We study the relation between obscuration and supermassive black hole (SMBH) accretion using a large sample of hard X-ray selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We find a strong decrease in the fraction of obscured sources above the Eddington limit for dusty gas (log lambda(Edd) >= -2) confirming earlier results, and consistent with the radiation-regulated unification model. This also explains the difference in the Eddington ratio distribution functions (ERDFs) of type 1 and type 2 AGNs obtained by a recent study. The break in the ERDF of nearby AGNs is at log lambda*(Edd) = -1.34 +/- 0.07. This corresponds to the lambda(Edd) where AGNs transition from having most of their sky covered by obscuring material to being mostly devoid of absorbing material. A similar trend is observed for the luminosity function, which implies that most of the SMBH growth in the local universe happens when the AGN is covered by a large reservoir of gas and dust. These results could be explained with a radiation-regulated growth model, in which AGNs move in the N-H-lambda(Edd) plane during their life cycle. The growth episode starts with the AGN mostly unobscured and accreting at low lambda(Edd). As the SMBH is further fueled, lambda(Edd), N-H and the covering factor increase, leading the AGN to be preferentially observed as obscured. Once lambda(Edd) reaches the Eddington limit for dusty gas, the covering factor and N-H rapidly decrease, leading the AGN to be typically observed as unobscured. As the remaining fuel is depleted, the SMBH goes back into a quiescent phase.

Ricci, C., Ananna, T.T., Temple, M.J., Urry, C.M., Koss, M.J., Trakhtenbrot, B., et al. (2022). BASS XXXVII: The Role of Radiative Feedback in the Growth and Obscuration Properties of Nearby Supermassive Black Holes. THE ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 938(1), 67 [10.3847/1538-4357/ac8e67].

BASS XXXVII: The Role of Radiative Feedback in the Growth and Obscuration Properties of Nearby Supermassive Black Holes

F. Ricci
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

We study the relation between obscuration and supermassive black hole (SMBH) accretion using a large sample of hard X-ray selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We find a strong decrease in the fraction of obscured sources above the Eddington limit for dusty gas (log lambda(Edd) >= -2) confirming earlier results, and consistent with the radiation-regulated unification model. This also explains the difference in the Eddington ratio distribution functions (ERDFs) of type 1 and type 2 AGNs obtained by a recent study. The break in the ERDF of nearby AGNs is at log lambda*(Edd) = -1.34 +/- 0.07. This corresponds to the lambda(Edd) where AGNs transition from having most of their sky covered by obscuring material to being mostly devoid of absorbing material. A similar trend is observed for the luminosity function, which implies that most of the SMBH growth in the local universe happens when the AGN is covered by a large reservoir of gas and dust. These results could be explained with a radiation-regulated growth model, in which AGNs move in the N-H-lambda(Edd) plane during their life cycle. The growth episode starts with the AGN mostly unobscured and accreting at low lambda(Edd). As the SMBH is further fueled, lambda(Edd), N-H and the covering factor increase, leading the AGN to be preferentially observed as obscured. Once lambda(Edd) reaches the Eddington limit for dusty gas, the covering factor and N-H rapidly decrease, leading the AGN to be typically observed as unobscured. As the remaining fuel is depleted, the SMBH goes back into a quiescent phase.
Ricci, C., Ananna, T.T., Temple, M.J., Urry, C.M., Koss, M.J., Trakhtenbrot, B., et al. (2022). BASS XXXVII: The Role of Radiative Feedback in the Growth and Obscuration Properties of Nearby Supermassive Black Holes. THE ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 938(1), 67 [10.3847/1538-4357/ac8e67].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/425803
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