The authors report on ROSAT PSPC, ROSAT WFC and optical observations of the ultrasoft AGN Zwicky 159.034 (IC 3599, RE J1237+264). They have discovered a drop in the PSPC band X-ray flux from this object by a factor of about 70 in one year. They also see a more gradual decline in X-ray flux after this time. Optical spectra show the dramatic response of the permitted line region lines to the change in X-ray flux. There appears to be significantly more flux in a soft X-ray component than in any expected hard tail, suggesting that the soft X-ray flux probably cannot arise via isotropic reprocessing of the hard X-ray tail. The authors discuss explanations for what might have happened to cause the X-ray outburst including the tidal disruption of a star by a massive black hole and an accretion disc instability.
Roentgenstrahlung from the Universe
- Pub Date:
- February 1996
- Active Galactic Nuclei: X-Ray Bursts;
- Active Galactic Nuclei: X Rays