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AGN torus properties with WISE

  • Robert Nikutta (a1) (a2), Maia Nenkova (a3), Željko Ivezić (a4), Nicholas Hunt-Walker (a4) and Moshe Elitzur (a2)...

Abstract

The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has scanned the entire sky with unprecedented sensitivity in four infrared bands, at 3.4, 4.6, 12, and 22 μm. The WISE Point Source Catalog contains more than 560 million objects, among them hundreds of thousands of galaxies with Active Nuclei (AGN). While type 1 AGN, owing to their bright and unobscured nature, are easy to detect and constitute a rather complete and unbiased sample, their type 2 counterparts, postulated by AGN unification, are not as straightforward to identify. Matching the WISE catalog with known QSOs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey we confirm previous identification of the type 1 locus in the WISE color space. Using a very large database of the popular Clumpy torus models, we find the colors of the putative type 2 counterparts, and also, for the first time, predict their number vs. flux relation that can be expected to be observed in any given WISE color range. This will allow us to put statistically very significant constraints on the torus parameters. Our results are a successful test of the AGN unification scheme.

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AGN torus properties with WISE

  • Robert Nikutta (a1) (a2), Maia Nenkova (a3), Željko Ivezić (a4), Nicholas Hunt-Walker (a4) and Moshe Elitzur (a2)...

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