Correlated X-ray/Ultraviolet/Optical variability in the very low mass AGN NGC4395
Cameron, D. T.
Mc Hardy, I.
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We report the results of a one year Swift X-ray/UV/optical programme monitoring the dwarf Seyfert nucleus in NGC4395 in 2008–2009. The UV/optical flux from the nucleus was found to vary dramatically over the monitoring period, with a similar pattern of variation in each of the observed UV/optical bands (spanning 1900 – 5500 °A). In particular, the luminosity of NGC4395 in the 1900 °A band changed by more than a factor of eight over the monitoring period. The fractional variability was smaller in the UV/optical bands than that seen in the X-rays, with the X-ray/optical ratio increasing with increasing flux. Pseudo-instantaneous flux measurements in the X-ray and each UV/optical band were well correlated, with cross correlation coefficients of > 0.7, significant at 99.9 per cent confidence. Archival Swift observations from 2006 sample the intra-dayX-ray/optical variability on NGC4395. These archival data show a very strong correlation between the X-ray and b bands, with a cross-correlation coefficient of 0.84 (significant at > 99 per cent confidence). The peak in the cross correlation function is marginally resolved and asymmetric, suggesting that X-rays lead the b band, but by 6 1 hour. In response to recent (August 2011) very high X-ray flux levels from NGC4395 we triggered Swift ToO observations, which sample the intra-hour X-ray/UV variability. These observations indicate, albeit with large uncertainties, a lag of the 1900 °A band behind the X-ray flux of 400 s. The tight correlation between the X-ray and UV/optical lightcurves, together with the constraints we place on lag time-scale are consistent with the UV/optical variability of NGC4395 being primarily due to reprocessing of X-ray photons by the accretion disc.