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Title: BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey – XIII. The nature of the most luminous obscured AGN in the low-redshift universe

Abstract

In this paper, 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 (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.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5];  [6];  [7]; ORCiD logo [7];  [1];  [8];  [9];  [10]; ORCiD logo [11];  [12];  [13]; ORCiD logo [14];  [15];  [16];  [17];  [18] more »;  [13] « less
  1. ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Dept. of Physics, Inst. for Particle Physics and Astrophysics
  2. ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Dept. Physics; Tel Aviv Univ. (Israel). School of Physics and Astronomy
  3. Kyoto Univ. (Japan). Dept. of Astronomy
  4. Eureka Scientific, Oakland, CA (United States)
  5. The Univ. of Western Australia, Crawley (Australia). International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
  6. Univ. Diego Portales, Santiago (Chile). Núcleo de Astronomía de la Facultad de Ingeniería; Peking Univ., Beijing (China). Kavli Inst. for Astronomy and Astrophysics
  7. ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Dept. of Physics, Inst. for Particle Physics and Astrophysics; Modulos AG, Zurich (Switzerland)
  8. Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). Frontier Research Inst. for Interdisciplinary Sciences, and Astronomical Inst.
  9. U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C. (United States)
  10. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.
  11. Kapteyn Astronomical Inst., Groningen (Netherlands); Harvard Univ., and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA (United States). BHI & Clay Fellow
  12. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Dept. of Astronomy, and Joint Space-Science Inst.
  13. Yale University, New Haven, CT (United States). Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Physics Dept.
  14. Pontificia Univ. Católica de Chile, Santiago (Chile). Inst. de Astrofísica, Facultad de Física
  15. European Southern Observatory, Santiago (Chile)
  16. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Stanford Kavli Inst. for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
  17. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Cahill Center for Astrophysics
  18. Univ. College London, (United Kingdom). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Astrophysics Group
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1574853
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515; PP00P2_138979; PP00P2_166159; PZ00P2_154799/1; PP00P2_138979/1; 200021_157021; NNH16CT03C; 17321; 3180506; AFB-170002
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 489; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher:
Royal Astronomical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; galaxies: active; galaxies: nuclei; galaxies: Seyfert; radio continuum: galaxies

Citation Formats

Bär, Rudolf E., Trakhtenbrot, Benny, Oh, Kyuseok, Koss, Michael J., Wong, O. Ivy, Ricci, Claudio, Schawinski, Kevin, Weigel, Anna K., Sartori, Lia F., Ichikawa, Kohei, Secrest, Nathan J., Stern, Daniel, Pacucci, Fabio, Mushotzky, Richard, Powell, Meredith C., Ricci, Federica, Sani, Eleonora, Smith, Krista L., Harrison, Fiona A., Lamperti, Isabella, and Urry, C. Megan. BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey – XIII. The nature of the most luminous obscured AGN in the low-redshift universe. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2309.
Bär, Rudolf E., Trakhtenbrot, Benny, Oh, Kyuseok, Koss, Michael J., Wong, O. Ivy, Ricci, Claudio, Schawinski, Kevin, Weigel, Anna K., Sartori, Lia F., Ichikawa, Kohei, Secrest, Nathan J., Stern, Daniel, Pacucci, Fabio, Mushotzky, Richard, Powell, Meredith C., Ricci, Federica, Sani, Eleonora, Smith, Krista L., Harrison, Fiona A., Lamperti, Isabella, & Urry, C. Megan. BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey – XIII. The nature of the most luminous obscured AGN in the low-redshift universe. United States. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2309.
Bär, Rudolf E., Trakhtenbrot, Benny, Oh, Kyuseok, Koss, Michael J., Wong, O. Ivy, Ricci, Claudio, Schawinski, Kevin, Weigel, Anna K., Sartori, Lia F., Ichikawa, Kohei, Secrest, Nathan J., Stern, Daniel, Pacucci, Fabio, Mushotzky, Richard, Powell, Meredith C., Ricci, Federica, Sani, Eleonora, Smith, Krista L., Harrison, Fiona A., Lamperti, Isabella, and Urry, C. Megan. Wed . "BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey – XIII. The nature of the most luminous obscured AGN in the low-redshift universe". United States. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2309. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1574853.
@article{osti_1574853,
title = {BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey – XIII. The nature of the most luminous obscured AGN in the low-redshift universe},
author = {Bär, Rudolf E. and Trakhtenbrot, Benny and Oh, Kyuseok and Koss, Michael J. and Wong, O. Ivy and Ricci, Claudio and Schawinski, Kevin and Weigel, Anna K. and Sartori, Lia F. and Ichikawa, Kohei and Secrest, Nathan J. and Stern, Daniel and Pacucci, Fabio and Mushotzky, Richard and Powell, Meredith C. and Ricci, Federica and Sani, Eleonora and Smith, Krista L. and Harrison, Fiona A. and Lamperti, Isabella and Urry, C. Megan},
abstractNote = {In this paper, 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 (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.},
doi = {10.1093/mnras/stz2309},
journal = {Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society},
number = 3,
volume = 489,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {8}
}

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