Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 389, 752-760 (2002/7-3)
RXTE view of the starburst galaxies M82 and NGC 253.
REPHAELI Y. and GRUBER D.
Abstract (from CDS):
The two nearby starburst galaxies M82 and NGC 253 were observed for ∼100ksec over a 10-month period in 1997. An increase of the M82 flux by a factor ∼2 was measured during the period July-November, when compared with the flux measured earlier in 1997. The flux measured in the field centered on M82 includes ∼38% of the emission from the Seyfert 1 galaxy M81. The best-fitting model for the earlier emission from M82 is thermal with kT≃6.7±0.1. In the high flux state, the emission additionally includes either an absorbed second thermal component or absorbed power-law component, with the former providing a much better fit. A likely origin for the temporal variability is a single source in M82. The flux of NGC 253, which did not vary significantly during the period of observations, can be well fit by either a thermal spectrum with kT≃3.8±0.3keV, or by a power law with photon index of 2.7±0.10. We have also attempted fitting the measurements to more realistic composite models with thermal and power-law components, such as would be expected from a dominant contribution from binary systems, or Compton scattering of (far) IR radiation by radio emitting electrons. However, the addition of any amount of a power-law component, even with cutoff at 20keV, only increases chi-square. The 90% confidence upper limit for power law emission with (photon) index 1.5 is only 2.4% of the 2-10keV flux of M82; the corresponding limit for NGC 253, with index 2.0, is 48%.