Coronal accretion: The power of X-ray emission in AGN

B. F. Liu, R. E. Taam, E. Qiao, W. Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The optical/UV and X-ray emissions in luminous AGN are commonly believed to be produced in an accretion disk and an embedded hot corona respectively. We explore the possibility that a geometrically thick coronal gas flow, which is supplied by gravitational capture of interstellar medium or stellar wind, condenses partially to a geometrically thin cold disk and accretes via a thin disk and a corona onto the supermassive black hole. We found that for mass supply rates less than about 0.01 (expressed in Eddington units), condensation does not occur and the accretion flow takes the form of a corona/ADAF. For higher mass supply rates, corona gas condenses to the disk. As a consequence, the coronal mass flow rate decreases and the cool mass flow rate increases towards the black hole. Here the thin disk is characterized by the condensation rate of hot gas as it flows towards the black hole. With increase of mass supply rate, condensation becomes more efficient, while the mass flow rate of the coronal gas attains values of order 0.02 in the innermost regions of the disk, which can help to elucidate the production of strong X-ray with respect to the optical and ultraviolet radiation in high luminosity AGN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-55
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
StatePublished - 2016


  • X-rays: galaxies
  • accretion
  • accretion disks
  • black hole physics
  • galaxies: active

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


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