X-ray spectroscopy and variability of AGN detected in the 2 Ms Chandra Deep Field-North Survey

F. E. Bauer, C. Vignali, D. M. Alexander, W. N. Brandt, G. P. Garmire, A. E. Hornschemeier, P. S. Broos, L. K. Townsley, D. P. Schneider

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11 Scopus citations


We investigate the nature of the faint X-ray source population through X-ray spectroscopy and variability analyses of 136 active galactic nuclei (AGN) detected in the 2 Ms Chandra Deep Field-North Survey with >200 background-subtracted 0.5-8.0 keV counts [F 0.5-8.0 keV = (1.4-200) × 10 -15 erg cm -2 s -1 ]. Our preliminary spectral analyses yield median spectral parameters of T = 1.61 and intrinsic N H - 6.2 × 10 21 cm -2 (z = 1 assumed when no redshift available) when the AGN spectra are fitted with a simple absorbed power-law model. However, considerable spectral complexity is apparent (e.g., reflection, partial covering) and must be taken into account to model the data accurately. Moreover, the choice of spectral model (i.e., free vs. fixed photon index) has a pronounced effect on the derived JVH distribution and, to a lesser extent, the X-ray luminosity distribution. We also=find that among the 136 AGN, 10 (≈7%) show significant Fe Kα emission-line features with equivalent widths in the range 0.1-1.3 keV. Two of these emission-line AGN could potentially be Compton thick (i.e., Γ < 1.0 and large Fe Kα equivalent width). Finally, we find that 81 (≈60%) of the 136 AGN show signs of variability, and that this fraction increases significantly (≈80-90%) when better photon statistics are available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2555-2560
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number12 SPEC.ISS.
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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