N. Sumitomo

Osaka Kyoiku University, Ōsaka, Ōsaka, Japan

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Publications (16)46.07 Total impact

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    Naoko Sumitomo · Hideki Saito · Jun Fukue · Kenya Watarai
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    ABSTRACT: We examine hybrid thermal-nonthermal synchrotron spectra from a spherically symmetric, optically-thin wind, taking into account the relativistic effect. In the relativistic flow from the central object, due to the relativistic beaming effect, the observed spectra often shift towards high frequency and high intensity directions. In the optically thin outflows, however, we find that the intensity of the observed spectra decreases compared with that of the emitted ones, although the peak frequency shifts towards the high frequency direction. This is because in the optically thin outflows we can see the far side flows that go away from the observer. We thus carefully consider optically thin relativistic flows around a black hole such as Sgr A$^*$.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2009 · Publications- Astronomical Society of Japan
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    ABSTRACT: The photon mean free path in a relativistically moving medium becomes long in the downstream direction, while short in the upstream direction. As a result, the observed optical depth, $\tau$, becomes small in the downstream direction while large in the upstream direction. Hence, if a relativistic spherical wind blows off, the optical depth depends strongly on its speed and the angle between the velocity and the line-of-sight. Abramowicz, Novikov, and Paczynski (1991, ApJ, 369, 175) examined such a relativistic wind, and found that the shape of the photosphere at $\tau=1$ appears to be convex in the nonrelativistic case, but concave for relativistic velocities. We further calculated the temperature distribution and luminosity of the photosphere both in the comoving and inertial frames. We found that the limb-darkening effect would be strongly modified in the relativistic regime. We also found that the luminosities of the photosphere become large as the wind speed increases due to relativistic effects. In addition, the luminosity in the inertial frame is higher than that in the comoving frame. These results suggest that the observed temperature and brightness in luminous objects may be overestimated when there are strong relativistic winds.
    Preview · Article · May 2009 · Publications- Astronomical Society of Japan
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    Jun Fukue · Naoko Sumitomo
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the observational appearance of an optically thick, spherically symmetric, relativistic wind (a black hole wind). In a relativistic flow, the apparent optical depth becomes small in the downstream direction, while it is large in the upstream direction due to the relativistic effect. Hence, the apparent photosphere of the relativistic flow depends on the flow velocity and direction as well as the density distribution. We calculated the temperature distribution of the apparent photosphere of the optically thick black hole wind, where the wind speed was assumed to be constant and radiation dominates matter, for various values of the wind speed and mass-outflow rate. We found that the limb-darkening effect is strongly enhanced in the relativistic regime. We also found that the observed luminosities of the black hole wind become large as the wind speed increases, but do not depend on the mass-outflow rate.
