The Sharpest Spatial View of a Black Hole Accretion Flow from the Changra X-ray Visionary Project Observation of the NGC 3115 Bondi Region

Jimmy A. Irwin, University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa
Ka-Wah Wong, Minnesota State University Mankato
Roman V. Shcherbakov, University of Maryland at College Park
Mihoko Yukita, Johns Hopkins University
William G. Mathews, University of California, Santa Cruz


Spatially resolved X-ray spectra of hot gas within a black hole accretion flow provide powerful constraints on accretion models. However, very few nearby supermassive black holes have large enough Bondi radii to be spatially resolved even with Chandra. The best candidate for such a study is the 4-5 arcsec (188-235 pc) Bondi region of the nearest billion solar mass supermassive black hole in the S0 galaxy NGC 3115. We present observational results from our Chandra X-ray Visionary Project (XVP) of NGC 3115, a deep 1 Msec observation that allows us to remove most contaminating X-ray point sources in the region close to the black hole, and to create the first detailed density and temperature profiles of the gas within the Bondi region of a radiatively inefficient accretion flow. Interpretation of the results are also discussed.