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A survey of hard spectrum ROSAT sources - II. Optical identification of hard sources

Page, MJ; Mittaz, JPD; Carrera, FJ; (2001) A survey of hard spectrum ROSAT sources - II. Optical identification of hard sources. MON NOT R ASTRON SOC , 325 (2) 575 - 583. Green open access

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Abstract

We have surveyed 188 ROSAT Position Sensitive Proportional Counter (PSPC) fields for X-ray sources with hard spectra (alpha < 0.5); such sources must be major contributors to the X-ray background at faint fluxes. In this paper we present optical identifications for 62 of these sources: 28 active galactic nuclei (AGN) which show broad lines in their optical spectra (BLAGN), 13 narrow emission line galaxies (NELGs), five galaxies with no visible emission lines, eight clusters and eight Galactic stars.The BLAGN, NELGs and galaxies have similar distributions of X-ray flux and spectra. Their ROSAT spectra are consistent with their being AGN obscured by columns of 20.5 < log(N-H/cm(-2)) < 23. The hard spectrum BLAGN have a distribution of X-ray to optical ratios which is similar to that found for AGN from soft X-ray surveys (1 < alpha (OX) < 2). However, a relatively large proportion (15 per cent) of the BLAGN, NELGs and galaxies are radio loud. This could be because the radio jets in these objects produce intrinsically hard X-ray emission, or if their hardness is caused by absorption, it could be because radio-loud objects are more X-ray luminous than radio-quiet objects. The eight hard sources identified as clusters of galaxies are the brightest, and softest group of sources and hence clusters are unlikely to be an important component of the hard, faint population.We propose that BLAGN are likely to constitute a significant fraction of the faint, hard, 0.5-2keV population and could be important to reproducing the shape of the X-ray background, because they are the most numerous type of object in our sample (comprising almost half the identified sources), and because all our high redshift (z > 1) identified hard sources have broad lines.

Type: Article
Title: A survey of hard spectrum ROSAT sources - II. Optical identification of hard sources
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: surveys, galaxies : active, X-rays : galaxies, X-rays : galaxies : clusters, X-RAY-SPECTRA, MEDIUM SENSITIVITY SURVEY, DEEP SURVEY, SERENDIPITY SURVEY, SOURCE CATALOG, LOCKMAN FIELD, SOURCE SAMPLE, RADIO-QUIET, BLACK-HOLES, SKY SURVEY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/9902
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