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J.M. Gelbord (JHU), T. Yaqoob (GSFC/UMBC), K.A. Weaver (GSFC/JHU)
We are exploring the technique of calculating root-mean-square (RMS) spectra to quantify the X-ray spectral variability of Seyfert galaxies. This has the advantage that the RMS spectra consist only of the variable component; any constant component is eliminated. Thus we can isolate variable spectral components and study their properties independently of non-variable emission regions. In principle, the time sampling of the spectra define which source region will be probed: Spectra separated by a few hours each will produce an RMS spectrum which isolates features of the small scale/inner accretion disk systems, while an RMS spectrum based upon observations separated by weeks or months will detect features arising in the outer disk/broad line region/warm absorber systems, but will remove the signal from reprocessing regions at the scale of the putative molecular torus. We apply this technique to a sample of Seyferts with large amounts of ASCA data, comparing subdivisions of long looks as well as repeated observations in order to probe variability on time scales from several hours to years. This techinque is even more promising for large collecting area missions like XMM-Newton and Constellation X.
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