EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 445, Number 2, January II 2006
Page(s) 457 - 463
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20053486

A&A 445, 457-463 (2006)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20053486

The HELLAS2XMM survey

IX. Spectroscopic identification of super-EROs hosting AGNs
R. Maiolino1, M. Mignoli2, L. Pozzetti2, P. Severgnini3, M. Brusa4, C. Vignali5, S. Puccetti6, P. Ciliegi2, F. Cocchia6, A. Comastri2, F. Fiore6, F. La Franca7, G. Matt7, S. Molendi8 and G. C. Perola7

1  INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, L.go E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
    e-mail: maiolino@arcetri.astro.it
2  INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
    e-mail: [marco.mignoli;lucia.pozzetti;andrea.comastri]@bo.astro.it
3  INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera 28, 20121 Milano, Italy
    e-mail: paola@brera.mi.astro.it
4  Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany
    e-mail: marcella@mpe.mpg.de
5  Dipartimento di Astronomia, Universitá di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
    e-mail: cristian.vignali@bo.astro.it
6  INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio, Italy
    e-mail: [cocchia;fiore;puccetti]@mporzio.astro.it
7  Dipartimento di Fisica Universitá di Roma Tre, via della Vasca Navale 84, 00146 Roma, Italy
    e-mail: [lafranca;matt;perola]@fis.uniroma3.it
8  IASF-CNR, Istituto di Fisica Cosmica, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
    e-mail: silvano@mi.iasf.cnr.it

(Received 20 May 2005 / Accepted 5 September 2005 )

We present VLT near-IR spectroscopic observations of three X-ray sources characterized by extremely high X-ray-to-optical ratios ( $\rm X/O>40$), extremely red colors ( 6.3<R-K<7.4, i.e. EROs) and bright infrared magnitudes ( 17.6<K<18.3). These objects are very faint in the optical, making their spectroscopic identification extremely challenging. Instead, our near-IR spectroscopic observations have been successful in identifying the redshift of two of them (z=2.08 and z=1.35), and tentatively even of the third one (z=2.13). When combined with the X-ray properties, our results clearly indicate that all these objects host obscured QSOs ( $4\times10^{44}<L_{2{-}10~\rm keV}<1.5\times 10^{45}~\rm erg~s^{-1}$, $2\times10^{22}<N_{\rm H} <4\times 10^{23}~\rm cm^{-2}$) at high redshift. The only object with unresolved morphology in the K band shows broad H$\alpha$ emission, but not broad H$\beta$, implying a type 1.9 AGN classification. The other two objects are resolved and dominated by the host galaxy light in the K band, and appear relatively quiescent: one of them has a LINER-like emission line spectrum and the other presents only a single, weak emission line which we tentatively identify with H$\alpha$. The galaxy luminosities for the latter two objects are an order of magnitude brighter than typical local LK* galaxies and the derived stellar masses are well in excess of $10^{11}~M_{\odot}$. For these objects we estimate black hole masses higher than $10^9~M_{\odot}$ and we infer that they are radiating at Eddington ratios $L/L_{\rm Edd}\le 0.1$. We discuss the implications of these findings for the coevolution of galaxies and black hole growth. Our results provide further support that X-ray sources with high X/O ratios and very red colors tend to host obscured QSO in very massive galaxies at high redshift.

Key words: galaxies: active -- quasars: emission lines -- quasars: general -- infrared: galaxies -- X-rays: galaxies

SIMBAD Objects

© ESO 2005