    Preview · Article · May 2009 · Publications- Astronomical Society of Japan
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    ABSTRACT: We report a coordinated multiband photometry of the RS Oph 2006 outburst and highlight the emission-line-free y-band photometry that shows a midplateau phase at y ~ 10.2 mag from day 40 to day 75 after the discovery, followed by a sharp drop of the final decline. Such midplateau phases are observed in other two recurrent novae, U Sco and CI Aql, and are interpreted as a bright disk irradiated by the white dwarf. We have calculated theoretical light curves based on the optically thick wind theory and have reproduced the observed light curves, including the midplateau phase and the final sharp decline. This final decline is identified with the end of steady hydrogen shell burning, which turned out at about day 80. This turnoff date is consistent with the end of a supersoft X-ray phase observed with Swift. Our model suggests a white dwarf mass of 1.35 ± 0.01 M☉, which indicates that RS Oph is a progenitor of Type Ia supernovae. We strongly recommend the y-filter observation of novae to detect both the presence of a disk and the hydrogen burning turnoff.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2008 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Context. The quasar 3C 279 is among the most extreme blazars in terms of luminosity and variability of flux at all wavebands. Its variations in flux and polarization are quite complex and therefore require intensive monitoring observations at multiple wavebands to characterise and interpret the observed changes.Aims. In this paper, we present radio-to-optical data taken by the WEBT, supplemented by our VLBA and RXTE observations, of 3C 279. Our goal is to use this extensive database to draw inferences regarding the physics of the relativistic jet.Methods. We assemble multifrequency light curves with data from 30 ground-based observatories and the space-based instruments SWIFT (UVOT) and RXTE, along with linear polarization vs. time in the optical R band. In addition, we present a sequence of 22 images (with polarization vectors) at 43 GHz at resolution 0.15 milliarcsec, obtained with the VLBA. We analyse the light curves and polarization, as well as the spectral energy distributions at different epochs, corresponding to different brightness states.Results. We find that the IR-optical-UV continuum spectrum of the variable component corresponds to a power law with a constant slope of -1.6, while in the 2.4-10 keV X-ray band it varies in slope from -1.1 to -1.6. The steepest X-ray spectrum occurs at a flux minimum. During a decline in flux from maximum in late 2006, the optical and 43 GHz core polarization vectors rotate by ~300°.Conclusions. The continuum spectrum agrees with steady injection of relativistic electrons with a power-law energy distribution of slope -3.2 that is steepened to -4.2 at high energies by radiative losses. The X-ray emission at flux minimum comes most likely from a new component that starts in an upstream section of the jet where inverse Compton scattering of seed photons from outside the jet is important. The rotation of the polarization vector implies that the jet contains a helical magnetic field that extends ∼20 pc past the 43 GHz core.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2008 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Naoko Sumitomo · Jun Fukue
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    ABSTRACT: Relativistic outflows are believed to blow off from quasars and active galaxies, ultraluminous X-ray sources, microquasars, and gamma-ray bursts. The authors examine the observational appearance of such an outflow, a black-hole wind. As the flow velocity increases, an apparent photosphere shrinks and an observed temperature and luminosity increase.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2008
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    ABSTRACT: We report a coordinated multi-band photometry of the RS Oph 2006 outburst and highlight the emission line free y-band photometry that shows a mid-plateau phase at y ~ 10.2 mag from day 40 to day 75 after the discovery followed by a sharp drop of the final decline. Such mid-plateau phases are observed in other two recurrent novae, U Sco and CI Aql, and are interpreted as a bright disk irradiated by the white dwarf. We have calculated theoretical light curves based on the optically thick wind theory and have reproduced the early decline, mid-plateau phase, and final decline. The final decline is identified with the end of steady hydrogen shell-burning, which turned out at about day 80. This turnoff date is consistent with the end of a supersoft X-ray phase observed with Swift. Our model suggests a white dwarf mass of 1.35 \pm 0.01 M_\sun, which indicates that RS Oph is a progenitor of Type Ia supernovae. We strongly recommend the y-filter observation of novae to detect both the presence of a disk and the hydrogen burning turnoff. Observational data of y magnitudes are provided here together with other multi-wavelength light curve data.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2008
