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The NuSTAR extragalactic surveys: The number counts of active galactic nuclei and the resolved fraction of the cosmic X-ray background

Harrison, F.A.; Aird, J.; Civano, F.; Lansbury, G.; Mullaney, J.R.; Ballantyne, D.R.; Alexander, D.M.; Stern, D.; Ajello, M.; Barret, D.; Bauer, F.E.; Baloković, M.; Brandt, W.N.; Brightman, M.; Boggs, S.E.; Christensen, F.E.; Comastri, A.; Craig, W.W.; Moro, A. Del; Forster, K.; Gandhi, P.; Giommi, P.; Grefenstette, B.W.; Hailey, C.J.; Hickox, R.C.; Hornstrup, A.; Kitaguchi, T.; Koglin, J.; Luo, B.; Madsen, K.K.; Mao, P.H.; Miyasaka, H.; Mori, K.; Perri, M.; Pivovaroff, M.; Puccetti, S.; Rana, V.; Treister, E.; Walton, D.; Westergaard, N.J.; Wik, D.; Zappacosta, L.; Zhang, W.W.; Zoglauer, A.

The NuSTAR extragalactic surveys: The number counts of active galactic nuclei and the resolved fraction of the cosmic X-ray background Thumbnail


Authors

F.A. Harrison

J. Aird

F. Civano

G. Lansbury

J.R. Mullaney

D.R. Ballantyne

D. Stern

M. Ajello

D. Barret

F.E. Bauer

M. Baloković

W.N. Brandt

M. Brightman

S.E. Boggs

F.E. Christensen

A. Comastri

W.W. Craig

A. Del Moro

K. Forster

P. Gandhi

P. Giommi

B.W. Grefenstette

C.J. Hailey

R.C. Hickox

A. Hornstrup

T. Kitaguchi

J. Koglin

B. Luo

K.K. Madsen

P.H. Mao

H. Miyasaka

K. Mori

M. Perri

M. Pivovaroff

S. Puccetti

V. Rana

E. Treister

D. Walton

N.J. Westergaard

D. Wik

L. Zappacosta

W.W. Zhang

A. Zoglauer



Abstract

We present the 3–8 keV and 8–24 keV number counts of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) identified in the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) extragalactic surveys. NuSTAR has now resolved 33%–39% of the X-ray background in the 8–24 keV band, directly identifying AGNs with obscuring columns up to $\sim {10}^{25}\,{\mathrm{cm}}^{-2}$. In the softer 3–8 keV band the number counts are in general agreement with those measured by XMM-Newton and Chandra over the flux range $5\times {10}^{-15}\,\lesssim $ S(3–8 keV)/$\mathrm{erg}\,{{\rm{s}}}^{-1}\,{\mathrm{cm}}^{-2}\,\lesssim \,{10}^{-12}$ probed by NuSTAR. In the hard 8–24 keV band NuSTAR probes fluxes over the range $2\times {10}^{-14}\,\lesssim $ S(8–24 keV)/$\mathrm{erg}\,{{\rm{s}}}^{-1}\,{\mathrm{cm}}^{-2}\,\lesssim \,{10}^{-12}$, a factor ~100 fainter than previous measurements. The 8–24 keV number counts match predictions from AGN population synthesis models, directly confirming the existence of a population of obscured and/or hard X-ray sources inferred from the shape of the integrated cosmic X-ray background. The measured NuSTAR counts lie significantly above simple extrapolation with a Euclidian slope to low flux of the Swift/BAT 15–55 keV number counts measured at higher fluxes (S(15–55 keV) gsim 10−11 $\mathrm{erg}\,{{\rm{s}}}^{-1}\,{\mathrm{cm}}^{-2}$), reflecting the evolution of the AGN population between the Swift/BAT local ($z\lt 0.1$) sample and NuSTAR's $z\sim 1$ sample. CXB synthesis models, which account for AGN evolution, lie above the Swift/BAT measurements, suggesting that they do not fully capture the evolution of obscured AGNs at low redshifts.

Citation

Harrison, F., Aird, J., Civano, F., Lansbury, G., Mullaney, J., Ballantyne, D., …Zoglauer, A. (2016). The NuSTAR extragalactic surveys: The number counts of active galactic nuclei and the resolved fraction of the cosmic X-ray background. Astrophysical Journal, 831(2), Article 185. https://doi.org/10.3847/0004-637x/831/2/185

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 24, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 7, 2016
Publication Date Nov 7, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 3, 2017
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 831
Issue 2
Article Number 185
DOI https://doi.org/10.3847/0004-637x/831/2/185
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1356817

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Copyright Statement
© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.






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