Host galaxy properties of the Swift BAT ultra hard X-ray selected active galactic nucleus.
KOSS M., MUSHOTZKY R., VEILLEUX S., WINTER L.M., BAUMGARTNER W., TUELLER J., GEHRELS N. and VALENCIC L.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have assembled the largest sample of ultra hard X-ray selected (14-195 keV) active galactic nucleus (AGN) with host galaxy optical data to date, with 185 nearby (z < 0.05), moderate luminosity AGNs from the Swift BAT sample. The BAT AGN host galaxies have intermediate optical colors (u - r and g - r) that are bluer than a comparison sample of inactive galaxies and optically selected AGNs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) which are chosen to have the same stellar mass. Based on morphological classifications from the RC3 and the Galaxy Zoo, the bluer colors of BAT AGNs are mainly due to a higher fraction of mergers and massive spirals than in the comparison samples. BAT AGNs in massive galaxies (log M*>10.5) have a 5-10 times higher rate of spiral morphologies than in SDSS AGNs or inactive galaxies. We also see enhanced far-infrared emission in BAT AGN suggestive of higher levels of star formation compared to the comparison samples. BAT AGNs are preferentially found in the most massive host galaxies with high concentration indexes indicative of large bulge-to-disk ratios and large supermassive black holes. The narrow-line (NL) BAT AGNs have similar intrinsic luminosities as the SDSS NL Seyferts based on measurements of [O III] λ5007. There is also a correlation between the stellar mass and X-ray emission. The BAT AGNs in mergers have bluer colors and greater ultra hard X-ray emission compared to the BAT sample as a whole. In agreement with the unified model of AGNs, and the relatively unbiased nature of the BAT sources, the host galaxy colors and morphologies are independent of measures of obscuration such as X-ray column density or Seyfert type. The high fraction of massive spiral galaxies and galaxy mergers in BAT AGNs suggest that host galaxy morphology is related to the activation and fueling of local AGN.
galaxies: active - galaxies: interactions - X-rays: galaxies