384 research outputs found

    X-ray observations of the'composite' Seyfert/star-forming galaxy IRAS00317-2142

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    I present ASCA observations of IRAS00317-2142, the most luminous (Lx~10^43 erg s-1 0.1-2 keV) of the 'composite' class of galaxies. This enigmatic class of objects presents narrow-emission line optical spectra classifying these galaxies as star-forming on the basis of the diagnostic emission line ratios; yet, the presence of weak Halpha broad wings also suggests the presence of a weak or obscured AGN. The ASCA spectrum can be represented with a power-law with a photon index of 1.76+-0.08. Strong variability is detected (by about a factor of three) between the ROSAT and ASCA 1-2 keV flux. These characteristics clearly suggest an AGN origin for the X-ray emission. However, the precise nature of this AGN remains still uncertain. There is no evidence for a high absorbing column density above the Galactic. Moreover, there is no strong evidence for an Fe line at 6.4 keV, with the 90 per cent upper limit on the equivalent width being 0.9 keV. Thus the X-ray spectrum is consistent with an unobscured Seyfert-1 interpretation. This discrepancy with the optical spectrum, may be explained by either a strong star-forming component or a 'dusty' ionised absorber. Finally, the possibility that IRAS00317-2142 may harbour a heavily obscured AGN where the X-ray emission is mainly due to scattered light, appears less plausible due to the high value of the fx/f[OIII] ratio which is more indicative of unobscured Seyfert-1 type AGN.Comment: 5 pages, submitted to the MNRA

    NuSTAR observations of heavily obscured Swift/BAT AGN: constraints on the Compton-thick AGN fraction

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    The all-sky hard X-ray survey performed by Swift/BAT allowed the detection of many heavily obscured Compton-thick AGN. In our previous work, we have identified more than 50 candidate Compton-thick AGN in the local Universe, corresponding to an observed fraction of about 7% of the total AGN population. This number can be converted to the intrinsic Compton-thick AGN number density, only if we know the form of the Compton-thick AGN spectrum, that is the energy of their absorption turnover, photon-index and its cut-off energy at high energies, as well as the strength of the reflection component on the matter surrounding the nucleus. In order to constrain their number density, we analyse the spectra of 19 Compton-thick AGN which have been detected with Swift/BAT and have been subsequently observed with NuSTAR in the 3-80 keV band. We analyse their X-ray spectra using the MYTORUS models of Murphy and Yaqoob which properly take into account the Compton scattering effects. These are combined with physically motivated Comptonisation models which accurately describe the primary coronal X-ray emission. We derive absorbing column densities which are consistent with those derived by the previous Swift/BAT analyses. We estimate the coronal temperatures to be roughly between 25 and 80 keV corresponding to high energy cut-offs roughly between 75 and 250 keV. We find that the majority of our AGN lacks a strong reflection component in the 20-40 keV band placing tighter constraints on the intrinsic Compton-thick AGN fraction. Combining these results with our X-ray background synthesis models, we estimate a Compton-thick AGN fraction in the local Universe of ~20 +/-3 % relative to the type-II AGN population.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysic

    Comparison between the Luminosity functions of X-ray and [OIII] selected AGN

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    We investigate claims according to which the X-ray selection of AGN is not as efficient compared to that based on [OIII] selection because of the effects of X-ray absorption.We construct the predicted X-ray luminosity function both for all Seyferts as well as separately for Seyfert-1 and Seyfert-2 type galaxies, by combining the optical AGN [OIII] luminosity functions derived in SDSS with the corresponding L_X-L_[OIII] relations. These relations are derived from XMM-Newton observations of all Seyfert galaxies in the Palomar spectroscopic sample of nearby galaxies after correction for X-ray absorption and optical reddening. We compare the predicted X-ray luminosity functions with those actually observed in the local Universe by HEAO-1, RXTE as well as INTEGRAL. The last luminosity function is derived in the 17-60 keV region and thus is not affected by absorption even in the case of Compton-thick sources. In the common luminosity regions, the optically and X-ray selected Seyfert galaxies show reasonable agreement. We thus find no evidence that the [OIII] selection provides a more robust tracer of powerful AGN compared to the X-ray. Still, the optical selection probes less luminous Seyferts compared to the current X-ray surveys. These low luminosity levels, are populated by a large number of X-ray unobscured Seyfert-2 galaxies.Comment: 7 pages to appear in Astronomy & Astrophysic

    The angular correlation function of the ROSAT All Sky Survey Bright Source Catalogue

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    We have derived the angular correlation function of a sample of 2096 sources detected in the ROSAT All Sky Survey Bright Source Catalogue, in order to investigate the clustering properties of AGN in the local Universe. Our sample is constructed by rejecting all known stars, as well as extended X-ray sources. Areas with |b|<30 deg. and declination <-30 deg. are also rejected due to the high or uncertain neutral hydrogen absorption. Cross-correlation of our sample with the Hamburg/RASS optical identification catalogue, suggests that the vast majority of our sources are indeed AGN. A 4.1 sigma correlation signal between 0 and 8 degrees was detected with w(theta<8 deg.)=0.025 +- 0.006. Assuming the usual power-law form of the 2-point correlation function we find an angular correlationlength of 0.062 degrees. Deprojection on 3 dimensions, using the Limber's equation, yields a spatial correlation length of 6.0+- 1.6 h^-1 Mpc. This is consistent with the AGN clustering results derived at higher redshifts in optical surveys and suggests a comoving model for the clustering evolution.Comment: 5 pages, revised version accepted in MNRA

