A focused, hard X-ray look at ARP 299 with NuSTAR

A. Ptak, A. Hornschemeier, A. Zezas, B. Lehmer, M. Yukita, D. Wik, V. Antoniou, M. K. Argo, L. Ballo, K. Bechtol, S. Boggs, R. Della Ceca, F. E. Christensen, W. W. Craig, C. J. Hailey, F. A. Harrison, R. Krivonos, T. J. Maccarone, D. Stern, M. TatumT. Venters, W. W. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We report on simultaneous observations of the local starburst system Arp 299 with NuSTAR and Chandra, which provides the first resolved images of this galaxy up to energies of ∼45 keV. Fitting the 3-40 keV spectrum reveals a column density of N H ∼ 4 × 1024 cm-2, characteristic of a Compton-thick active galactic nucleus (AGN), and a 10-30 keV luminosity of 1.2 × 1043 erg s-1. The hard X-rays detected by NuSTAR above 10 keV are centered on the western nucleus, Arp 299-B, which previous X-ray observations have shown to be the primary source of neutral Fe-K emission. Other X-ray sources, including Arp 299-A, the eastern nucleus also thought to harbor an AGN, as well as X-ray binaries, contribute ≲ 10% to the 10-20 keV emission from the Arp 299 system. The lack of significant emission above 10 keV other than that attributed to Arp 299-B suggests that: (1) any AGN in Arp 299-A must be heavily obscured (N H > 1024 cm-2) or have a much lower luminosity than Arp 299-B and (2) the extranuclear X-ray binaries have spectra that cut-off above ∼10 keV. Such soft spectra are characteristic of ultraluminous X-ray sources observed to date by NuSTAR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2015


  • X-rays: galaxies
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: individual (Arp 299)
  • galaxies: starburst


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