Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

, Volume 23, Issue 3–4, pp 243–258 | Cite as

Spectral variability in hard X-rays and the evidence for a 13.5 years period in the bright quasar 3C273

  • R. K. Manchanda


We report the observation of nearest quasar 3C273 made with LASE instrument on November 20th, 1998 as a part of our continuing programme of balloon borne hard X-ray observations in the 20–200 keV band using high sensitivity Large Area Scintillation counter Experiment. Our data clearly show a steep spectrum in the 20–200 keV with power law spectral indexα = 2.26 ± 0.07. This is in complete contrast to the reported data from OSSE and BeppoSAX which suggest the value of 1.3 to 1.6 for the power law index in the X-ray energy band, but is quite consistent with the value derived for the high energy gamma ray data. A single power law fit in the X-ray and gamma ray energy bands points to a common origin of these photons and the absence of spectral break around 1 MeV as suggested in literature. We have reanalyzed the available data to study the temporal variability of the spectrum in the hard X-ray band. Our analysis reveals that 50 keV flux from the source, shows a strong modulation with a period of about 13.5 years. The analysis of the optical light curve of the source also supports the 5000 day period. We discuss the emission mechanism and the possible sites for X-ray photons along with the implications of the long term periodicity with respect to source geometry.

Key words

Galaxies active galactic nuclei, jets, binary black hole system—quasars individual 3C273 X-rays:galaxies 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. K. Manchanda
    • 1
  1. 1.Tata Institute of Fundamental ResearchMumbaiIndia

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