    The X-ray luminosity function of local galaxies

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    We present an estimate of the local X-ray luminosity function and emissivity for different subsamples of galaxies namely Seyferts, LINERS, star-forming and passive (no-emission-line) galaxies. This is performed by convolving their optical luminosity function, as derived from the Ho et al. spectroscopic sample of nearby galaxies with the corresponding L_x/L_B relation. The local galaxy emissivity is about 1.6 X 10^{39} h erg/sec Mpc^3 in agreement with the results of Lahav et al. derived from cross-correlation techniques of the X-ray background with optical and infrared galaxy catalogues. From our analysis, it becomes evident that the largest fraction of the galaxy emissivity comes from galaxies associated with AGN (Seyferts but also LINERS) while the contribution of star-forming and passive galaxies is small. This independently supports the view that most of the yet unidentified X-ray sources in deep \rosat fields which are associated with faint optical galaxies, do harbour an AGN.Comment: 4 pages, 2 figures, MNRAS Pink pages (in press

    X-ray observations of the Ultraluminous infrared galaxy IRAS19254-7245 (The Superantennae)

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    We present ROSAT HRI and ASCA observations of the well known ULIRG IRAS19254-7245 (the Superantennae). The object is not detected by ROSAT yielding a 3\sigma upper limit of L_x ~8x10^{41} erg/s in the 0.1-2 keV band. However, we obtain a clear detection by ASCA yielding a luminosity in the 2-10 keV band of 2 \times 10^{42}erg/s. Its X-ray spectrum is very hard, equivalent to a photon index of Gamma=1.0+-0.35. We therefore, attempt to model the X-ray data with a "scatterer" model in which the intrinsic X-ray emission along our line of sight is obscured by an absorbing screen while some fraction, f, is scattered into our line of sight by an ionized medium; this is the standard model for the X-ray emission in obscured (but non Compton-thick) Seyfert galaxies. We obtain an absorbing column of 2x10^{23}cm^{-2} for a power-law photon index of Gamma=1.9, an order of magnitude above the column estimated on the basis of optical observations; the percentage of the scattered emission is high (~20%). Alternatively, a model where most of the X-ray emission comes from reflection on a Compton thick torus (N_H>10^{24} cm^{-2}) cannot be ruled out. We do not detect an Fe line at 6.4 keV; however, the upper limit (90%) to the equivalent width of the 6.4 keV line is high (~3 keV). All the above suggest that most of the X-ray emission originates in an highly obscured Seyfert-2 nucleus.Comment: 5 pages, 1 figure, 1 table, To appear in MNRA

    X-ray and optical counterparts of hard X-ray selected sources from the SHEEP survey: first results

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    We present followup observations of five hard X-ray sources from the ASCA 5-10 keV SHEEP survey, which has a limiting flux of ∌10−13\sim 10^{-13} erg cm−2^{-2} s−1^{-1}. Chandra data have been obtained to improve the X-ray positions from a few arcmin to <1â€Čâ€Č<1'', which allows unambiguous optical identification. While the objects almost certainly house AGN based on their X-ray luminosity, optical spectroscopy reveals a variety of properties. The identifications indicate that the SHEEP survey samples the same populations as deeper surveys which probe the origin of the X-ray background, but because the SHEEP sources are far brighter, they are more amenable to detailed followup work. We find a variety of classifications and properties, including a type II QSO, a galaxy undergoing star formation, and a broad-line AGN which has a very hard X-ray spectrum, indicating substantial absorption in the X-ray but none in the optical. Two objects have X-ray/optical flux ratios which, were they at an X-ray flux level typical of objects in Chandra deep surveys, would place them in the ``optically faint'' category. They are both identified with broad line QSOs at z∌1\sim 1. Clearly this survey - which is relatively unbiased against obscured objects - is revealing a set of remarkable objects quite different to the familiar classes of AGN found in previous optical and soft X-ray surveys.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures. MNRAS, in pres

    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

    XMMPZCAT: A catalogue of photometric redshifts for X-ray sources

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    The third version of the XMM-Newton serendipitous catalogue (3XMM), containing almost half million sources, is now the largest X-ray catalogue. However, its full scientific potential remains untapped due to the lack of distance information (i.e. redshifts) for the majority of its sources. Here we present XMMPZCAT, a catalogue of photometric redshifts (photo-z) for 3XMM sources. We searched for optical counterparts of 3XMM-DR6 sources outside the Galactic plane in the SDSS and Pan-STARRS surveys, with the addition of near- (NIR) and mid-infrared (MIR) data whenever possible (2MASS, UKIDSS, VISTA-VHS, and AllWISE). We used this photometry data set in combination with a training sample of 5157 X-ray selected sources and the MLZ-TPZ package, a supervised machine learning algorithm based on decision trees and random forests for the calculation of photo-z. We have estimated photo-z for 100,178 X-ray sources, about 50% of the total number of 3XMM sources (205,380) in the XMM-Newton fields selected to build this catalogue (4208 out of 9159). The accuracy of our results highly depends on the available photometric data, with a rate of outliers ranging from 4% for sources with data in the optical+NIR+MIR, up to ∌\sim40% for sources with only optical data. We also addressed the reliability level of our results by studying the shape of the photo-z probability density distributions.Comment: 16 pages, 14 figures, A&A accepte