The variable, fast soft X-ray wind in PG 1211+143 [HEAP]

The analysis of a series of seven observations of the nearby ($z=0.0809$) QSO, PG 1211+143, taken with the Reflection Grating Spectrometer (RGS) on-board XMM-Newton in 2014, are presented. The high resolution soft X-ray spectrum, with a total exposure exceeding 600 ks, shows a series of blue-shifted absorption lines, from the He and H-like transitions of N, O and Ne, as well as from L-shell Fe. The strongest absorption lines are all systematically blue-shifted by $-0.06c$, originating in two absorption zones, from low and high ionization gas. Both zones are variable on timescales of days, with the variations in absorber opacity effectively explained by either column density changes or by the absorber ionization responding directly to the continuum flux. We find that the soft X-ray absorbers probably exist in a two-phase wind, at a radial distance of $10^{17}-10^{18}$ cm from the black hole, with the lower ionization gas as denser clumps embedded within a higher ionization outflow. The overall mass outflow rate of the soft X-ray wind may be as high as $2{\rm M}_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$, close to the Eddington rate for PG 1211+143 and similar to that previously deduced from the Fe K absorption.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Reeves, A. Lobban and K. Pounds
Fri, 12 Jan 18

Comments: 20 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal