Chandra observations of galaxy zoo mergers:frequency of binary active nuclei in massive mergers

Teng, Stacy H. and Schawinski, Kevin and Urry, C. Megan and Darg, Dan W. and Kaviraj, Sugata and Oh, Kyuseok and Bonning, Erin W. and Cardamone, Carolin N. and Keel, William C. and Lintott, Chris J. and Simmons, Brooke D. and Treister, Ezequiel (2012) Chandra observations of galaxy zoo mergers:frequency of binary active nuclei in massive mergers. The Astrophysical Journal, 753 (2). ISSN 0004-637X

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Abstract

We present the results from a Chandra pilot study of 12 massive galaxy mergers selected from Galaxy Zoo. The sample includes major mergers down to a host galaxy mass of 1011 M ☉ that already have optical active galactic nucleus (AGN) signatures in at least one of the progenitors. We find that the coincidences of optically selected active nuclei with mildly obscured (N H 1.1 × 1022 cm–2) X-ray nuclei are relatively common (8/12), but the detections are too faint (<40 counts per nucleus; f 2-10 keV 1.2 × 10–13 erg s–1 cm–2) to reliably separate starburst and nuclear activity as the origin of the X-ray emission. Only one merger is found to have confirmed binary X-ray nuclei, though the X-ray emission from its southern nucleus could be due solely to star formation. Thus, the occurrences of binary AGNs in these mergers are rare (0%-8%), unless most merger-induced active nuclei are very heavily obscured or Compton thick.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
The Astrophysical Journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1912
Subjects:
ID Code:
127650
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
20 Sep 2018 08:58
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
07 Oct 2020 07:00