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A NuSTAR Survey of Nearby Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies

Teng, Stacy H. and Rigby, Jane R. and Stern, Daniel and Ptak, Andrew and Alexander, D. M. and Bauer, Franz E. and Boggs, Stephen E. and Brandt, W. Niel and Christensen, Finn E. and Comastri, Andrea and Craig, William W. and Farrah, Duncan and Gandhi, Poshak and Hailey, Charles J. and Harrison, Fiona A. and Hickox, Ryan C. and Koss, Michael and Luo, Bin and Treister, Ezequiel and Zhang, William W. (2015) A NuSTAR Survey of Nearby Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 814 (1). Art. No. 56. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/814/1/56.

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We present a Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), Chandra, and XMM-Newton survey of nine of the nearest ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs). The unprecedented sensitivity of NuSTAR at energies above 10 keV enables spectral modeling with far better precision than was previously possible. Six of the nine sources observed were detected sufficiently well by NuSTAR to model in detail their broadband X-ray spectra, and recover the levels of obscuration and intrinsic X-ray luminosities. Only one source (IRAS 13120–5453) has a spectrum consistent with a Compton-thick active galactic nucleus (AGN), but we cannot rule out that a second source (Arp 220) harbors an extremely highly obscured AGN as well. Variability in column density (reduction by a factor of a few compared to older observations) is seen in IRAS 05189–2524 and Mrk 273, altering the classification of these borderline sources from Compton-thick to Compton-thin. The ULIRGs in our sample have surprisingly low observed fluxes in high-energy (>10 keV) X-rays, especially compared to their bolometric luminosities. They have lower ratios of unabsorbed 2–10 keV to bolometric luminosity, and unabsorbed 2–10 keV to mid-IR [O iv] line luminosity than do Seyfert 1 galaxies. We identify IRAS 08572+3915 as another candidate intrinsically X-ray weak source, similar to Mrk 231. We speculate that the X-ray weakness of IRAS 08572+3915 is related to its powerful outflow observed at other wavelengths.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Rigby, Jane R.0000-0002-7627-6551
Stern, Daniel0000-0003-2686-9241
Ptak, Andrew0000-0001-5655-1440
Alexander, D. M.0000-0002-5896-6313
Bauer, Franz E.0000-0002-8686-8737
Boggs, Stephen E.0000-0001-9567-4224
Brandt, W. Niel0000-0002-0167-2453
Christensen, Finn E.0000-0001-5679-1946
Comastri, Andrea0000-0003-3451-9970
Farrah, Duncan0000-0003-1748-2010
Gandhi, Poshak0000-0003-3105-2615
Harrison, Fiona A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Hickox, Ryan C.0000-0003-1468-9526
Koss, Michael0000-0002-7998-9581
Luo, Bin0000-0002-9036-0063
Treister, Ezequiel0000-0001-7568-6412
Zhang, William W.0000-0002-1426-9698
Additional Information:© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 March 30; accepted 2015 October 9; published 2015 November 17. We thank Lee Armus who provided useful comments in the early planning phase of the NuSTAR ULIRG program. This work was supported under NASA Contract No. NNG08FD60C, and made use of data from the NuSTAR mission, a project led by the California Institute of Technology, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank the NuSTAR Operations, Software and Calibration teams for support with the execution and analysis of these observations. This research has made use of the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS) jointly developed by the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC, Italy) and the California Institute of Technology (USA). The scientific results reported in this article are based in part on observations made by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and data obtained from the Chandra Data Archive published previously in cited articles. This work, in part, made use of observations obtained with XMM-Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and the USA (NASA). We made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, under contract with NASA. S.H.T. was supported by a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship. Partial funding for this research was provided by a NASA XMM-Newton AO-12 Grant award associated with proposal number 72261. Support for the work of E.T. was provided by the Center of Excellence in Astrophysics and Associated Technologies (PFB 06), by the FONDECYT regular grant 1120061 and by the CONICYT Anillo project ACT1101. Facilities: NuSTAR, Chandra, XMM-Newton - The NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, NuSTAR, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Center for Astrophysics and Associated Technologies (CATA)PFB 06
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)1120061
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)ACT1101
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: active; X-rays: galaxies
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Space Radiation Laboratory2015-22
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151022-145255616
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Stacy H. Teng et al 2015 ApJ 814 56
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:61451
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:22 Oct 2015 22:06
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:49

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