The most obscured AGN in the COSMOS field

G. Lanzuisi, M. Perna, I. Delvecchio, S. Berta, M. Brusa, Nico Cappelluti, A. Comastri, R. Gilli, C. Gruppioni, M. Mignoli, F. Pozzi, G. Vietri, C. Vignali, G. Zamorani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Highly obscured active galactic nuclei (AGN) are common in nearby galaxies, but are difficult to observe beyond the local Universe, where they are expected to significantly contribute to the black hole accretion rate density. Furthermore, Compton-thick (CT) absorbers (NH ≳ 1024 cm-2) suppress even the hard X-ray (2-10 keV) AGN nuclear emission, and therefore the column density distribution above 1024 cm-2 is largely unknown. We present the identification and multi-wavelength properties of a heavily obscured (NH ≳ 1025 cm-2), intrinsically luminous (L2-10 > 1044 erg s-1) AGN at z = 0.353 in the COSMOS field. Several independent indicators, such as the shape of the X-ray spectrum, the decomposition of the spectral energy distribution and X-ray/[NeV] and X-ray/6 μm luminosity ratios, agree on the fact that the nuclear emission must be suppressed by a ≳1025 cm-2 column density. The host galaxy properties show that this highly obscured AGN is hosted in a massive star-forming galaxy, showing a barred morphology, which is known to correlate with the presence of CT absorbers. Finally, asymmetric and blueshifted components in several optical high-ionization emission lines indicate the presence of a galactic outflow, possibly driven by the intense AGN activity (LBol/LEdd = 0.3-0.5). Such highly obscured, highly accreting AGN are intrinsically very rare at low redshift, whereas they are expected to be much more common at the peak of the star formation and BH accretion history, at z ∼ 2-3. We demonstrate that a fully multi-wavelength approach can recover a sizable sample of such peculiar sources in large and deep surveys such as COSMOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA120
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume578
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

active galactic nuclei
accretion
galaxies
wavelength
absorbers
x rays
erg
ionization
outflow
decomposition
spectral energy distribution
massive stars
wavelengths
density distribution
COSMOS
star formation
universe
history
luminosity
histories

Keywords

  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: nuclei
  • X-rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Lanzuisi, G., Perna, M., Delvecchio, I., Berta, S., Brusa, M., Cappelluti, N., ... Zamorani, G. (2015). The most obscured AGN in the COSMOS field. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 578, [A120]. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201526036

The most obscured AGN in the COSMOS field. / Lanzuisi, G.; Perna, M.; Delvecchio, I.; Berta, S.; Brusa, M.; Cappelluti, Nico; Comastri, A.; Gilli, R.; Gruppioni, C.; Mignoli, M.; Pozzi, F.; Vietri, G.; Vignali, C.; Zamorani, G.

In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 578, A120, 01.06.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lanzuisi, G, Perna, M, Delvecchio, I, Berta, S, Brusa, M, Cappelluti, N, Comastri, A, Gilli, R, Gruppioni, C, Mignoli, M, Pozzi, F, Vietri, G, Vignali, C & Zamorani, G 2015, 'The most obscured AGN in the COSMOS field', Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 578, A120. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201526036
Lanzuisi G, Perna M, Delvecchio I, Berta S, Brusa M, Cappelluti N et al. The most obscured AGN in the COSMOS field. Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2015 Jun 1;578. A120. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201526036
Lanzuisi, G. ; Perna, M. ; Delvecchio, I. ; Berta, S. ; Brusa, M. ; Cappelluti, Nico ; Comastri, A. ; Gilli, R. ; Gruppioni, C. ; Mignoli, M. ; Pozzi, F. ; Vietri, G. ; Vignali, C. ; Zamorani, G. / The most obscured AGN in the COSMOS field. In: Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2015 ; Vol. 578.
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