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    ABSTRACT: Context: The quasar-type blazar 3C 454.3 was observed to undergo an unprecedented optical outburst in spring 2005, affecting the source brightness from the near-IR to the X-ray frequencies. This was first followed by a millimetric and then by a radio outburst, which peaked in February 2006. Aims: In this paper we report on follow-up observations to study the multiwavelength emission in the post-outburst phase. Methods: Radio, near-infrared, and optical monitoring was performed by the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT) collaboration in the 2006-2007 observing season. XMM-Newton observations on July 2-3 and December 18-19, 2006 added information on the X-ray and UV states of the source. Results: The source was in a faint state. The radio flux at the higher frequencies showed a fast decreasing trend, which represents the tail of the big radio outburst. It was followed by a quiescent state, common at all radio frequencies. In contrast, moderate activity characterized the near-IR and optical light curves, with a progressive increase of the variability amplitude with increasing wavelength. We ascribe this redder-when-brighter behaviour to the presence of a ``little blue bump'' due to line emission from the broad line region, which is clearly visible in the source spectral energy distribution (SED) during faint states. Moreover, the data from the XMM-Newton Optical Monitor reveal a rise of the SED in the ultraviolet, suggesting the existence of a ``big blue bump'' due to thermal emission from the accretion disc. The X-ray spectra are well fitted with a power-law model with photoelectric absorption, possibly larger than the Galactic one. However, the comparison with previous X-ray observations would imply that the amount of absorbing matter is variable. Alternatively, the intrinsic X-ray spectrum presents a curvature, which may depend on the X-ray brightness. In this case, two scenarios are possible. i) There is no extra absorption, and the X-ray spectrum hardens at low energies, the hardening being more evident in bright states; ii) there is a constant amount of extra absorption, likely in the quasar environment, and the X-ray spectrum softens at low energies, at least in faint X-ray states. This softening might be the result of a flux contribution by the high-frequency tail of the big blue bump.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2007 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: The quasar 3C 279 was the target of an extensive multiwavelength monitoring campaign from 2006 January through April. An optical-IR-radio monitoring campaign by the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT) collaboration was organized around target-of-opportunity X-ray and soft γ-ray observations with Chandra and INTEGRAL in 2006 mid-January, with additional X-ray coverage by RXTE and Swift XRT. In this paper we focus on the results of the WEBT campaign. The source exhibited substantial variability of optical flux and spectral shape, with a characteristic timescale of a few days. The variability patterns throughout the optical BVRI bands were very closely correlated with each other, while there was no obvious correlation between the optical and radio variability. After the ToO trigger, the optical flux underwent a remarkably clean quasi-exponential decay by about 1 mag, with a decay timescale of τd ~ 12.8 days. In intriguing contrast to other (in particular, BL Lac type) blazars, we find a lag of shorter wavelength behind longer wavelength variability throughout the RVB wavelength ranges, with a time delay increasing with increasing frequency. Spectral hardening during flares appears delayed with respect to a rising optical flux. This, in combination with the very steep IR-optical continuum spectral index of α0 ~ 1.5-2.0, may indicate a highly oblique magnetic field configuration near the base of the jet, leading to inefficient particle acceleration and a very steep electron injection spectrum. An alternative explanation through a slow (timescale of several days) acceleration mechanism would require an unusually low magnetic field of B 0.2 G, about an order of magnitude lower than inferred from previous analyses of simultaneous SEDs of 3C 279 and other flat-spectrum radio quasars with similar properties.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Two guest-observer XMM-Newton pointings of the blazar OJ 287 in 2005 are introduced, along with part of the radio, mm, near-IR, and optical data obtained during a coordinated and intensive WEBT campaign, during longer-term monitoring observations performed by teams of the ENIGMA network, and during other independent observing programs (like VLBA observations). In that year OJ 287 showed an interesting variable behavior in the optical band. An optical outburst, well matched by our WEBT observations, is claimed in the period Oct.-Nov. 2005, and the XMM-Newton X-ray observations are performed in correspondence with two active optical states (an intermediate flare and such outburst). X-ray data indicates different flux levels, spectral slopes, and emission components, and VLBA radio maps are consistent with a jet precession model. This appreciable observing effort is still ongoing (a further XMM-Newton pointing is planned in 2008), joined with further parallel/multi-monitoring observing programmes devoted to this interesting object.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Apr 2007
