Spectral energy distribution of hyperluminous infrared galaxies
Instituto de Física de Cantabria (IFCA), CSIC-UC,
Avda. de los Castros, 39005 Santander, Spain
2 Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via Brera 21, 20121 Milano, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
3 LAEX, Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA); LAEFF, PO Box 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
4 Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), IASF-Roma, Via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
Accepted: 2 March 2010
Aims. The relationship between star formation and super-massive black hole growth is central to our understanding of galaxy formation and evolution. Hyperluminous infrared galaxies (HLIRG) are unique laboratories to investigate the connection between starburst (SB) and active galactic nuclei (AGN), because they exhibit extreme star-formation rates, and most of them show evidence of harbouring powerful AGN.
Methods. Our previous X-ray study of a sample of HLIRG shows that the X-ray emission of most of these sources is dominated by AGN activity. To improve our estimate of the relative contribution of the AGN and SB emission to its total bolometric output, we have built multi-wavelength (from radio to X-rays) spectral energy distributions (SED) for these HLIRG and fitted standard empirical AGN and SB templates to these SED.
Results. In broad terms, most sources are well fitted with this method, and we found AGN and SB contributions similar to those obtained by previous studies of HLIRG. We have classified the HLIRG SED into two groups, class A and class B. Class A HLIRG show a flat SED from the optical to the infrared energy range. Three out of seven class A sources can be modelled with a pure luminosity-dependent quasar template, while the rest of them require a type 1 AGN template and a SB template. The SB component is dominant in three out of four class A objects. Class B HLIRG show SED with a prominent and broad IR bump. These sources cannot easily be modelled with a combination of pure AGN and pure SB, they require templates of composite objects, suggesting that of their emission comes from stellar formation processes.
Conclusions. We propose that our sample is actually composed of three different populations: very luminous quasars (class A objects with negligible SB contribution), young galaxies going through their maximal star-formation period (class A objects with significant SB emission) and the high luminosity tail of the ultraluminous infrared galaxies population distribution (class B sources).
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: starburst / galaxies: evolution / X-rays: galaxies / infrared: galaxies
© ESO, 2010