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 caring out a detailed spectral and timing analysis of a sample of AGN accreting matter in the Super and Hyper Eddington regime with the aim of better understand the behaviour of the X-ray direct emission and reprocessed radiation in the regime of extreme accretion, and to spread light on the physical properties of the accretion flow of the X-ray sources at very high accretion rates.
The extreme properties of the nearby hyper-Eddington accreting active galactic nucleus in IRAS 04416+1215” is the first paper we published related to this project and is about the X-ray broad-band analysis of the most extreme hyper-Eddington AGN known so far in the Universe.
Systematic broad-band X-ray study of super-Eddington accretion on to supermassive black holes – I. X-ray continuum” is the second paper we published related to this project and is the first systematic broad-band X-ray study of super-Eddington accretion onto supermassive black holes with simultaneous NuSTAR and XMM–Newton or Swift/XRT observations of a sample of eight super-Eddington accreting AGN.

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