Accurate classification of 29 objects detected in the 39 month Palermo Swift/BAT hard X-ray catalogue

P. Parisi, N. Masetti, E. Jiménez-Bailón, V. Chavushyan, E. Palazzi, R. Landi, A. Malizia, L. Bassani, A. Bazzano, A. J. Bird, P. A. Charles, G. Galaz, E. Mason, V. A. McBride, D. Minniti, L. Morelli, F. Schiavone, P. