8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 13 ``Beyond Einstein" Science
Oral, Thursday, September 9, 2004, 9:00-10:21am

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[13.03] Probing the Innermost Regions around Supermassive Black Holes from observations of the Iron K Line

J. N. Reeves (USRA/NASA-GSFC), T. J. Turner, I. M. George (UMBC/NASA-GSFC), K. Nandra (Imperial College London), K. A. Pounds (University of Leicester), T. Yaqoob (JHU/NASA-GSFC)

Over the last few years, new observations of AGN with XMM-Newton and Chandra have revealed a wealth of complexity and information in the iron K-shell band. The existence of narrow cores in the iron line profile have become almost ubiquitous, which probably originates in a distant reprocessor beyond the accretion disc. The observational evidence for the broad, relativistic component of the iron line has become less clear despite of the higher quality data. We will show examples illustrating how the determination of the broad line is strongly dependent on the modeling of the warm absorber.

We will also highlight recent iron K band observations, which reveal the existence of high velocity outflows, perhaps originating only a few Schwarzschild radii from the black hole. These extreme outflows can reach 0.1-0.15c, thus a large fraction of the total energy budget arises from the bulk kinetic outflow, with mass outflow rates close to Eddington. Another unexpected discovery in several AGN is of narrow, but rapidly variable, redshifted components in the red-wing of the iron line. Tracking the variations of these redshifted lines may prove to be the most direct probe of the massive black hole and should be feasible with future missions with higher resolution or much greater throughput, such as AstroE2 or Constellation-X

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.