Supermassive Black Hole Winds in X-rays: SUBWAYS: I. Ultra-fast outflows in quasars beyond the local Universe

G. A. Matzeu, M. Brusa, G. Lanzuisi, M. Dadina, S. Bianchi, G. Kriss, M. Mehdipour, E. Nardini, G. Chartas, R. Middei, E. Piconcelli, V. Gianolli, A. Comastri, A. L. Longinotti, Y. Krongold, F. Ricci, P. O. Petrucci, F. Tombesi, A. Luminari, L. ZappacostaG. Miniutti, M. Gaspari, E. Behar, M. Bischetti, S. Mathur, M. Perna, M. Giustini, P. Grandi, E. Torresi, C. Vignali, G. Bruni, M. Cappi, E. Costantini, G. Cresci, B. De Marco, A. De Rosa, R. Gilli, M. Guainazzi, J. Kaastra, S. Kraemer, F. La Franca, A. Marconi, F. Panessa, G. Ponti, D. Proga, F. Ursini, P. Baldini, F. Fiore, A. R. King, R. Maiolino, G. Matt, A. Merloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a new X-ray spectroscopic study of 22 luminous (2 × 1045 ≲ Lbol/erg s-1 ≲ 2 × 1046) active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at intermediate redshifts (0.1 ≲ z ≲ 0.4), as part of the SUpermassive Black hole Winds in the x-rAYS (SUBWAYS) sample, mostly composed of quasars and type 1 AGNs. Here, 17 targets were observed with XMM-Newton in 2019- 2020, and the remaining 5 are from previous observations. The aim of this large campaign (1.45 Ms duration) is to characterise the various manifestations of winds in the X-rays driven from supermassive black holes in AGNs. In this paper we focus on the search for and characterisation of ultra-fast outflows (UFOs), which are typically detected through blueshifted absorption troughs in the Fe K band (E > 7 keV). By following Monte Carlo procedures, we confirm the detection of absorption lines corresponding to highly ionised iron (e.g. Fe XXV Hα and Fe XXVI Lyα) in 7 out of 22 sources at the ≳95% confidence level (for each individual line). The global combined probability of such absorption features in the sample is > 99.9%. The SUBWAYS campaign, based on XMM-Newton, extends to higher luminosities and redshifts than previous local studies on Seyferts. We find a UFO detection fraction of ∼30% of the total sample, which is in agreement with previous findings. This work independently provides further support for the existence of highly ionised matter propagating at mildly relativistic speeds (≳0.1c) in a considerable fraction of AGNs over a broad range of luminosities, which is believed to play a key role in the self-regulated AGN feeding-feedback cycle, as also supported by hydrodynamical multi-phase simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA182
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • Galaxies: active
  • Quasars: absorption lines
  • Quasars: emission lines
  • X-rays: galaxies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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