An extended XMM-Newton observation of the Seyfert galaxy NGC 4051 II. Soft X-ray emission from a limb-brightened shell of post-shock gas

2016-02-08T11:43:36Z (GMT) by Kenneth Alwyne Pounds Simon Vaughan
An extended XMM–Newton observation of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4051 in 2009 revealed a complex absorption spectrum, with a wide range of outflow velocities and ionization states. The main velocity and ionization structure was interpreted in Paper I in terms of a decelerating, recombining flow resulting from the shocking of a still higher velocity wind colliding with the interstellar medium or slower moving ejecta. The high sensitivity of the XMM–Newton observation also revealed a number of broad emission lines, all showing evidence of self-absorption near the line cores. The line profiles are found here to be consistent with emission from a limb-brightened shell of post-shock gas building up ahead of the contact discontinuity. While the broad emission lines remain quasi-constant as the continuum flux changes by an order of magnitude, recombination continua of several H- and He-like ions are found to vary in response to the continuum, providing an important key to scaling the ionized flow.