M. Young

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Maryland, United States

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Publications (3)17.98 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Using the 4 Ms Chandra Deep Field-South (CDF-S) survey, we have identified a sample of 6845 X-ray-undetected galaxies that dominates the unresolved ≈20%-25% of the 6-8 keV cosmic X-ray background (XRB). This sample was constructed by applying mass and color cuts to sources from a parent catalog based on GOODS-South Hubble Space Telescope z-band imaging of the central 6'radius area of the 4 Ms CDF-S. The stacked 6-8 keV detection is significant at the 3.9σ level, but the stacked emission was not detected in the 4-6 keV band, which indicates the existence of an underlying population of highly obscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Further examinations of these 6845 galaxies indicate that the galaxies on the top of the blue cloud and with redshifts of 1 z 3, magnitudes of 25 z 850 28, and stellar masses of 2 × 108M /M ☉ 2 × 109 make the majority contributions to the unresolved 6-8 keV XRB. Such a population is seemingly surprising given that the majority of the X-ray-detected AGNs reside in massive ( 1010M ☉) galaxies. We discuss constraints upon this underlying AGN population, supporting evidence for relatively low mass galaxies hosting highly obscured AGNs, and prospects for further boosting the stacked signal.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The 4 Ms Chandra Deep Field-South (CDF-S) and other deep X-ray surveys have been highly effective at selecting active galactic nuclei (AGN). However, cosmologically distant low-luminosity AGN (LLAGN) have remained a challenge to identify due to significant contribution from the host galaxy. We identify long-term X-ray variability (~month-years, observed frame) in 20 of 92 CDF-S galaxies spanning redshifts z~0.08-1.02 that do not meet other AGN selection criteria. We show that the observed variability cannot be explained by X-ray binary populations or ultraluminous X-ray sources, so the variability is most likely caused by accretion onto a supermassive black hole. The variable galaxies are not heavily obscured in general, with a stacked effective power-law photon index of Gamma_stack~1.93+/-0.13, and are therefore likely LLAGN. The LLAGN tend to lie a factor of ~6-80 below the extrapolated linear variability-luminosity relation measured for luminous AGN. This may be explained by their lower accretion rates. Variability-independent black-hole mass and accretion-rate estimates for variable galaxies show that they sample a significantly different black-hole mass-accretion rate space, with masses a factor of 2.4 lower and accretion rates a factor of 22.5 lower than variable luminous AGN at the same redshift. We find that an empirical model based on a universal broken power-law PSD function, where the break frequency depends on SMBH mass and accretion rate, roughly reproduces the shape, but not the normalization, of the variability-luminosity trends measured for variable galaxies and more luminous AGN.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We use the 4Ms CDF-S survey to place direct X-ray constraints on the ubiquity of z~2 heavily obscured AGNs in K<22 BzK galaxies. Forty seven of the 222 BzK galaxies in the central region of the CDF-S are detected at X-ray energies, 11 of which have hard X-ray spectral slopes (Gamma<1) indicating the presence of heavily obscured AGN activity. The other 36 X-ray detected BzK galaxies appear to be relatively unobscured AGNs and starburst galaxies; we use X-ray variability analyses over a rest-frame baseline of ~3 years to further confirm the presence of AGN activity in many of these systems. The majority (7 out of 11) of the heavily obscured AGNs have excess IR emission over that expected from star formation (termed "IR-excess galaxies"). However, we find that X-ray detected heavily obscured AGNs only comprise ~25% of the IR-excess galaxy population, which is otherwise composed of relatively unobscured AGNs and starburst galaxies. We find that the typical X-ray spectrum of the heavily obscured AGNs is better characterized by a pure reflection model than an absorbed power-law model, suggesting extreme Compton-thick absorption in some systems. We verify this result by producing a composite rest-frame 2-20 keV spectrum, which has a similar shape as a reflection-dominated X-ray spectrum and reveals an emission feature at rest-frame energy ~6.4 keV, likely to be due to Fe K. These heavily obscured AGNs are likely to be the distant analogs of the reflection-dominated AGNs recently identified at z~0 with >10 keV observatories. On the basis of these analyses we estimate the space density for typical (intrinsic X-ray luminosities of L_X>1E43 erg/s) heavily obscured and Compton-thick AGNs at z~2. Our space-density constraints are conservative lower limits but they are already consistent with the range of predictions from X-ray background models.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · The Astrophysical Journal

Publication Stats

86 Citations
17.98 Total Impact Points

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  • 2012
    • Pennsylvania State University
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      University Park, Maryland, United States
  • 2011
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States