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  1. The corona is an integral component of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) which produces the bulk of the X-ray emission above 1-2 keV. However, many of its physical properties and the mechanisms powering this emission remain a mystery. In particular, the temperature of the coronal plasma has been difficult to constrain for large samples of AGNs, as constraints require high-quality broadband X-ray spectral coverage extending above 10 keV in order to measure the high-energy cutoff, which provides constraints on the combination of coronal optical depth and temperature. We present constraints on the coronal temperature for a large sample of Seyfert 1 AGNs selected from the Swift/BAT survey using high-quality hard X-ray data from the NuSTAR observatory combined with simultaneous soft X-ray data from Swift/XRT or XMM-Newton. When applying a physically motivated, nonrelativistic disk-reflection model to the X-ray spectra, we find a mean coronal temperature kT e = 84 ± 9 keV. We find no significant correlation between the coronal cutoff energy and accretion parameters such as the Eddington ratio and black hole mass. We also do not find a statistically significant correlation between the X-ray photon index, Γ, and Eddington ratio. This calls into question the use of such relations tomore »infer properties of supermassive black hole systems.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  2. Abstract We present the active galactic nucleus (AGN) catalog and optical spectroscopy for the second data release of the Swift BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey (BASS DR2). With this DR2 release we provide 1449 optical spectra, of which 1182 are released for the first time, for the 858 hard-X-ray-selected AGNs in the Swift BAT 70-month sample. The majority of the spectra (801/1449, 55%) are newly obtained from Very Large Telescope (VLT)/X-shooter or Palomar/Doublespec. Many of the spectra have both higher resolution ( R > 2500, N ∼ 450) and/or very wide wavelength coverage (3200–10000 Å, N ∼ 600) that are important for a variety of AGN and host galaxy studies. We include newly revised AGN counterparts for the full sample and review important issues for population studies, with 47 AGN redshifts determined for the first time and 790 black hole mass and accretion rate estimates. This release is spectroscopically complete for all AGNs (100%, 858/858), with 99.8% having redshift measurements (857/858) and 96% completion in black hole mass estimates of unbeamed AGNs (722/752). This AGN sample represents a unique census of the brightest hard-X-ray-selected AGNs in the sky, spanning many orders of magnitude in Eddington ratio ( L / L Eddmore »= 10 −5 –100), black hole mass ( M BH = 10 5 –10 10 M ⊙ ), and AGN bolometric luminosity ( L bol = 10 40 –10 47 erg s −1 ).« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  3. 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 massesmore »(MBH) and/or Eddington ratio (λEdd), covering 7.5 ≲ log (MBH/M⊙) ≲ 10.3 and 0.01 ≲ λEdd ≲ 1. Based on the distribution of our sources in the λEdd−NH plane, we conclude that our sample is consistent with a scenario where the amount of obscuring material along the line of sight is determined by radiation pressure exerted by the AGN on the dusty circumnuclear gas.« less