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Astrophysics and Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes. INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna IASF – CNR sezione di Bologna Dipartimento di Astronomia – Universita’ Bologna. STRATEGY : HIGH ENERGY OBSERVATIONS and MULTIWAVELENGTH FOLLOW-UP. WHY

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Astrophysics and Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes

INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna

IASF – CNR sezione di Bologna

Dipartimento di Astronomia – Universita’ Bologna

Strategy high energy observations and multiwavelength follow up

  • WHY

    Probe the inner regions  strong field limit of GR

    Unbiased (Unobscured) view of accretion history

  • AIMS

    Mapping physics and geometry of central BH

    Space density and evolution of obscured accreting BH

  • WHEN

    since early 2000 (launch of XMM and Chandra) based

    on the BeppoSAX heritage  up to the foreseen life of

    NASA and ESA cornerstones (2008-2010)


P. Ciliegi (RA)

A. Comastri (AA)

C. Gruppioni (RA)

M. Mignoli (RA)

G.M. Stirpe (AA)

V. Zitelli (AA)

C. Vignali (Post-Doc)

M. Brusa (PhD 3+ yr.)

P. Ranalli (PhD 3+ yr.)

F. Civano (PhD 1 yr.)


M. Cappi (Ric.)

G. Di Cocco (Dir.)

P. Grandi (Ric.)

G. Malaguti (Ric.)

M. Dadina (art. 23)

L. Foschini (art. 23)

F. Panessa (PhD 3+ yr.)

G. Ponti (PhD 1 yr.)

N. Cappelluti (student)


G. G. C. Palumbo (PO)

Smbh astrophysics

  • Deep high energy observations of bright Seyfert galaxies and quasars

    • Direct (unabsorbed) probe of the disc/BH system inner regions

    • High quality spectroscopy (continuum + emission/absorption line parameters)

    • High throughput (variability, reverberation mapping)

    • High-quality imaging of high z QSO

  • Reverberation mapping in Opt/UV

Broad-band (0.1-100 keV) X-ray Observations of AGNs

Cappi et al., ‘99, Malaguti et al. ‘98, ‘01, etc. (single objects)

Dadina et al., in preparation ( all the AGNs (z<0.1) in BeppoSAX archive)

BeppoSAX spectra up to 100 keV for about 100 AGNs

R and Ec for about 20 AGNs

Importance of high-energy coverage for the astrophysics of AGNs

N. of sources

N. of sources



N. of sources


X-ray mapping of the Inner regions of AGNs

Ponti et al. 2003, Dadina& Cappi 2003, Longinotti et al. 2003, etc

First model-independent confirmationofthe existenceof a broad FeK linein MCG-6-30-15

First reverberation mappingof the FeK line (r<100 rs)


FeK line

Diffuse emission from agn e g ngc 5252 with chandra
Diffuse emission from AGN : e.g. NGC 5252 with Chandra

(Joint XMM and Chandra observation)

Primi spettri

  • Monitoraggio di QSO a Loiano

  • Zitelli e Stirpe + Trevese (Univ. Roma)

  • Avviato nel 2003

  • 2 PG QSO con z > 1, V  15

  • Osservazioni fotometriche e spettroscopiche a Loiano (1.5m) con cadenza mensile

  • Finalizzato a misurare il ritardo delle variazioni delle righe rispetto a quelle del continuo  ottenere dimensioni della Broad Line Region e, combinando con la larghezza delle righe, la massa del buco nero centrale

  • Non ancora fatto per alte luminosità

Vista variabilità, misura preliminare di ritardo (ca. 60 d) in UM 87

  • Monitoraggio di QSO ad alto z al VLT con ISAAC

  • Stirpe + Marconi e Salvati (Arcetri), Capetti (Torino), Axon e Robinson (Rochester, NY), Horne (St. Andrews)

  • Finalità simili al programma di Loiano, ma per z più alti e righe di ionizzazione più bassa

  • Avviato nel 2001, cadenze mensili in service mode (6 h/semestre)

  • 2 QSO con z=2.3, K=15

X ray lighthouses at the dawn of the modern universe c vignali
X-ray Lighthouses at the Dawn of the Modern Universe (C. Vignali)

>500 QSOs at z>4

~90 detected by Chandra/XMM

X-ray emission is a universal property of QSOs

Spectral shape constant

up to z=6

UV to X-ray ratio higher for brighter quasars

X ray cosmology


  • Insensitive to absorption up to large column densities (log NH < 24, Compton-thin)

  • Most direct probe of the super-massive black holes (SMBH) accretion activity recorded in the XRB spectral energy density

  • Test of XRB models  test of AGN unified schemes  physics and geometry of obscuring gas and dust


  • Optical Identifications

  • Redshift, Luminosity and Absorption distributions

  • X-ray properties (individual and stacked) of other classes non-AGN objects (Starburst, galaxies, EROs, etc..)

