The detection of Broad Iron K and L line emission in the Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxy 1H 0707-495 using XMM-Newton
Publication date: 28 May 2009
Authors: Fabian, A. et al.
Copyright: Nature Publishing GroupSince the discovery of the first broad iron-K line in 1995 from the Seyfert Galaxy MCG 6-30-15, broad iron-K lines have been found in several other Seyfert galaxies, from accreting stellar mass black holes and even from accreting neutron stars.
The iron-K line is prominent in the reflection spectrum created by the hard X-ray continuum irradiating dense accreting matter. Relativistic distortion of the line makes it sensitive to the strong gravity and spin of the black hole. The accompanying iron-L line emission should be detectable when the iron abundance is high.
Here we report the first discovery of both iron-K and L emission, using XMM-Newton observations of the Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxy 1H 0707-495. The bright Fe-L emission has enabled us, for the first time, to detect a reverberation lag of 30 s between the direct X-ray continuum and its reflection from matter falling into the hole. The observed reverberation timescale is comparable to the light-crossing time of the innermost radii around a supermassive black hole.
The combination of spectral and timing data on 1H 0707-495 provides strong evidence that we are witnessing emission from matter within a gravitational radius, or a fraction of a light-minute, from the event horizon of a rapidly-spinning, massive black hole.