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

Abstract

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

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    Last time updated on 03/12/2019