Astro Seminar - "Quantifying the rate of dual-AGN with BAYMAX"

Adi Foord (University of Michigan)

Date: Nov 19, 2019 3:30 PM
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Location: Bell Room (room 103), Rutherford Physics
Astro Seminar

Title:Quantifying the rate of dual-AGN with BAYMAX

Abstract:

Despite the importance of dual active galactic nuclei, the rate of dual AGNs has yet to be accurately measured. However, the rate of dual AGNs can inform us of the role galaxy mergers play in triggering AGN, timescales for post-merger SMBHs to sink to the center of the potential well, as well as merger-related feedback physics. Dual AGNs that are widely separated relative to the instrument PSF and have near unity flux ratios are easy to identify, however dual AGNs with small separations and/or flux ratios can only be distinguished from a single AGN with advanced statistical analysis. I have developed BAYMAX (Bayesian AnalYsis of Multiple AGN in X-rays), a tool that uses a Bayesian framework to quantitatively evaluate whether a given source in a Chandra observation is actually a single or dual point source. Specifically, I present results from BAYMAX analyzing Chandra observations of a variety of sources such as: the lowest-mass dual AGN candidate to date (SDSS J091449.05), and a sample of AGN classified as dual from optical narrow-line diagnostics but whose X-ray emission remains ambiguous. With BAYMAX I am (1) discovering a dual AGN population where past spatial resolution limits have prevented systematic analyses and (2) unveiling the true nature of confirmed dual AGNs in the literature.


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