NASA/IPAC EXTRAGALACTIC DATABASE
Date and Time of the Query: 2019-07-17 T10:06:54 PDT
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For refcode 2002MNRAS.330..259L:
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Copyright by Royal Astronomical Society. 2002MNRAS.330..259L Chandra observations of the luminous infrared galaxy NGC 3256 P. Lira, M. Ward, A. Zezas, A. Alonso-Herrero and S. Ueno ABSTRACT We present a detailed analysis of high-resolution Chandra observations of the merger system NGC 3256, the most infrared-luminous galaxy in the nearby universe. The X-ray data show that several discrete sources embedded in complex diffuse emission contribute >~ 20 per cent of the total emission (L_X_^tot^ ~ 8 x 10^41^ erg s^-1^ in the 0.5-10 keV energy range). The compact sources are hard and extremely bright and their emission is probably dominated by accretion-driven processes. Both galaxy nuclei are detected with L_X_ ~ 3-10 x 10^40^ erg s^-1^. No evidence is found for the presence of an active nucleus in the southern nucleus, contrary to previous speculation. Once the discrete sources are removed, the diffuse component has a soft spectrum that can be modelled by the superposition of three thermal plasma components with temperatures kT = 0.6, 0.9 and 3.9 keV. Alternatively, the latter component can be described as a power law with index {GAMMA} ~ 3. Some evidence is found for a radial gradient of the amount of absorption and temperature of the diffuse component. We compare the X-ray emission with optical, H{alpha} and NICMOS images of NGC 3256 and find a good correlation between the inferred optical/near-infrared and X-ray extinctions. Although inverse Compton scattering could be important in explaining the hard X-rays seen in the compact sources associated with the nuclei, the observed diffuse emission is probably of thermal origin. The observed X-ray characteristics support a scenario in which the powerful X-ray emission is driven solely by the current episode of star formation. Keywords: galaxies: active - galaxies: general - galaxies: individual: NGC 3256 - galaxies: nuclei - X-rays: galaxies.
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