X-ray spectra of sources in the 13H XMM-NewtonChandra deep field

M. J. Page, N. S. Loaring, T. Dwelly, K. O. Mason, I. McHardy, K. Gunn, D. Moss, T. Sasseen, F. Cordova, J. Kennea, N. Seymour

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33 Scopus citations


We present the X-ray spectra of 86 optically identified sources in the 13H XMM-NewtonChandra deep field which have >70 X-ray counts. The majority of these sources have 2-10 keV fluxes between 10-15 and. The sample consists of 50 broad-line active galactic nuclei (BLAGN), 25 narrow emission-line galaxies (NELGs), six absorption-line galaxies and five Galactic stars. The majority (4250) of the BLAGN have X-ray spectra which are consistent with a power-law shape. They have a mean photon index and an intrinsic dispersion. Three of the BLAGN show curved spectra, with more emission near the high- and low-energy ends of the spectrum relative to the emission in the 1-2 keV range than can be reproduced by the power-law model. Five BLAGN show a deficit of soft X-rays, indicating absorption. We consider a source to be significantly absorbed if a power-law model fit is rejected with >99 per cent confidence and an absorbed power-law model produces an acceptable fit, or if the best-fitting power law is abnormally hard. Significant absorption is more common in the NELGs (1325) and absorption-line galaxies (26) than in the BLAGN (550), but is not universal in any of these classes of object. The majority of the 20 absorbed sources have X-ray spectra consistent with a simple cold photoelectric absorber, but a significant minority (620) require more complex models with either an additional component of soft X-ray emitting plasma, or an ionized absorber. Of the 16 narrow emission- and absorption-line galaxies which do not show evidence for X-ray absorption, only two objects are likely to be powered by star formation, and both have 2-10 keV X-ray luminosities of. The X-ray emission in the other 14 unabsorbed NELGs and galaxies is most likely powered by AGN, which are not detected in the optical because they are outshone by their luminous host galaxies. The Galactic stars show multitemperature thermal spectra which peak between 0.5 and 1 keV. StarAGN discrimination is possible for four of the five stars solely from their X-ray spectra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-170
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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