Infrared and hard X-ray diagnostics of active galactic nucleus identification from the Swift/bat and AKARI all-sky surveys

K. Matsuta, P. Gandhi, T. Dotani, T. Nakagawa, N. Isobe, Y. Ueda, K. Ichikawa, Y. Terashima, S. Oyabu, I. Yamamura, Stawarz

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34 Citations (Scopus)


We combine data from two all-sky surveys in order to study the connection between the infrared and hard X-ray (>10keV) properties for local active galactic nuclei (AGNs). The Swift Burst Alert Telescope all-sky survey provides an unbiased, flux-limited selection of hard X-ray-detected AGNs. Cross-correlating the 22month hard X-ray survey with the AKARI all-sky survey, we studied 158 AGNs detected by the AKARI instruments. We find a strong correlation for most AGNs between the infrared (9, 18, and 90 μm) and hard X-ray (14-195keV) luminosities, and quantify the correlation for various subsamples of AGNs. Partial correlation analysis confirms the intrinsic correlation after removing the redshift contribution. The correlation for radio galaxies has a slope and normalization identical to that for Seyfert 1 galaxies, implying similar hard X-ray/infrared emission processes in both. In contrast, Compton-thick (CT) sources show a large deficit in the hard X-ray band, because high gas column densities diminish even their hard X-ray luminosities. We propose two photometric diagnostics for source classification: one is an X-ray luminosity versus infrared color diagram, in which type 1 radio-loud AGNs are well isolated from the others in the sample. The other uses the X-ray versus infrared color as a useful redshift-independent indicator for identifying CT AGNs. Importantly, CT AGNs and starburst galaxies in composite systems can also be differentiated in this plane based upon their hard X-ray fluxes and dust temperatures. This diagram may be useful as a new indicator to classify objects in new and upcoming surveys such as WISE and NuSTAR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul 10


  • X-rays: galaxies
  • galaxies: active
  • infrared: galaxies


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