Time filter

Source Type

Rome, Italy

Pacucci F.,Normal School of Pisa | Ferrara A.,Normal School of Pisa | Ferrara A.,University of Tokyo | Grazian A.,National institute for astrophysics | And 3 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2016

The first black hole seeds, formed when the Universe was younger than 500 Myr, are recognized to play an important role for the growth of early (z ~ 7) supermassive black holes. While progresses have been madein understanding their formation and growth, their observational signatures remain largely unexplored. As a result, no detection of such sources has been confirmed so far. Supported by numerical simulations, we present a novel photometric method to identify black hole seed candidates in deep multiwavelength surveys. We predict that these highly obscured sources are characterized by a steep spectrum in the infrared (1.6-4.5 μm), i.e. by very red colours. The method selects the only two objects with a robust X-ray detection found in the CANDELS/GOODS-S survey with a photometric redshift z 6. Fitting their infrared spectra only with a stellar component would require unrealistic star formation rates (≥2000M⊙ yr-1). To date, the selected objects represent the most promising black hole seed candidates, possibly formed via the direct collapse black hole scenario, with predicted mass 105M⊙. While this result is based on the best photometric observations of high-z sources available to date, additional progress is expected from spectroscopic and deeper X-ray data. Upcoming observatories, like the JWST, will greatly expand the scope of this work. © 2016 The Authors.

Marinucci A.,Third University of Rome | Matt G.,Third University of Rome | Bianchi S.,Third University of Rome | Lu T.N.,California Institute of Technology | And 19 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

We present NuSTAR observations of the bright Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 2110 obtained in 2012, when the source was at the highest flux level ever observed, and in 2013, when the source was at a more typical flux level. We include archival observations from other X-ray satellites, namely XMM-Newton, Suzaku, BeppoSAX, Chandra and Swift. Simultaneous NuSTAR and Swift broad-band spectra (in the 3-80 keV range) indicate a cutoff energy Ec > 210 keV, with no detectable contribution from Compton reflection. NGC 2110 is one of the very few sources where no evidence for distant Compton-thick scattering is found and, by using temporal information collected over more than a decade, we investigate variations of the iron Kα line on time-scales of years. The Fe Kα line is likely the sum of two components: one constant (originating from distant Compton-thick material) and the other one variable and linearly correlated with the source flux (possibly arising from Compton-thin material much closer to the black hole). © 2014 The Authors.

Gandhi P.,Durham University | Lansbury G.B.,Durham University | Alexander D.M.,Durham University | Stern D.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | And 32 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2014

We present Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) 3-40 keV observations of the optically selected Type 2 quasar (QSO2) SDSS J1034+6001 or Mrk 34. The high-quality hard X-ray spectrum and archival XMM-Newton data can be fitted self-consistently with a reflection-dominated continuum and a strong Fe Kα fluorescence line with equivalent width >1 keV. Prior X-ray spectral fitting below 10 keV showed the source to be consistent with being obscured by Compton-thin column densities of gas along the line of sight, despite evidence for much higher columns from multiwavelength data. NuSTAR now enables a direct measurement of this column and shows that N Hlies in the Compton-thick (CT) regime. The new data also show a high intrinsic 2-10 keV luminosity of L 2-10 ∼ 1044 erg s-1, in contrast to previous low-energy X-ray measurements where L 2-10 ≲ 1043 erg s-1 (i.e., X-ray selection below 10 keV does not pick up this source as an intrinsically luminous obscured quasar). Both the obscuring column and the intrinsic power are about an order of magnitude (or more) larger than inferred from pre-NuSTAR X-ray spectral fitting. Mrk 34 is thus a "gold standard" CT QSO2 and is the nearest non-merging system in this class, in contrast to the other local CT quasar NGC 6240, which is currently undergoing a major merger coupled with strong star formation. For typical X-ray bolometric correction factors, the accretion luminosity of Mrk 34 is high enough to potentially power the total infrared luminosity. X-ray spectral fitting also shows that thermal emission related to star formation is unlikely to drive the observed bright soft component below ∼3 keV, favoring photoionization instead. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Bauer F.E.,University of Santiago de Chile | Bauer F.E.,Millenium Institute of Astrophysics | Bauer F.E.,Space Science Institute | Arevalo P.,EMBIGGEN Anillo | And 32 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

We report on high-energy X-ray observations of the Compton-thick Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068 with NuSTAR, which provide the best constraints to date on its >10 keV spectral shape. The NuSTAR data are consistent with those from past and current instruments to within cross-calibration uncertainties, and we find no strong continuum or line variability over the past two decades, which is in line with its X-ray classification as a reflection-dominated Compton-thick active galactic nucleus. The combined NuSTAR, Chandra, XMM-Newton, and Swift BAT spectral data set offers new insights into the complex secondary emission seen instead of the completely obscured transmitted nuclear continuum. The critical combination of the high signal-to-noise NuSTAR data and the decomposition of the nuclear and extranuclear emission with Chandra allow us to break several model degeneracies and greatly aid physical interpretation. When modeled as a monolithic (i.e., a single NH) reflector, none of the common Compton reflection models are able to match the neutral fluorescence lines and broad spectral shape of the Compton reflection hump without requiring unrealistic physical parameters (e.g., large Fe overabundances, inconsistent viewing angles, or poor fits to the spatially resolved spectra). A multi-component reflector with three distinct column densities (e.g., with best-fit values of NH of 1.4 × 1023, 5.0 × 1024, and 1025 cm-2) provides a more reasonable fit to the spectral lines and Compton hump, with near-solar Fe abundances. In this model, the higher NH component provides the bulk of the flux to the Compton hump, while the lower NH component produces much of the line emission, effectively decoupling two key features of Compton reflection. We find that ≈30% of the neutral Fe K-α line flux arises from >2″ (≈140 pc) and is clearly extended, implying that a significant fraction (and perhaps most) of the <10 keV reflected component arises from regions well outside a parsec-scale torus. These results likely have ramifications for the interpretation of Compton-thick spectra from observations with poorer signal-to-noise and/or more distant objects. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Mullaney J.R.,Durham University | Mullaney J.R.,University of Sheffield | Del-Moro A.,Durham University | Aird J.,Durham University | And 41 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

We present the initial results and the source catalog from the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) survey of the Extended Chandra Deep Field South (hereafter, ECDFS) - currently the deepest contiguous component of the NuSTAR extragalactic survey program. The survey covers the full ≈30′ ×30′ area of this field to a maximum depth of ≈360 ks ( ks when corrected for vignetting at 3-24 keV), reaching sensitivity limits of (3-8 keV), (8-24 keV), and (3-24 keV). A total of 54 sources are detected over the full field, although five of these are found to lie below our significance threshold once contaminating flux from neighboring (i.e., blended) sources is taken into account. Of the remaining 49 that are significant, 19 are detected in the 8-24 keV band. The 8-24 to 3-8 keV band ratios of the 12 sources that are detected in both bands span the range 0.39-1.7, corresponding to a photon index range of , with a median photon index of . The redshifts of the 49 sources in our main sample span the range , and their rest-frame 10-40 keV luminosities (derived from the observed 8-24 keV fluxes) span the range , sampling below the "knee" of the X-ray luminosity function out to . Finally, we identify one NuSTAR source that has neither a Chandra nor an XMM-Newton counterpart, but that shows evidence of nuclear activity at infrared wavelengths and thus may represent a genuine, new X-ray source detected by NuSTAR in the ECDFS. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Discover hidden collaborations