The detection of circumnuclear X-ray emission from the Seyfert galaxy NGC 3516

I. M. George, T. J. Turner, H. Netzer, S. B. Kraemer, J. Ruiz, D. Chelouche, D. M. Crenshaw, T. Yaqoob, K. Nandra, R. F. Mushotzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the first high-resolution, X-ray image of the circumnuclear regions of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 3516, using the Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO). All three of the CXO observations reported were performed with one of the two grating assemblies in place, and here we restrict our analysis to undispersed photons (i.e., those detected in the zeroth-order). A previously unknown X-ray source is detected ∼6″ (1.1 h75-1 kpc) NNE of the nucleus (position angle ∼29°) which we designate CXOU 110648.1+723412. Its spectrum can be characterized as a power law with a photon index Γ ∼ 1.8-2.6, or as thermal emission with a temperature kT ∼ 0.7-3 keV. Assuming a location within NGC 3516, isotropic emission implies a luminosity L ∼ 2-8 × 1039 h75-2 ergs s-1 in the 0.4-2 keV band. If due to a single point source, the object is super-Eddington for a 1.4 M⊙ neutron star. However, multiple sources or a small, extended source cannot be excluded using the current data. Large-scale extended X-ray emission is also detected out to ∼10″ (∼1.7 h75-1 kpc) from the nucleus to the NE and SW and is approximately aligned with the morphologies of the radio emission and extended narrow emission line region (ENLR). The mean luminosity of this emission is 1-5 × 1037 h75-2 ergs s -1 arcsec-2, in the 0.4-2 keV band. Unfortunately, the current data cannot usefully constrain its spectrum. These results are consistent with earlier suggestions of circumnuclear X-ray emission in NGC 3516. If the extended emission is due to scattering of the nuclear X-ray continuum, then the pressure in the X-ray-emitting gas is at least 2 orders of magnitude too small to provide the confining medium for the ENLR clouds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - 20 May 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: Seyfert
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: individual (NGC 3516)
  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • X-rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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