BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey – XIII. The nature of the most luminous obscured AGN in the low-redshift universe
ABSTRACT We present a multiwavelength analysis of 28 of the most luminous low-redshift narrow-line, ultra-hard X-ray-selected active galactic nuclei (AGN) drawn from the 70-month Swift/BAT all-sky survey, with bolometric luminosities of $\log (L_{\rm bol} /{\rm erg\, s}^{-1}) \gtrsim 45.25$. The broad goal of our study is to determine whether these objects have any distinctive properties, potentially setting them aside from lower luminosity obscured AGN in the local Universe. Our analysis relies on the first data release of the BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey (BASS/DR1) and on dedicated observations with the VLT, Palomar, and Keck observatories. We find that the vast majority of our sources agree with commonly used AGN selection criteria which are based on emission line ratios and on mid-infrared colours. Our AGN are pre-dominantly hosted in massive galaxies (9.8 ≲ log (M*/M⊙) ≲ 11.7); based on visual inspection of archival optical images, they appear to be mostly ellipticals. Otherwise, they do not have distinctive properties. Their radio luminosities, determined from publicly available survey data, show a large spread of almost four orders of magnitude – much broader than what is found for lower X-ray luminosity obscured AGN in BASS. Moreover, our sample shows no preferred combination of black hole masses more »
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10168611
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
489
Issue:
3
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
3073 to 3092
ISSN:
0035-8711
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We present the identification and analysis of an unbiased sample of active galactic nuclei (AGN) that lie within the local galaxy population. Using the MPA-JHU catalogue (based on SDSS DR8) and 3XMM DR7 we define a parent sample of 25 949 local galaxies (z ≤ 0.33). After confirming that there was strictly no AGN light contaminating stellar mass and star-formation rate calculations, we identified 917 galaxies with central, excess X-ray emission likely originating from an AGN. We analysed their optical emission lines using the BPT diagnostic and confirmed that such techniques are more effective at reliably identifying sources as AGN in higher mass galaxies: rising from 30 per cent agreement in the lowest mass bin to 93 per cent in the highest. We then calculated the growth rates of the black holes powering these AGN in terms of their specific accretion rates (∝LX/M*). Our sample exhibits a wide range of accretion rates, with the majority accreting at rates $\le 0.5\ \mathrm{ per \, cent}$ of their Eddington luminosity. Finally, we used our sample to calculate the incidence of AGN as a function of stellar mass and redshift. After correcting for the varying sensitivity of 3XMM, we split the galaxy sample by stellar mass andmore »
In this work we present a robust quantification of X-ray selected AGN in local (z ≤ 0.25) dwarf galaxies ($M_\mathrm{*} \le 3 \times 10^9 \, \mathrm{M_\odot }$). We define a parent sample of 4331 dwarf galaxies found within the footprint of both the MPA-JHU galaxy catalogue (based on SDSS DR8) and 3XMM DR7, performed a careful review of the data to remove misidentifications and produced a sample of 61 dwarf galaxies that exhibit nuclear X-ray activity indicative of an AGN. We examine the optical emission line ratios of our X-ray selected sample and find that optical AGN diagnostics fail to identify 85 per cent of the sources. We then calculated the growth rates of the black holes powering our AGN in terms of their specific accretion rates (∝ LX/M*, an approximate tracer of the Eddington ratio). Within our observed sample, we found a wide range of specific accretion rates. After correcting the observed sample for the varying sensitivity of 3XMM, we found further evidence for a wide range of X-ray luminosities and specific accretion rates, described by a power law. Using this corrected AGN sample we also define an AGN fraction describing their relative incidence within the parent sample. We found the AGN fractionmore »