Comparison between the luminosity functions of X-ray and [OIII] selected AGN
Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics,
National Observatory of Athens,
Palaia Penteli, 15236, Athens, Greece e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 23 October 2009
We investigate claims according to which the X-ray selection of AGN is not as efficient compared to that based on [OIII] selection because of the effects of X-ray absorption. We construct the predicted X-ray luminosity function both for all Seyferts as well as separately for Seyfert-1 and Seyfert-2 type galaxies, by combining the optical AGN [OIII] luminosity functions computed in SDSS with the corresponding LX-L[OIII] relations. These relations are derived from XMM-Newton observations of all Seyfert galaxies in the Palomar spectroscopic sample of nearby galaxies after a correction for X-ray absorption and optical reddening. We compare the predicted X-ray luminosity functions with those actually observed in the local Universe by HEAO-1, RXTE as well as INTEGRAL. The last luminosity function is obtained in the 17–60 keV region and thus is not affected by absorption even in the case of Compton-thick sources. In the common luminosity regions, the optically and X-ray selected Seyfert galaxies show reasonable agreement. We thus find no evidence that the [OIII] selection provides a more robust tracer of powerful AGN compared to the X-ray. Still, the optical selection probes less luminous Seyferts compared to the current X-ray surveys. These low luminosity levels, are populated by a large number of X-ray unobscured Seyfert-2 galaxies.
Key words: X-rays: general / X-rays: diffuse background / X-rays: galaxies
© ESO, 2010