A Large Population of Obscured AGN in Disguise as Low Luminosity AGN in Chandra Deep Field South

, , , , , and . (2020)cite arxiv:2002.00955Comment: 23 pages, 16 figures, submitted to the Astrophysical Journal, first round of revision completed.


Population synthesis models of actively accreting super-massive black holes (or active galactic nuclei -- AGN) predict a large fraction that must grow behind dense, obscuring screens of gas and dust. Deep X-ray surveys are thought to have provided the most complete and unbiased samples of AGN, but there is strong observational evidence that a portion of the population of obscured AGN is being missed. In this paper we use a sample of AGN derived from the deepest X-ray survey to date, the Chandra 7Ms GOODS-South Survey, to investigate the nature of low flux X-ray sources. We make full use of the extensive multi-wavelength coverage of the GOODS-South field, and cross-match our objects with wavelengths from the Radio to the IR. We find the low X-ray flux AGN in our sample have X-ray luminosities that indicate low-luminosity AGN classification, while their radio, infrared and optical counterparts indicate moderate to powerful AGN classification. We find the predicted column densities is on average an order of magnitude higher than the calculated column densities via X-ray detections for X-ray faint sources. We interpret our results as evidence of obscured AGN disguising as low-luminosity AGN via their X-ray luminosities. When we compare the estimation of the obscured AGN space density with and without these objects, we find a difference of 40% in the lowest X-ray luminosity regime probed by our sample.


A Large Population of Obscured AGN in Disguise as Low Luminosity AGN in Chandra Deep Field South

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