Disentangling AGN and Starburst Activity in Soft X-rays

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astronomy

Scientific paper

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Scientific paper

Soft X-ray (0.5-2 keV) emission in active galaxies can have comparable contributions from hot gas from star formation processes in the host galaxy and unresolved scattered/reflected AGN emission. Here we investigate the effectiveness of modeling the soft emission with a power law component to describe the AGN continuum and thermal model to accommodate starburst activity in disentangling these two proccesses. Using two samples of local Sy2 galaxies, an [OIII]-selected and mid-infrared selected sample, we compare the thermal flux with infrared and optical proxies of the host galaxy star formation rate. For a handful of sources with adequate signal-to-noise, we compare these results with those from published high-resolution grating observations. Finally, having calibrated the relation LMIR = a*LSFR + b*LAGN on a sample of 400 galaxies (quiescent star-forming galaxies, composite systems and AGN), we use this as a prior to calibrate L(0.5-2.0 keV) as a combination of thermal and non-thermal emission.

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