The X-ray/UV ratio in active galactic nuclei: dispersion and variability⋆
INAF – Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (IAPS-INAF), Via del Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Roma, Italy
3 X-ray Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, USA
4 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, USA
5 Dipartimento di Fisica Ettore Pancini, Università di Napoli Federico II, via Cintia, 80126 Napoli, Italy
6 INFN Unita’di Napoli, via Cintia 9, 80126 Napoli, Italy
7 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana Science Data Center, Via del Politecnico snc, 00133 Roma, Italy
Accepted: 20 August 2018
Context. The well established negative correlation between the αOX spectral slope and the optical/ultraviolet (UV) luminosity, a by-product of the relation between X-rays and optical/UV luminosity, is affected by relatively large dispersion. The main contributors to this dispersion can be variability in the X-ray/UV ratio and/or changes in fundamental physical parameters.
Aims. We want to quantify the contribution from variability within single sources (intra-source dispersion) and that from variations of other quantities different from source to source (inter-source dispersion).
Methods. We use archival data from the XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalog (XMMSSC) and from the XMM-OM Serendipitous Ultraviolet Source Survey (XMMOM-SUSS3). We select a sub-sample in order to decrease the dispersion of the relation due to the presence of radio-loud and broad absorption line objects, and that due to absorptions in both X-ray and optical/UV bands. We use the structure function (SF) to estimate the contribution from variability to the dispersion. We analyse the dependence of the residuals of the relation on various physical parameters in order to characterise the inter-source dispersion.
Results. We find a total dispersion of σ ∼ 0.12 and find that intrinsic variability contributes 56% of the variance of the αOX − LUV relation. If we select only sources with a larger number of observational epochs (≥3) the dispersion of the relation decreases by approximately 15%. We find weak but significant dependencies of the residuals of the relation on black-hole mass and on Eddington ratio, which are also confirmed by a multivariate regression analysis of αOX as a function of UV luminosity and black-hole mass and/or Eddington ratio. We find a weak positive correlation of both the αOX index and the residuals of the αOX − LUV relation with inclination indicators, such as the full width at half maximum (Hβ) and the equivalent width (EW)[OIII], suggesting a weak increase of X-ray/UV ratio with the viewing angle. This suggests the development of new viewing angle indicators possibly applicable at higher redshifts. Moreover, our results suggest the possibility of selecting a sample of objects, based on their viewing angle and/or black-hole mass and Eddington ratio, for which the αOX − LUV relation is as tight as possible, in light of the use of the optical/UV – X-ray luminosity relation to build a distance modulus (DM)-z plane and estimate cosmological parameters.
Key words: galaxies: active / quasars: general / X-rays: galaxies
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