The emission from individual X-ray sources in the Chandra Deep Fields and XMM-Newton Lockman Hole shows that almost half of the hard X-ray background above 6 keV is unresolved and implies the existence of a missing population of heavily obscured active galactic nuclei (AGN). We have stacked the 0.5-8 keV X-ray emission from optical sources in the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS; which covers the Chandra Deep Fields) to determine whether these galaxies, which are individually undetected in X-rays, are hosting the hypothesized missing AGN. In the 0.5-6 keV energy range, the stacked-source emission corresponds to the remaining 10-20 per cent of the total background - the fraction that has not been resolved by Chandra. The spectrum of the stacked emission is consistent with starburst activity or weak AGN emission. In the 6-8 keV band, we find that upper limits to the stacked X-ray intensity from the GOODS galaxies are consistent with the ∼40 per cent of the total background that remains unresolved, but further selection refinement is required to identify the X-ray sources and confirm their contribution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science