Astrophys. J., 905, 29-29 (2020/December-2)
Active galactic nucleus ghosts: a systematic search for faded nuclei.
ESPARZA-ARREDONDO D., OSORIO-CLAVIJO N., GONZALEZ-MARTIN O., VICTORIA-CEBALLOS C., HARO-CORZO S.A.R., REYES-AMADOR O.U., LOPEZ-SANCHEZ J. and PASETTO A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Physical processes such as reignition, enhancement, and fading of active galactic nuclei (AGN) are not entirely understood because the timeline of these events is expected to last many years. However, it is well known that the differences in the energy budget between AGN components, like the optical ionizing region and the mid-infrared (MIR) dust echoes, can be interpreted as a hint of AGN evolution. Here we present a catalog of 88 AGN candidates showing hints of the fading and rising of their activity in the nearby universe. We use AGN scaling relations to select them from an initial sample of 877 candidates using publicly available optical, X-ray, and MIR luminosities. We then use the multiwavelength information to discard sources contaminated with extranuclear emission and those with an X-ray luminosity not well corrected for absorption. We find that 96% of our candidates are fading sources. This result suggests a scenario where the universe had its peak of AGN activity somewhere in the past and is dominated by a fading phase at the present time. Alternatively, the fading phase is longer than the rising phase, which is consistent with galaxy merger simulations. Around 50% of these fading candidates are associated with merging or interacting systems. Finally, we also find the existence of jets in ∼30% of these candidates and that the preferred AGN dust geometry is torus-like instead of wind-like. Our results are compatible with the fading of nuclear activity, expected if they are in an inefficient state.
© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Active galactic nuclei - Catalogs - Active galaxies - Infrared galaxies - X-ray active galactic nuclei
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