Tuesday, July 9, 2013

1307.1733 (D. M. Alexander et al.)

The NuSTAR Extragalactic Survey: A First Sensitive Look at the High-Energy Cosmic X-ray Background Population    [PDF]

D. M. Alexander, D. Stern, A. Del Moro, G. B. Lansbury, R. J. Assef, J. Aird, M. Ajello, D. R. Ballantyne, F. E. Bauer, S. E. Boggs, W. N. Brandt, F. E. Christensen, F. Civano, A. Comastri, W. W. Craig, M. Elvis, B. W. Grefenstette, C. J. Hailey, F. A. Harrison, R. C. Hickox, B. Luo, K. K. Madsen, J. R. Mullaney, M. Perri, S. Puccetti, C. Saez, E. Treister, C. M. Urry, W. W. Zhang, C. R. Bridge, P. R. M. Eisenhardt, A. H. Gonzalez, S. H. Miller, C. W. Tsar
We report on the first ten identifications of sources serendipitously detected by the NuSTAR to provide the first sensitive census of the cosmic X-ray background (CXB) source population at >10 keV. We find that these NuSTAR-detected sources are ~100x fainter than those previously detected at >10 keV and have a broad range in redshift and luminosity (z=0.020-2.923 and L_10-40 keV~4x10^{41}-5x10^{45} erg/s); the median redshift and luminosity are z~0.7 and L_10-40 keV~3x10^{44} erg/s, respectively. We characterize these sources on the basis of broad-band ~0.5-32 keV spectroscopy, optical spectroscopy, and broad-band ultraviolet-to-mid-infrared SED analyzes. We find that the dominant source population is quasars with L_10-40 keV>10^{44} erg/s, of which ~50% are obscured with N_H>10^{22} cm^{-2}. However, none of the ten NuSTAR sources are Compton thick (N_H>10^{24} cm^{-2}) and we place a 90% confidence upper limit on the fraction of Compton-thick quasars (L_10-40 keV>10^{44} erg/s) selected at >10 keV of ~33% over the redshift range z=0.5-1.1. We jointly fitted the rest-frame ~10-40 keV data for all of the non-beamed sources with L_10-40 keV>10^{43} erg/s to constrain the average strength of reflection; we find R<1.4 for \Gamma=1.8, broadly consistent with that found for local AGNs observed at >10 keV. We also constrain the host galaxy masses and find a median stellar mass of ~10^{11} M_sun, a factor ~5 times higher than the median stellar mass of nearby high-energy selected AGNs, which may be at least partially driven by the order of magnitude higher X-ray luminosities of the NuSTAR sources. Within the low source-statistic limitations of our study, our results suggest that the overall properties of the NuSTAR sources are broadly similar to those of nearby high-energy selected AGNs but scaled up in luminosity and mass.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.1733

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