Long‐Term X‐Ray Spectral Variability of the Nucleus of M81
We have analysed the soft X-ray emission from the nuclear source of the nearby spiral galaxy M81, using the available data collected with ROSAT, ASCA, BeppoSAX and Chandra. The source flux is highly variable, showing (sometimes dramatic: a factor of 4 in 20 days) variability at different timescales, from 2 days to 4 years, and in particular a steady increase of the flux by a factor of >~ 2 over 4 years, broken by rapid flares. After accounting for the extended component resolved by Chandra, the
... ved by Chandra, the nuclear soft X-ray spectrum (from ROSAT/PSPC, BeppoSAX/LECS and Chandra data) cannot be fitted well with a single absorbed power-law model. Acceptable fits are obtained adding an extra component, either a multi-color black body (MCBB) or an absorption feature. In the MCBB case the inner accretion disk would be far smaller than the Schwartzchild radius for the 3-60X 10^6 solar masses nucleus requiring a strictly edge-on inclination of the disk, even if the nucleus is a rotating Kerr black hole. The temperature is 0.27 keV, larger than expected from the accretion disk of a Schwartzchild black hole, but consistent with that expected from a Kerr black hole. In the power-law + absorption feature model we have either high velocity (0.3 c) infalling C_v clouds or neutral C_i absorption at rest. In both cases the C:O overabundance is a factor of 10.