HEAD Division Meeting 1999, April 1999
Session 5. Galaxies
Poster, Monday, April 12, 1999, 8:30am-6:10pm, Gold Room

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[5.03] An RXTE Observation of NGC 6300: A New Bright Compton-Reflection Dominated Seyfert 2 Galaxy

K. M. Leighly, J. P. Halpern (Columbia University), M. Cappi (TeSRE/CNR)

We observed the nearby (18 Mpc) Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 6300 using RXTE. The 25 ks observation revealed a huge iron line (1 keV equivalent width) and a flat spectrum (\Gamma \approx 0.4). This result suggests that its X-ray spectrum is dominated by Compton reflection. This interpretation, while not unique, is supported by its low Lx/L[OIII]) ratio, evidence for reddening in the optical continuum and emission lines, and the presence of a bar in the host galaxy. If this interpretation is confirmed, NGC 6300 will be an excellent object for further study, as it is about half as bright between 2 and 10 keV as the brighest known object in this class (Circinus), and far brighter than other known examples. Furthermore, it is faint in soft X-rays, probably indicating either that there is little contamination of the Compton reflection spectrum by thermal emission or scattering in warm gas, or that there is intrinsic absorption in the host galaxy.

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