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    ABSTRACT: In spring 2005 the blazar 3C 454.3 was observed in an unprecedented bright state from the near-IR to the hard X-ray frequencies. A mm outburst peaked in June-July 2005, and it was followed by a flux increase at high radio frequencies. In this paper we report on multifrequency monitoring by the WEBT aimed at following the further evolution of the outburst in detail. In particular, we investigate the expected correlation and time delays between the optical and radio emissions in order to derive information on the variability mechanisms and jet structure. A comparison among the light curves at different frequencies is performed by means of visual inspection and discrete correlation function, and the results are interpreted with a simple model taking into account Doppler factor variations of geometric origin. The high-frequency radio light curves show a huge outburst starting during the dimming phase of the optical one and lasting more than 1 year. The first phase is characterized by a slow flux increase, while in early 2006 a major flare is observed. The lower-frequency radio light curves show a progressively delayed and fainter event, which disappears below 8 GHz. We suggest that the radio major peak is not physically connected with the spring 2005 optical one, but it is actually correlated with a minor optical flare observed in October-November 2005. This interpretation involves both an intrinsic and a geometric mechanism. The former is represented by disturbances travelling down the emitting jet, the latter being due to the curved-jet motion, with the consequent differential changes of viewing angles of the different emitting regions.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2007 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: Context.In spring 2005 the blazar 3C 454.3 was observed in an unprecedented bright state from the near-IR to the hard X-ray frequencies. A mm outburst peaked in June–July 2005, and it was followed by a flux increase at high radio frequencies. Aims.In this paper we report on multifrequency monitoring by the WEBT aimed at following the further evolution of the outburst in detail. In particular, we investigate the expected correlation and time delays between the optical and radio emissions in order to derive information on the variability mechanisms and jet structure. Methods.A comparison among the light curves at different frequencies is performed by means of visual inspection and discrete correlation function, and the results are interpreted with a simple model taking into account Doppler factor variations of geometric origin. Results.The high-frequency radio light curves show a huge outburst starting during the dimming phase of the optical one and lasting more than 1 year. The first phase is characterized by a slow flux increase, while in early 2006 a major flare is observed. The lower-frequency radio light curves show a progressively delayed and fainter event, which disappears below 8 GHz. We suggest that the radio major peak is not physically connected with the spring 2005 optical one, but it is actually correlated with a minor optical flare observed in October–November 2005. This interpretation involves both an intrinsic and a geometric mechanism. The former is represented by disturbances travelling down the emitting jet, the latter being due to the curved-jet motion, with the consequent differential changes of viewing angles of the different emitting regions.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2007 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Context.The quasar-type blazar 3C 454.3 was observed to undergo an unprecedented optical outburst in spring 2005, affecting the source brightness from the near-IR to the X-ray frequencies. This was first followed by a millimetric and then by a radio outburst, which peaked in February 2006.Aims.In this paper we report on follow-up observations to study the multiwavelength emission in the post-outburst phase.Methods.Radio, near-infrared, and optical monitoring was performed by the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT) collaboration in the 2006–2007 observing season. XMM-Newton observations on July 2–3 and December 18–19, 2006 added information on the X-ray and UV states of the source.Results.The source was in a faint state. The radio flux at the higher frequencies showed a fast decreasing trend, which represents the tail of the big radio outburst. It was followed by a quiescent state, common at all radio frequencies. In contrast, moderate activity characterized the near-IR and optical light curves, with a progressive increase of the variability amplitude with increasing wavelength. We ascribe this redder-when-brighter behaviour to the presence of a “little blue bump” due to line emission from the broad line region, which is clearly visible in the source spectral energy distribution (SED) during faint states. Moreover, the data from the XMM-Newton Optical Monitor reveal a rise of the SED in the ultraviolet, suggesting the existence of a “big blue bump” due to thermal emission from the accretion disc. The X-ray spectra are well fitted with a power-law model with photoelectric absorption, possibly larger than the Galactic one. However, the comparison with previous X-ray observations would imply that the amount of absorbing matter is variable. Alternatively, the intrinsic X-ray spectrum presents a curvature, which may depend on the X-ray brightness. In this case, two scenarios are possible. i) There is no extra absorption, and the X-ray spectrum hardens at low energies, the hardening being more evident in bright states; ii) there is a constant amount of extra absorption, likely in the quasar environment, and the X-ray spectrum softens at low energies, at least in faint X-ray states. This softening might be the result of a flux contribution by the high-frequency tail of the big blue bump.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2007
