A Systematic Study of the Short-term X-Ray Variability of Seyfert Galaxies. I. Diversity of the X-Ray rms Spectra
Hu, Jingwei; Jin, Chichuan; Cheng, Huaqing; Yuan, Weimin
September 2022, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 936, Issue 2, id.105, 19 pp.
The X-ray variability of active galactic nuclei (AGN) carries crucial information about the X-ray radiation mechanism. We performed a systematic study of the X-ray short-term (1-100 ks timescale) variability for a large sample of 78 Seyferts with 426 deep XMM-Newton observations. In this paper, we present the time-averaged spectra and rms spectra for the entire sample, which show a variety of properties. Based on the spectral shape, we divide the rms spectra into five subtypes and the time-averaged spectra into four subtypes. The most common shape of the rms spectra is concave-down where the rms peaks at ~1 keV. We find that different sources can show similar time-averaged spectra and rms spectra. However, there is no one-to-one mapping between the subtypes of the time-averaged spectra and rms spectra, as similar time-averaged spectra can be accompanied by different rms spectra, and vice versa. This is likely because different physical mechanisms can produce similar rms spectra. For every subtype of the time-averaged spectra, we report its preferred subtypes of the rms spectra in both low- and high-frequency bands. We also compare the statistical properties for different subtypes, such as the black hole mass and Eddington ratio. Finally, we investigate the rms in the Fe Kα line regime and find that those with a broad and extended red-wing profile tend to show stronger variability than those showing a narrow or relatively symmetric profile. Our results demonstrate the necessity of performing joint spectral and variability modeling in order to understand the mechanism of the X-ray emission in AGN. All of the rms spectra have been made publicly available.