• galaxies: active;
  • galaxies: individual: Ton S180;
  • X-rays: galaxies


There is now growing evidence that the soft X-ray excess is almost ubiquitous among unobscured active galaxies. In spite of the various interpretations that have been considered in the past few years, the nature of this foremost spectral feature is not firmly established yet. In this context, we review from a reflection perspective the three highest quality X-ray observations of the narrow-line type 1 Seyfert galaxy Tonantzintla (Ton) S180, obtained by XMM–Newton and Suzaku. The X-ray spectrum of Ton S180 shows only moderate variations over a time span of several years, suggesting that the same physical process accounts for the bulk of the broad-band X-ray emission at the different epochs, and that the properties of the X-ray source are fairly stable. We have successfully applied in our spectral analysis a dual-reflector model, consisting of two separate components: one arises from the surface of the accretion disc, is highly ionized and blurred by relativistic effects; the other is cold, quite faint and can be associated with a distant reprocessor. Due to the strength and the nearly power-law shape of its soft excess emission, Ton S180 is one of the most challenging sources to test the X-ray reflection scenario. In this work we provide a clear illustration of the great potential and spectral flexibility of blurred reflection models, while discussing some of their current limitations and possible shortcomings.