Objects in the universe with high iron content

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Objects in the universe with high iron content

Unread postby upriver » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:58 pm

"Using stellar absorption lines detected in the spectrum,
we have determined the stellar velocity dispersion, ∗ =
95 kms−1. This implies a black hole mass of MBH =
7 106 M⊙ (Ferrarese & Ford 2005)."

S. Komossa1, H. Zhou1,2, T. Wang2, M. Ajello1, J. Ge3, J. Greiner1, H. Lu2, M. Salvato4, R. Saxton5, H. Shan6,
D. Xu7, W. Yuan6
Draft version April 17, 2008
We report the discovery of superstrong, fading, high-ionization iron line emission in the galaxy SDSSJ095209.56+214313.3 (SDSSJ0952+2143 hereafter), which must have been caused by an X-ray outburst of large amplitude. SDSSJ0952+2143 is unique in its strong multiwavelength variability; such a broadband emission-line and continuum response has not been observed before. The strong iron line emission is accompanied by unusual Balmer line emission with a broad base, narrow core and doublepeaked narrow horns, and strong HeII emission. These lines, while strong in the SDSS spectrum taken in 2005, have faded away significantly in new spectra taken in December 2007. Comparison of SDSS, 2MASS, GALEX and follow-up GROND photometry reveals variability in the NUV, optical and NIR band. Taken together, these unusual observations can be explained by a giant outburst in the EUV–X-ray band, detected even in the optical and NIR. The intense and variable iron, Helium and Balmer lines represent the “light echo” of the flare, as it traveled through circumnuclear material.
The outburst may have been caused by the tidal disruption of a star by a supermassive black hole. Spectroscopic surveys such as SDSS are well suited to detect emission-line light echoes of such rare flare events. Reverberation-mapping of these light echoes can then be used as a new and efficient probe of the physical conditions in the circumnuclear material in non-active or active galaxies.
http://xxx.lanl.gov/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/ ... 2670v1.pdf
Last edited by upriver on Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mysterious iron factory in the Early Universe

Unread postby upriver » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:59 pm

Mysterious iron factory in the Early Universe

Where does iron come from? According to astrophysicists, iron, like all other heavy elements, is created in the center of massive stars, and is expelled into space once these stars explode as supernovae at the end of their lives. The material then mixes with the interstellar matter and may form new stars and planetary systems. Our solar system was formed after several generations of stars and therefore contains enough heavy elements like iron, oxygen etc. to form Earth-like planets and to sustain life. Prof. Günther Hasinger and Dr. Stefanie Komossa of the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik in Germany and Dr. Norbert Schartel of the European Space Agency ESA in Spain made a surprising discovery: spectral observations carried out with the X-ray observatory XMM-Newton showed that the young quasar APM 08279+5255 contains a three times larger iron fraction than our own Solar System which is much older. We observe the quasar at a time when the Universe had an age of only about 1.5 billion years; in contrast, our sun was formed 9 billion years after the Big Bang. This is significant in that the center of this young quasar already contains a larger fraction of iron than our much older solar system. Either there is a previously unknown, much more efficient way of producing iron, or, at the time when the quasar emitted its light the universe was already older than expected ( ApJ Letters Vol. 573, L77, July 10, 2002).
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