FONDECYT Fellowship

Accretion and emission processes in supermassive black holes, from the lowest to the highest Eddington ratios.

Artistic image of an accreting supermassive black hole. Credit: NASA

In 2019 I award three year FONDECYT Post-Doc research grant with the aforementioned project, which I am carrying on at the Nucleo de Astronomia, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile. The project is focused on the spectral and timing analysis of the X- ray broad-band emission of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), with the aim of reaching a global view on the accretion and emission process in AGN, from the lower to the higher Eddington ratios. The project aims at answering open questions such as: how do AGN accrete? How is the AGN energy detected as radiation produced? How do AGN interact with their host galaxy? The spectral parameters of the primary X-ray emission are related with the physical characteristics of the X-ray emitting plasma, but today very little is known about its potential relation with the accretion properties of supermassive black holes. A deep comprehension of the typical characteristics of the coronal plasma which emits X-ray for different intervals of the accretion rate is crucial to assess the impact of radiative heating in the feedback process linking AGN to their host galaxies.

X-ray Variability of XMM-Newton observations from BASS sample of type 1 AGN.

As part of my FONDECYT Post-Doc Project, I am doing a variability study of the public XMM-Newton/BASS unobscured type 1 AGN which includes ∼ 385 observations of ∼ 150 sources with well measured black hole masses. This project is part of the the BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey Collaboration.

Super-Eddington Accreting Active Galactic Nuclei.

I am also caring out a detailed spectral and timing analysis of some Super Eddington accreting AGNs. The powerful emission of AGN originates from gas accretion onto supermassive black holes. Theoretical studies show that the accretion flow is expected to be different from the typical Shakura-Sunyæv optically-thick geometrically-thin accretion disk for sources with very high accretion rates. The aim of this study is to better understand the behaviour of the X-ray direct emission and reprocessed radiation in the regime of extreme accretion, as well as the property of soft-excess and the outflows, and to spread light on the physical properties of the accretion flow of the X-ray source at very high accretion rates.

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