EPJ Web of Conferences
Volume 39, 2012Tidal Disruption Events and AGN Outbursts
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Section||AGN Outbursts and Accretion Physics|
|Published online||18 December 2012|
Variability: A X-ray ruler for the AGN structure model
XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre, European Space Astronomy Centre of ESA, Camino bajo del Castillo, s/n Urbanización Villafranca del Castillo Villanueva de la Cañada, 28692 Madrid, Spain
Validating our understanding of the innermost structure of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) would require resolving sub-parsec scales. Lacking adequate direct imaging, X-ray astronomy can still contribute to this undertaking through the study of spectral variability on time-scales from days to years. This bears information on the location of gaseous and dusty systems in the innermost regions around the accreting supermassive black hole. In this paper I discuss the application of this concept in two specific contexts: a) “fast” column density variations in heavily obscured AGN; b) reverberation of optically-thick reprocessing. These results lend support to a scenario where obscuration and optically thick reprocessing are due to a variety of different systems, ranging from the Broad Line Regions to a clumpy structure extended on larger scales up to hundreds of parsecs.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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