26 Scopus citations


We report on the nuclear X-ray properties of the radio galaxy NGC 6251 observed with XMM-Newton. NGC 6251 is a well-known radio galaxy with intermediate FRI/II radio properties. It is optically classified as a Seyfert 2 and hosts a supermassive black hole with mass ∼6 × 108 ME. The 0.4-10 keV EPIC pn continuum is best fitted by two thermal components (kT ∼ 0.5 and 1.4 keV, respectively), plus a power law with photon index Γ ∼ 1.9 absorbed by a column density NH ∼ 5 × 1020 cm-2. We confirm the previous ASCA detection of a strong iron line. The line, resolved in the EPIC pn spectrum, is adequately fitted with a broad (σ ∼ 0.6 keV) Gaussian at rest-frame energy 6.4 keV with EW ∼ 220 eV. We also detect, for the first time, short-term, low-amplitude variability of the nuclear flux on a timescale of a few ks. The spectral properties argue in favor of the presence of a standard accretion disk, ruling out the base of the jet as the sole origin of the X-rays. The moderate X-ray luminosity and lack of strong intrinsic absorption suggest that NGC 6251 is a "pure" type 2 AGN which lacks a broad-line region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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