Abstract We present and analyze the variability of three Seyfert galaxies on intra-day timescales. We have analyzed in a uniform manner the 38 longest (> 30 ks) observations made for NGC 4051, MCG-06–30–15 and NGC 4151 by XMM-Newton between 2000 and 2015. The nuclei were quite active during essentially all of these observations and the overall X-ray fluxes (0.3–10 keV) varied by an order of magnitude. Most of the observations do appear to show characteristic timescales, estimated through their auto-correlation functions, ranging between ∼2.9 ks and ∼45.3 ks. The hard (2–10 keV) and soft (0.3–2.0 keV) bands are very well correlated but consideration of their hardness ratios shows that the sources typically soften during flares. We also provide new estimates of the central black hole masses for these three AGNs that support the hypothesis that Narrow Line Seyfert 1 galaxies have relatively small central black holes.
Keywords galaxies: active — narrow line Seyfert 1 galaxy (NLSy1): general — NLSy1: individual — NLSy1: individual: NGC 4051
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