Optical and infrared properties of the 2 Ms Chandra Deep Field North X-ray sources

A. J. Barger, L. L. Cowie, P. Capak, D. M. Alexander, F. E. Bauer, E. Fernandez, W. N. Brandt, G. P. Garmire, A. E. Hornschemeier

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274 Citations (SciVal)


We present an optical and near-infrared catalog for the X-ray sources in the ≈2 Ms Chandra observation of the Hubble Deep Field North region. We have high-quality multicolor imaging data for all 503 X-ray point sources in the X-ray-selected catalog and reliable spectroscopic redshifts for 284. We spectroscopically identify six high-redshift (z > 1) type II quasars (L 2-8keV > 1044 ergs s-1) in our sample. Our spectroscopic completeness for the R ≤ 24 sources is 87%. The spectroscopic redshift distribution shows two broad redshift spikes that have clearly grown over those originally seen in the ≈1 Ms exposure. The spectroscopically identified extragalactic sources already comprise 75% of the measured 2-8 keV light. Redshift slices versus 2-8 keV flux show that an impressive 54% of the measured 2-8 keV light arises from sources at z < 1 and 68% from sources at z < 2. Thus, major accretion onto supermassive black holes has occurred since the universe was half its present age. We use seven broadband colors and a Bayesian photometric redshift estimation code to obtain photometric redshifts for the X-ray sources. We find that the photometric redshifts are within 25% of the spectroscopic redshifts for 94% of the non-broad-line sources with both photometric and spectroscopic measurements, The photometrically identified sources show a smooth continuation of the spectroscopically identified sources to redder R-HK′ color with increasing redshift, consistent with the galaxy tracks of evolved bulge-dominated galaxies. Fourteen have colors R-HK′ > 5.7 that would classify them as extremely red objects (EROs). The photometric redshifts of these EROs are all between z ∼ 1.5 and z ∼ 2.5. We use our wide wavelength coverage to determine rest-frame colors for the X-ray sources with spectroscopic or photometric redshifts. We find that many of the X-ray sources have the rest-frame colors of evolved red galaxies and that there is very little evolution in these colors with redshift. We also determine absolute magnitudes and find that many of the non-broad-line sources are more luminous than M1*, even at high redshifts. We therefore infer that deep X-ray observations may provide an effective way of locating M* galaxies with colors similar to present-day early-type galaxies to high redshifts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-665
Number of pages34
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2 1772
StatePublished - Aug 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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