Jet and Accretion-Disk Emission Untangled in 3C 273

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Science  05 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5698, pp. 998-1002
DOI: 10.1126/science.1101787

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A long-term spectral variability study of 3C 273 on data obtained by BeppoSAX allows us to decouple the beamed nonthermal (jet) and unbeamed thermal (accretion flow) radiation produced in the inner region of a radio-loud active galactic nucleus. Jet power, when compared with unbeamed radiation, increases with energy. The thermal component is generally overwhelmed by the nonthermal radiation, by a factor of 1.2 to 3 in the 2- to 10-keV range and up to a factor of 7 above 20 keV. In only one case, the accretion flow overcomes the jet, allowing the Kα iron line to emerge clearly over the continuum.

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