Extreme X-Ray Reflection in the Nucleus of the Seyfert Galaxy NGC 5033

S. B. Yun, J. M. Miller, D. Barret, D. Stern, W. N. Brandt, L. Brenneman, P. Draghis, A. C. Fabian, J. Raymond, A. Zoghbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


NGC 5033 is an intriguing Seyfert galaxy because its subclassification may change with time, and because optical and submillimeter observations find that the massive black hole does not sit at the dynamical center of the galaxy, pointing to a past merger. We obtained a new optical spectrum of NGC 5033 using the 200″ Hale telescope at Palomar that clearly reveals a broad Hβ line (FWHM = 5400 ± 300 km s−1). This signals a clear view of the optical broad line region and requires Seyfert-1.5 designation. Some spectra obtained in the past suggest a Seyfert-1.9 classification, potentially signaling a variable or “changing-look” geometry. Our analysis of a 2019 Chandra spectrum of the massive black hole reveals very little obscuration, also suggesting a clean view of the central engine. However, the narrow Fe Kα emission line is measured to have an equivalent width of EW = 460 − 90 + 100 eV. This value is extremely high compared to typical values in unobscured active galactic nuclei . Indeed, the line is persistently strong in NGC 5033: the line equivalent width in a 2002 XMM-Newton snapshot is EW = 250 − 40 + 40 eV, similar to the EW = 290 − 100 + 100 eV equivalent width measured using ASCA in 1999. These results can likely be explained through a combination of an unusually high covering factor for reflection, and fluxes that are seen out of phase owing to light travel times. We examine the possibility that NGC 5033 may strengthen evidence for the X-ray Baldwin effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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