Characterization of AGN from the XMM–Newton Slew Survey

Starling, R. L. C.; Wildy, C.; Wiersema, K.; Mateos, S.; Saxton, R. D.; Read, A. M. and Mingo, B. (2017). Characterization of AGN from the XMM–Newton Slew Survey. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 468(1) pp. 378–388.



We present optical spectroscopy of candidate active galactic nuclei (AGN) pinpointed by a Swift follow-up campaign on unidentified transients in the XMM-Newton Slew Survey, increasing the completeness of the identifications of AGN in the Survey. Our Swift follow-up campaign identified 17 X-ray Telescope-detected candidate AGN, of which 9 were selected for optical follow-up and a further two were confirmed as AGN elsewhere. Using data obtained at the William Herschel Telescope, Very Large Telescope and New Technology Telescope, we find AGN features in seven of the candidates. We classify six as Seyfert types 1.0-1.5, with broad-line region velocities spanning 2000-12000 km s-1, and identify one as a possible type II AGN, consistent with the lack of a soft band X-ray detection in the Slew Survey. The virial black hole mass estimates for the sample lie between 1 × 108 and 3 × 109 M, with one source likely emitting close to its Eddington rate, LBol/LEdd ~ 0.9. We find a wide redshift range 0.08 < z < 0.9 for the nine now confirmed AGN drawn from the unidentified Slew Survey sample. One source remaining unclassified shows outbursts rarely seen before in AGN. We conclude that AGN discovered in this way are consistent with the largely non-varying, Slew-selected, known AGN population. We also find parallels with XMM-Newton Bright Serendipitous Survey AGN selected from pointed observations, and postulate that shallow X-ray surveys select AGN drawn from the same populations that have been characterized in deeper X-ray-selected samples.

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