The deepest x ray sky
The deepest X-ray sky Vignali)

Chandra Surveys, 1-2 Ms exposures

CDF-S (Giacconi et al. 2002)

CDF-N (Alexander et al. 2003)

The hellas2xmm survey
The HELLAS2XMM survey Vignali)

Collaborators: A. Baldi (Harvard-CFA),

N. Carangelo, S. Molendi (IASF-Mi)

F. Fiore, F. Cocchia, V. D’Elia, S. Puccetti (INAF-OAR),

F. La Franca, G. Matt, G.C. Perola (Uni Roma3),

R. Maiolino (INAF-OAA),

Beginning: Early 2001

Main goal: to trace the history of accretion in the Universe

Strategy: public XMM-Newton fields  large area (4 deg2)

To date: 122 sources in ~1 deg2 (5 fields)

Optical Photometry (R band): ESO 3.6m (complete to R=24)

Spectroscopy: ESO 3.6m + VLT/FORS2 (96/122)

Near-Infrared photometry: VLT/ISAAC (11 targets with R>24)

Radio: ATCA + VLA (complete)

AdditionalX: Chandra (2 fields)

Selected Results Vignali)

  • Starburst

  • (P. Ranalli)

  • XBONGs

  • (A.Comastri)

  • EROs

  • (M. Brusa)

  • High X/O

  • (M. Mignoli)

High x o sources hellas2xmm
High X/O sources HELLAS2XMM Vignali)

R-band image

K-band image

  • ISAAC observations:

    11 sources with R > 24

    F(2-10) > 1.2 x 10-14

  • K-band morphology:

    Most (7/10) are ellipticals

  • Redshift range: z=0.8-2.4

    (from colour-morphology redshift tracks)

  • X-ray analysis:(Perola et al. in prep.)

    Highly obscured

    L(2-10 keV)=1044-1045 erg/s

  • ALL: R-K>5  EROs

  • 3 near-IR counterparts are unique

Mignoli, Pozzetti et al. 2004, A&A, in press

  • 2 pointlike

  • 1 disky

  • 7 ellipticals

Fit with a

de Vaucouleurs


Piercing Vignali) obscured AGN among EROs with XMM-Newton


Comastri, Mignoli, Vignali, Pozzetti, Zamorani

+ Daddi (ESO) + Cimatti (INAF-Arcetri)

Complementary program

on EROs

R band

K band

Included in the XMM-Newton Image Gallery

(section: Cosmology/Deep Fields)

The 2 10 kev luminosity as a star formation rate indicator
The 2-10 keV luminosity as a Vignali) Star Formation Rate indicator

Blue: Local starburst

Red: HDFN high-z



(from Ranalli, Comastri &

Setti, 2003, A&A 399, 39)

X-ray bright optically normal galaxies Vignali)


in the PKS0312 field

(Comastri et al. 2002, ApJ, 571, 771)


Featureless optical


LX>1042 erg/s

Relatively hard X-ray spectra

Discovered both in shallow and deep surveys (e.g. Barger et al. 2002)

K s vlt isaac imaging of xbongs
K Vignali) s (VLT/ISAAC) imaging of XBONGs


30 arcsec


30 arcsec


30 arcsec


30 arcsec

Agn surveys in the marano field mignoli zamorani marano mpe
AGN surveys in the Marano Vignali) Field(Mignoli, Zamorani, Marano + MPE)



  • WFI composite (BVR) image.

  • ~55000 objects, ~300 color-selected AGN

    candidates down to B=23.5 (>100 spect. observed)

  • Corrected quasar density at B=23.5 ~340/sq. deg

~500 X-ray sources

Contesto nazionale e internazionale
Contesto Vignali) Nazionalee Internazionale

  • 13 staff a BO (wrt ~ 100 in Italia)

  • Hellas2XMM e’ una collaborazione INAF-Universita’-CNR

  • Cambridge e IC (UK) e UCLA (USA) per studi di timing e LLAGN

  • MPE (D) e CfA (USA) per le surveys

  • Partner di COSMOS (2 gradi quadri con HST PI: Scoville - Caltech) official commitment for XMM e Chandra follow-up (Co-PI)

  • Partner of european RTN FP6

2000 Vignali) 200120022003+

  • Refereed Journals + Invited Talks

    20+1 17+1 20+1 30+4

  • International Review Committees

    Chandra/XMM TAC + XMM User Group

    XEUS Astrophysics WG

  • Telescopes Time (X-rays) --- kiloseconds

    420 320 770 600

  • Telescope Time (other lambda, mostly ESO) --- nights

    6 6 12 9+

  • Several hundreds of kiloseconds in large international programs (COSMOS/ELAIS etc..)


2000200120022003+ (k€)

  • Personale 30 35 30 13


  • Ricerca 11 16 40 17


  • Ricerca - 20 25 10 Inaf

    (COFIN + INAF) 52 approved

Problemi Vignali)


    necessita’ all’interno del budget assegnato/disponibile, di un piano organico a medio/lungo termine


    Interna (comitati esterni internazionali) delle attivita’/proposte/strategie scientifiche


    necessita’ di un’ Interfaccia- struttura INAF dedicata alla diffusione dell’attivita’ scientifica

Future developments
Future developments Vignali)


    high redshift Universe / LSS of X-ray sources (X—rays + SIRTF)

     Hellas2xmm 4 deg2, @ 10-14 cgs

    ELAIS-S1 0.5 deg2 @ 2x10-15 cgs

    COSMOS 2 deg2 @ 2x10-15 cgs


    Physical observables down to ~ Rg (within XMM-Chandra framework)

    Physics of accretion up to z ~ 4-5