439 research outputs found

    The Phoenix survey: the pairing fraction of faint radio sources

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    The significance of tidal interactions in the evolution of the faint radio population (sub-mJy) is studied using a deep and homogeneous radio survey (1.4 GHz), covering an area of 3.14 deg2^2 and complete to a flux density of 0.4 mJy. Optical photometric and spectroscopic data are also available for this sample. A statistical approach is employed to identify candidate physical associations between radio sources and optically selected `field' galaxies. We find an excess of close pairs around optically identified faint radio sources, albeit at a low significance level, implying that the pairing fraction of the sub-mJy radio sources is similar to that of `field' galaxies (at the same magnitude limit) but higher than that of local galaxies.Comment: 5 pages, 4 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS Letter

    Searching for X-ray luminous 'normal' galaxies in 2dfGRS

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    We cross-correlated the Chandra XASSIST and XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogues with the 2 degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dfGRS) database. Our aim was to identify the most X-ray luminous (L_X > 10^42 erg s^-1) examples of galaxies in the local Universe whose X-ray emission is dominated by stellar processes rather than AGN activity ('normal' galaxies) as well as to test the empirical criterion log(f_X/f_O) < -2 for separating AGN from NGs. With XMM-Newton (Chandra) we covered an area of ~8.2 (~5.8)deg^2 down to a flux limit of ~10^-15 (~1.6 x 10^-15) erg cm^-2 s^-1 and found 18 (20) 2dfGRS galaxies. Using emission-line intensity ratios, we classified 6 2dfGRS spectra as star-forming, H II nuclei, and 2 spectra as possible H II nuclei. The rest of the objects are absorption-line galaxies and AGN, including 3 possible LINERs. No luminous 'normal' galaxies have been found but out of 19 'normal' galaxies in this sample 5 H II and 3 absorption-line galaxies have log(f_X/f_O) > -2. We performed a similar search in two nearby-galaxy samples from the literature. All 44 galaxies in the Zezas (2001) sample have log(f_X/f_O) < -2 and L_X < 10^42 erg s^-1. In the Fabbiano et al. (1992) sample, out of a total of 170 'normal' galaxies, we found 16 galaxies with log(f_X/f_O) >-2, the majority of which are massive ellipticals. Three of these have L_X > 10^42 erg s^-1 .Comment: 8 pages, 2 figures. Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysic

    The radio spectra of reddened 2MASS QSOs: evidence for young radio jets

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    Multifrequency radio continuum observations (1.4-22 GHz) of a sample of reddened QSOs are presented. We find a high incidence (13/16) of radio spectral properties, such as low frequency turnovers, high frequency spectral breaks or steep power-law slopes, similar to those observed in powerful compact steep spectrum (CSS) and gigahertz-peaked spectrum (GPS) sources. The radio data are consistent with relatively young radio jets with synchotron ages <1e6-1e7yr. This calculation is limited by the lack of high resolution (milli-arcsec) radio observations. For the one source in the sample that such data are available a much younger radio age is determined, <2e3yr, similar to those of GPS/CSS sources. These findings are consistent with claims that reddened QSOs are young systems captured at the first stages of the growth of their supermassive black holes. It also suggests that expanding radio lobes may be an important feedback mode at the early stages of the evolution of AGN.Comment: 9 pages, to appear in MNRA

    The Clustering of XMM-Newton Hard X-ray Sources

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    We present the clustering properties of hard (2-8 keV) X-ray selected sources detected in a wide field (~2 deg^{2}) shallow [f(2-8 keV)~ 10^{-14} erg cm^{-2} s^{-1}] and contiguous XMM-Newton survey. We perform an angular correlation function analysis using a total of 171 sources to the above flux limit. We detect a ~ 4\sigma correlation signal out to 300 arcsec with w(theta < 300^{''}) ~ 0.13 +- 0.03. Modeling the two point correlation function as a power law of the usual form we find: theta_o=48.9^{+15.8}_{-24.5} arcsec and gamma=2.2 +- 0.30. Fixing the correlation function slope to gamma=1.8 we obtain theta_o=22.2^{+9.4}_{-8.6} arcsec. Using Limber's integral equation and a variety of possible luminosity functions of the hard X-ray population, we find a relatively large correlation length, ranging from r_o ~ 9 to 19 h^{-1} Mpc (for gamma=1.8 and the concordance cosmological model), with this range reflecting also different evolutionary models for the source luminosities and clustering characteristics.Comment: In "Multiwavelength AGN Surveys" (Cozumel, December 8-12 2003), ed. R. Maiolino and R. Mujica, Singapore: World Scientific, 200

    Constraining the fraction of Compton-thick AGN in the Universe by modelling the diffuse X-ray background spectrum

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    This paper investigates what constraints can be placed on the fraction of Compton-thick (CT) AGN in the Universe from the modeling of the spectrum of the diffuse X-ray background (XRB). We present a model for the synthesis of the XRB that uses as input a library of AGN X-ray spectra generated by the Monte Carlo simulations described by Brightman & Nandra. This is essential to account for the Compton scattering of X-ray photons in a dense medium and the impact of that process on the spectra of obscured AGN. We identify a small number of input parameters to the XRB synthesis code which encapsulate the minimum level of uncertainty in reconstructing the XRB spectrum. These are the power-law index and high energy cutoff of the intrinsic X-ray spectra of AGN, the level of the reflection component in AGN spectra and the fraction of CT AGN in the Universe. We then map the volume of the space allowed to these parameters by current observations of the XRB spectrum in the range 3-100 keV. One of the least constrained parameters is the fraction of CT AGN. Statistically acceptable fits to the XRB spectrum at the 68% confidence level can be obtained for CT fractions in the range 5-50%. This is because of degeneracies among input parameters to the XRB synthesis code and uncertainties in the modeling of AGN spectra (e.g. reflection). The most promising route for constraining the fraction of CT AGN in the Universe is via the direct detection of those sources in high energy (>10keV) surveys. It is shown that the observed fraction of CT sources identified in the SWIFT/BAT survey, limits the intrinsic fraction of CT AGN, at least at low redshift, to 10-20% (68% confidence level). We also make predictions on the number density of CT sources that current and future X-ray missions are expected to discover. Testing those predictions will constrain the intrinsic fraction of CT AGN as a function of redshift.Comment: To appear in A&