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Two guest-observer XMM-Newton pointings of the blazar OJ 287 in 2005 are introduced, along with part of the radio, mm, near-IR, and optical data obtained during a coordinated and intensive WEBT campaign, during longer-term monitoring observations performed by teams of the ENIGMA network, and during other independent observing programs (like VLBA observations). In that year OJ 287 showed an interesting variable behavior in the optical band. An optical outburst, well matched by our WEBT observations, is claimed in the period Oct.-Nov. 2005, and the XMM-Newton X-ray observations are performed in correspondence with two active optical states (an intermediate flare and such outburst). X-ray data indicates different flux levels, spectral slopes, and emission components, and VLBA radio maps are consistent with a jet precession model. This appreciable observing effort is still ongoing (a further XMM-Newton pointing is planned in 2008), joined with further parallel/multi-monitoring observing programmes devoted to this interesting object.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Memorie della Società Astronomica Italiana
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    ABSTRACT: The quasar 3C279 was the target of an extensive multiwavelength monitoring campaign from January through April 2006, including an optical-IR-radio monitoring campaign by the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT) collaboration. In this paper we focus on the results of the WEBT campaign. The source exhibited substantial variability of optical flux and spectral shape, with a characteristic time scale of a few days. The variability patterns throughout the optical BVRI bands were very closely correlated with each other. In intriguing contrast to other (in particular, BL Lac type) blazars, we find a lag of shorter- behind longer-wavelength variability throughout the RVB ranges, with a time delay increasing with increasing frequency. Spectral hardening during flares appears delayed with respect to a rising optical flux. This, in combination with the very steep IR-optical continuum spectral index of ~ 1.5 - 2.0, may indicate a highly oblique magnetic field configuration near the base of the jet. An alternative explanation through a slow (time scale of several days) acceleration mechanism would require an unusually low magnetic field of < 0.2 G, about an order of magnitude lower than inferred from previous analyses of simultaneous SEDs of 3C279 and other FSRQs with similar properties.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2007 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Context.The radio quasar 3C 454.3 underwent an exceptional optical outburst lasting more than 1 year and culminating in spring 2005. The maximum brightness detected was $R=12.0$, which represents the most luminous quasar state thus far observed ($M_B \sim -31.4$).Aims.In order to follow the emission behaviour of the source in detail, a large multiwavelength campaign was organized by the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT).Methods.Continuous optical, near-IR and radio monitoring was performed in several bands. ToO pointings by the Chandra and INTEGRAL satellites provided additional information at high energies in May 2005.Results.The historical radio and optical light curves show different behaviours. Until about 2001.0 only moderate variability was present in the optical regime, while prominent and long-lasting radio outbursts were visible at the various radio frequencies, with higher-frequency variations preceding the lower-frequency ones. After that date, the optical activity increased and the radio flux is less variable. This suggests that the optical and radio emissions come from two separate and misaligned jet regions, with the inner optical one acquiring a smaller viewing angle during the 2004-2005 outburst. Moreover, the colour-index behaviour (generally redder-when-brighter) during the outburst suggests the presence of a luminous accretion disc. A huge mm outburst followed the optical one, peaking in June-July 2005. The high-frequency (37-43 GHz) radio flux started to increase in early 2005 and reached a maximum at the end of our observing period (end of September 2005). VLBA observations at 43 GHz during the summer confirm the brightening of the radio core and show an increasing polarization. An exceptionally bright X-ray state was detected in May 2005, corresponding to the rising mm flux and suggesting an inverse-Compton nature of the hard X-ray spectrum.Conclusions.A further multifrequency monitoring effort is needed to follow the next phases of this unprecedented event.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2006 · Astronomy and Astrophysics