Optical and X-ray discovery of the changing-look AGN IRAS 23226-3843 showing extremely broad and double-peaked Balmer profiles
Aims: We detected a very strong X-ray decline in the galaxy IRAS 23226-3843 within the XMM-Newton slew survey in 2017. Subsequently, we carried out multi-band follow-up studies to investigate this fading galaxy in more detail.
Methods: We took deep follow-up Swift, XMM-Newton, and NuSTAR observations in combination with optical SALT spectra of IRAS 23226-3843 in 2017. In addition, we reinspected optical, UV, and X-ray data that were taken in the past.
Results: IRAS 23226-3843 decreased in X-rays by a factor of more than 30 with respect to ROSAT and Swift data taken 10 to 27 years before. The broadband XMM-Newton/NuSTAR spectrum is power-law dominated, with a contribution from photoionized emission from cold gas, likely the outer accretion disk or torus. The optical continuum decreased by 60% and the Balmer line intensities decreased by 50% between 1999 and 2017. The optical Seyfert spectral type changed simultaneously with the X-ray flux from a clear broad-line Seyfert 1 type in 1999 to a Seyfert 1.9 type in 2017. The Balmer line profiles in IRAS 23226-3843 are extremely broad. The profiles during the minimum state indicate that they originate in an accretion disk. The unusual flat Balmer decrement Hα/ Hβ with a value of 2 indicates a very high hydrogen density of nH > 1011 cm-3 at the center of the accretion disk. IRAS 23226-3843 shows unusually strong FeII blends with respect to the broad line widths, in contrast to what is known from Eigenvector 1 studies.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- June 2020
- galaxies: active;
- galaxies: Seyfert;
- galaxies: nuclei;
- galaxies: individual: IRAS 23226-3843;
- quasars: emission lines;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 17 pages, 10 figures, Astronomy &