to changes in ionisation. We suggest that these observations might be interpreted in terms of a wind model in which the launch radius varies as a function of ionising flux and disc temperature and therefore moves out with increasing accretion rate, i.e. increasing X-ray luminosity. Thus, depending on the inclination angle of the disc relative to the observer, the absorbing column may decrease as the accretion rate goes up. The weaker, unabsorbed, component may be a scattered component from the wind.
S. Connolly, I. McHardy and T. Dwelly
Wed, 19 Mar 14