    Cold gas and star formation in a merging galaxy sequence

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    We explore the evolution of the cold gas and star-formation activity during galaxy interactions, using a merging galaxy sequence comprising both pre- and post-mergers. Data for this study come from the literature but supplemented by new radio observations presented here. Firstly, we confirm that the star-formation efficiency (SFE) increases close to nuclear coalescence. At post-merger stages there is evidence that the SFE declines to values typical of ellipticals. This trend can be attributed to M(H_2) depletion due to interaction induced star-formation. However, there is significant scatter, likely to arise from differences in the interaction details of individual systems. Secondly, we find that the central molecular hydrogen surface density, increases close to the final stages of the merging of the two nuclei. Such a trend is also predicted by numerical simulations. Furthermore, there is evidence for a decreasing fraction of cold gas mass from early interacting systems to merger remnants, attributed to gas conversion into other forms. The evolution of the total-radio to blue-band luminosity ratio, reflecting the disk+nucleus star-formation activity, is also investigated. Although this ratio is on average higher than that of isolated spirals, we find a marginal increase along the merging sequence, attributed to the relative insensitivity of disk star-formation to interactions. However, a similar result is also obtained for the nuclear radio emission, although galaxy interactions are believed to significantly affect the activity in the central galaxy regions. Finally, we find that the FIR--radio flux ratio distribution of interacting galaxies is consistent with star-formation being the main energising source.Comment: 18 pages, 17 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Keck Imaging of the Globular Cluster Systems in the Early--type Galaxies NGC 1052 and NGC 7332

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    The presence of two globular cluster subpopulations in early-type galaxies is now the norm rather than the exception. Here we present two more examples for which the host galaxy appears to have undergone a recent merger. Using multi-colour Keck imaging of NGC 1052 and NGC 7332 we find evidence for a bimodal globular cluster colour distribution in both galaxies, with roughly equal numbers of blue and red globular clusters. The blue ones have similar colours to those in the Milky Way halo and are thus probably very old and metal-poor. If the red GC subpopulations are at least solar metallicity, then stellar population models indicate young ages. We discuss the origin of globular clusters within the framework of formation models. We conclude that recent merger events in these two galaxies have had little effect on their overall GC systems. We also derive globular cluster density profiles, global specific frequencies and in the case of NGC 1052, radial colour gradients and azimuthal distribution. In general these globular cluster properties are normal for early-type galaxies.Comment: 11 pages, Latex, 15 figures, 2 tables, accepted by MNRA

    XMM and Chandra measurements of the AGN intrinsic absorption: dependence on luminosity and redshift

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    We combine bright XMM data with the Chandra Deep Field South observations in order to explore the behavior of the intrinsic AGN absorption, as a function of redshift and luminosity.Our sample consists of 359 sources selected in the hard 2-8 keV band, spanning the flux range 6\times10^{-16}-$3\times10^{-13} erg s^-1 cm^-2 with a high rate of spectroscopic or photometric redshift completeness (100 and 85 per cent respectively for the Chandra and XMM data. We derive the column density values using X-ray spectral fits. We find that the fraction of obscured AGN falls with increasing luminosity in agreement with previous findings. The fraction of obscured AGN shows an apparent increase at high redshifts (z>2). Simulations show that this effect can be most probably attributed to the fact that at high redshifts the column densities are overestimated.Comment: 14 pages, 9 figures, A&A accepte

    Chandra and Spitzer observations of CDFS X-ray obscured QSOs

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    We present Chandra and Spitzer data of the 186, extragalactic, hard 2-10 keV X-ray selected sources, which lie in the central part of the Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS). For the vast majority of sources (99.5%) there is a spectroscopic or photometric redshift available. We classify 17 sources as X-ray obscured QSOs, according to strictly X-ray criteria, i.e. defined as having large hydrogen column densities (N_H>10^22 cgs) and luminosities (Lx>10^44 cgs). The surface density of X-ray obscured QSOs is ~210 sq. deg. We find 18 candidate Compton thick N_H>10^24 cgs sources, of which three have QSO luminosities (L_x>10^44 cgs). The X-ray obscured QSO comprise a mixed bag of objects, covering the redshift range z=1.3-4.3. Eight of these show narrow line optical spectra, two show no obscuration in their optical spectra presenting Broad Lines, while for the other seven there is only a photometric redshift available. About half of the X-ray obscured QSOs show high X-ray to optical flux ratios, X/O>1, and red colours, I-3.6>4. Combination of the X-ray with the mid-IR 8 or 24 micron flux can be used as an additional diagnostic to sift out the heavily obscured AGN. All X-ray selected QSOs present red mid-IR colours and can be easily separated among mid-IR sources, demonstrating that mid-IR selection provides a powerful tool for the detection of obscured QSOs
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