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Astronomy and Astrophysics 531 (2011) 70
The hard X-ray emission of Centaurus A
V. Beckmann1, P. Jean2, P. Lubiński, S. Soldi3, R. Terrier1

Context. The radio galaxy Cen A has been detected all the way up to the TeV energy range. This raises the question about the dominant emission mechanisms in the high-energy domain. Aims: Spectral analysis allows us to put constraints on the possible emission processes. Here we study the hard X-ray emission, in order to distinguish between a thermal and a non-thermal inverse Compton process. Methods: Using hard X-ray data provided by INTEGRAL, we determined the cut-off of the power-law spectrum in the hard X-ray domain (3-1000 keV). In addition, INTEGRAL data are used to study the spectral variability. The extended emission detected in the gamma-rays by Fermi/LAT is investigated using the data of the spectrometre SPI in the 40-1000 keV range. Results: The hard X-ray spectrum of Cen A shows a significant cut-off at energies EC = 434 {+106 atop -73} keV with an underlying power-law of photon index Γ = 1.73 ± 0.02. A more physical model of thermal Comptonisation (compPS) gives a plasma temperature of kTe = 206 ± 62 keV within the optically thin corona with Compton parameter y = 0.42 {+0.09 atop -0.06}. The reflection component is significant at the 1.9σ level with R = 0.12 {+0.09 atop -0.10}, and a reflection strength R > 0.3 can be excluded on a 3σ level. Time resolved spectral studies show that the flux, absorption, and spectral slope varied in the range f3-30 keV = 1.2-9.2 × 10-10 erg cm-2 s-1, NH = 7-16 × 1022 cm-2, and Γ = 1.75-1.87. Extending the cut-off power-law or the Comptonisation model to the gamma-ray range shows that they cannot account for the high-energy emission. On the other hand, a broken or curved power-law model can also represent the data, therefore a non-thermal origin of the X-ray to GeV emission cannot be ruled out. The analysis of the SPI data provides no sign of significant emission from the radio lobes and gives a 3σ upper limit of f40-1000 keV ≲ 1.1 × 10-3 ph cm-2 s-1. Conclusions: While gamma-rays, as detected by CGRO and Fermi, are caused by non-thermal (jet) processes, the main process in the hard X-ray emission of Cen A is still not unambiguously determined, since it is either dominated by thermal inverse Compton emission or by non-thermal emission from the base of the jet. Based on observations with INTEGRAL, an ESA project with instruments and science data centre funded by ESA member states (especially the PI countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain), the Czech Republic, and Poland and with participation of Russia and the US.
1 :  APC - UMR 7164 - AstroParticule et Cosmologie
2 :  IRAP - Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie
3 :  IRFU - Institut de Recherches sur les lois Fondamentales de l'Univers (ex DAPNIA)
Physique/Astrophysique/Phénomènes cosmiques de haute energie

Planète et Univers/Astrophysique/Phénomènes cosmiques de haute energie
galaxies: active – galaxies: Seyfert – galaxies: individual: Cen A – X-rays: galaxies
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