BeppoSAX detection of the Fe K line in the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 253

M. Persic, S. Mariani, M. Cappi, L. Bassani, L. Danese, A. J. Dean, G. Di Cocco, A. Franceschini, L. K. Hunt, F. Matteucci, E. Palazzi, G. G.C. Palumbo, Y. Rephaeli, P. Salucci, A. Spizzichino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present BeppoSAX results on the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 253. Although extended, a large fraction of the X-ray emission comes from the nuclear region. Preliminary analysis of the LECS/MECS/PDS ∼ 0.2-60 keV data from the central 4′ region indicates that the continuum is well fitted by two thermal models: a "soft" component with kT ∼ 0.9 keV, and a "hard" component with kT ∼ 6 keV absorbed by a column density of ∼ 1.2 × 1022 cm-2. For the first time in this object, the FeK line at 6.7keV is detected, with an equivalent width of ∼ 300eV. This detection, together with the shape of the 2-60 keV continuum, implies that most of the hard X-ray emission is thermal in origin, and constrains the iron abundances of this component to be ∼ 0.25 of solar. Other lines clearly detected are Si, S and Fe L/Ne, in agreement with previous ASCA results. We discuss our results in the context of the starburst-driven galactic superwind model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L33-L36
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Nov 1998


  • Galaxies: individual: NGC 253
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Galaxies: starburst


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