Infrared and X-ray evidence of an AGN in the NGC 3256 southern nucleus.
OHYAMA Y., TERASHIMA Y. and SAKAMOTO K.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate signs of an active galactic nucleus (AGN) in the luminous infrared (IR) galaxy NGC 3256 at both IR and X-ray wavelengths. NGC 3256 has double nuclei: the northern and southern (hereafter, N and S nuclei, respectively). We show that the Spitzer IRAC colors extracted at the S nucleus are AGN-like, and the Spitzer IRS spectrum is bluer at <6 µm than at the N nucleus. We built for the S nucleus an AGN-starburst composite model with a heavily absorbed AGN to successfully reproduce not only the IRAC and IRS specrophotometries at ~=3", but also the very deep silicate 9.7 µm absorption observed at a 0". 36 scale by Díaz-Santos et al. We found a 2.2 µm compact source at the S nucleus in an HST NICMOS image and identified its unresolved core (at 0". 26 resolution) with the compact core in previous mid-infrared observations at comparable resolution. The flux of the 2.2 µm core is consistent with our AGN spectral energy distribution model. We also analyzed a deeper than ever Chandra X-ray spectrum of the unresolved (at 0". 5 resolution) source at the S nucleus. We found that a dual-component power-law model (for primary and scattered ones) fits an apparently very hard spectrum with a moderately large absorption on the primary component. Together with a limit on equivalent width of a fluorescent Fe-K emission line at 6.4 keV, the X-ray spectrum is consistent with a typical Compton-thin Seyfert 2. We therefore suggest that the S nucleus hosts a heavily absorbed low-luminosity AGN.
galaxies: active - galaxies: individual: NGC 3256 - galaxies: nuclei - infrared: galaxies - X-rays: galaxies