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Hot Dust Obscured Galaxies with Excess Blue Light: Dual AGN or Single AGN Under Extreme Conditions?

Assef, R. J. and Walton, D. J. and Brightman, M. and Stern, D. and Alexander, D. and Bauer, F. and Blain, A. W. and Díaz-Santos, T. and Eisenhardt, P. R. M. and Finkelstein, S. L. and Hickox, R. C. and Tsai, C.-W. and Wu, J. W. (2016) Hot Dust Obscured Galaxies with Excess Blue Light: Dual AGN or Single AGN Under Extreme Conditions? Astrophysical Journal, 819 (2). Art. No. 111. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/819/2/111.

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Hot dust-obscured galaxies (Hot DOGs) are a population of hyper-luminous infrared galaxies identified by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission from their very red mid-IR colors, and characterized by hot dust temperatures (T > 60 K). Several studies have shown clear evidence that the IR emission in these objects is powered by a highly dust-obscured active galactic nucleus (AGN) that shows close to Compton-thick absorption at X-ray wavelengths. Thanks to the high AGN obscuration, the host galaxy is easily observable, and has UV/optical colors usually consistent with those of a normal galaxy. Here we discuss a sub-population of eight Hot DOGs that show enhanced rest-frame UV/optical emission. We discuss three scenarios that might explain the excess UV emission: (i) unobscured light leaked from the AGN by reflection over the dust or by partial coverage of the accretion disk; (ii) a second unobscured AGN in the system; or (iii) a luminous young starburst. X-ray observations can help discriminate between these scenarios. We study in detail the blue excess Hot DOG WISE J020446.13–050640.8, which was serendipitously observed by Chandra/ACIS-I for 174.5 ks. The X-ray spectrum is consistent with a single, hyper-luminous, highly absorbed AGN, and is strongly inconsistent with the presence of a secondary unobscured AGN. Based on this, we argue that the excess blue emission in this object is most likely either due to reflection or a co-eval starburst. We favor the reflection scenario as the unobscured star formation rate needed to power the UV/optical emission would be ≳ 1000 M_⊙ yr^(−1). Deep polarimetry observations could confirm the reflection hypothesis.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Assef, R. J.0000-0002-9508-3667
Walton, D. J.0000-0001-5819-3552
Brightman, M.0000-0002-8147-2602
Stern, D.0000-0003-2686-9241
Alexander, D.0000-0002-5896-6313
Bauer, F.0000-0002-8686-8737
Blain, A. W.0000-0001-7489-5167
Díaz-Santos, T.0000-0003-0699-6083
Finkelstein, S. L.0000-0001-8519-1130
Hickox, R. C.0000-0003-1468-9526
Tsai, C.-W.0000-0002-9390-9672
Additional Information:© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 November 16; accepted 2016 February 1; published 2016 March 4. We thank Sangeeta Malhotra and James Rhoads for providing us with optical imaging data for the Cetus field. We also thank the anonymous referee for useful comments and suggestions. R.J.A. was supported by Gemini-CONICYT grant number 32120009 and FONDECYT grant number 1151408. FEB acknowledges support from CONICYT-Chile (Basal-CATA PFB-06/2007, FONDECYT 1141218, "EMBIGGEN" Anillo ACT1101), and the Ministry of Economy, Development, and Tourism's Millennium Science Initiative through grant IC120009, awarded to The Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, MAS. T.D.-S. acknowledges support from ALMA-CONYCIT project 31130005 and FONDECYT 1151239. This material is based upon work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Proposal No. 13-ADAP13-0092 issued through the Astrophysics Data Analysis Program. The scientific results reported in this article are based to a significant degree on data obtained from the Chandra Data Archive. This publication makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This work is based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III web site is SDSS-III is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS-III Collaboration including the University of Arizona, the Brazilian Participation Group, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Florida, the French Participation Group, the German Participation Group, Harvard University, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Michigan State/Notre Dame/JINA Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, New Mexico State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the Spanish Participation Group, University of Tokyo, University of Utah, Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Yale University. Some of the observations reported here were obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)32120009
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)1151408
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)Basal-CATA PFB-06/2007
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)1141218
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)Anillo ACT1101
Iniciativa Científica Milenio del Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y TurismoIC120009
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)31130005
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)1151239
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: active; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: high-redshift; infrared: galaxies; quasars: general
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160408-150013366
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:R. J. Assef et al 2016 ApJ 819 111
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:66034
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:12 Apr 2016 23:30
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:52

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