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Published July 10, 2020 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Hot Dust-Obscured Galaxies with Excess Blue Light


Hot dust-obscured galaxies (Hot DOGs) are among the most luminous galaxies in the universe. Powered by highly obscured, possibly Compton-thick, active galactic nuclei (AGNs), Hot DOGs are characterized by spectral energy distributions that are very red in the mid-infrared yet dominated by the host galaxy stellar emission in the UV and optical. An earlier study identified a subsample of Hot DOGs with significantly enhanced UV emission. One target, W0204–0506, was studied in detail and, based on Chandra observations, it was concluded that the enhanced emission was most likely due to either extreme unobscured star formation (star formation rate > 1000 M_⊙ yr⁻¹) or to light from the highly obscured AGN scattered by gas or dust into our line of sight. Here, we present a follow-up study of W0204–0506 as well as two more Hot DOGs with excess UV emission. For the two new objects we obtained Chandra/ACIS-S observations, and for all three targets we obtained Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3 F555W and F160W imaging. The analysis of these observations, combined with multiwavelength photometry and UV/optical spectroscopy suggests that UV emission is most likely dominated by light from the central highly obscured, hyperluminous AGN that has been scattered into our line of sight, by either gas or dust. We cannot decisively rule out, however, that star formation or a second AGN in the system may significantly contribute to the UV excess of these targets.

Additional Information

© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 April 25; revised 2020 May 26; accepted 2020 May 28; published 2020 July 8. We thank J. Comerford and B. Weiner for carrying out observations presented in this article. We also thank the anonymous referee for the comments and suggestions to improve the manuscript. R.J.A. was supported by FONDECYT grant Nos. 1151408 and 1191124. D.J.W. acknowledges financial support from the STFC Ernest Rutherford fellowship. H.D.J. was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2017R1A6A3A04005158). F.E.B. acknowledges support from CONICYT-Chile (Basal AFB-170002) and the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism's Millenium Science Initiative through grant IC120009, awarded to The Millenium Institute of Astrophysics, MAS. T.D-S. acknowledges support from the CASSACA and CONICYT fund CAS-CONICYT Call 2018. J.W. is supported by the NSFC grant 11690024 and SPRP CAS grant XDB23000000. C.-T. was supported by a grant from the NSFC (No. 11973051). This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program #14358. Support for program #14358 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. The scientific results reported in this article are based to a significant degree on data obtained from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and observations made by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and published previously in cited articles. Support for this work was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through Chandra Award Number 17700696 issued by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of the National Aeronautics Space Administration under contract NAS8-03060. 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 Pan-STARRS1 Surveys (PS1) have been made possible through contributions of the Institute for Astronomy, the University of Hawaii, the Pan-STARRS Project Office, the Max Planck Society and its participating institutes, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, The Johns Hopkins University, Durham University, the University of Edinburgh, Queen's University Belfast, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network Incorporated, the National Central University of Taiwan, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant No. NNX08AR22G issued through the Planetary Science Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation under grant No. AST-1238877, the University of Maryland, and Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. 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 website is http://www.sdss3.org/. 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.

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