Are optical and X-ray AGN mostly disjoint? [GA]

The relationship between the populations of optically and X-ray selected Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) has been unclear due to divergent results from different studies. Arnold et al. (2009) claim that X-ray AGN are almost entirely disjoint from optical AGN, while the Swift-BAT 70-month hard X-ray survey reported that 553 of their 711 X-ray AGN are optical. In this work, we set out to understand this difference by cross-checking between these studies and examining their sampling and AGN-selection criteria. We also re-analyze the X-ray and optical AGN in 16 groups and clusters reported by Arnold et al. using our own optical spectrum fitting techniques. We find that 6 of the 8 X-ray AGN in the Arnold et al. sample are also optical AGN, contrary to Arnold et al.’s report that only 1 of the 8 X-ray AGN is also an optical AGN, thereby falsifies their conclusion that optical and X-ray AGN are nearly disjoint sets.

Read this paper on arXiv…

Y. Dai and G. Farrar
Fri, 8 Dec 17

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