Paper! First Author! Pre-Print!

Posted by barb on Oct 17, 2003 in Thesis/Grad Life |

I found out last week that a paper I worked on has been accepted to the Astrophysical Journal! And I’m the first author! Now I’m doing the happy astrophysicist dance (if you’ve never seen it, be thankful 🙂

This paper is based on work I did for my second year research requirement for my master’s degree. I analyzed time-separated observations of MCG -5-23-16, a Seyfert 2 galaxy. Seyfert galaxies are a class of active galactic nuclei, which are galaxies with a central region that put out so much energy that the rest of the galaxy can rarely be seen (there’s a more technical definition, of course, but that gives you the general idea). The energy that they put out comes from all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum — radio, optical, X-rays. My study was in X-rays. It is believed that these nuclei are powered by a super massive black hole with an accretion disk, and possibly another torus of material further out. In order to study the distribution of matter, I studied the changes over time of the X-ray spectrum. Our basic results were that the material that was “reprocessing” the X-rays (i.e. absorbing light from the central engine and reemitting them in another waveband) was not dominated by a nearby accretion disk. Instead it came from somewhere between 1 light day and 1 light year from the central engine.

Check out a preprint on astro-ph:
RXTE and BeppoSAX Observations of MCG -5-23-16: Reflection From Distant Cold Material (astro-ph/0310468)

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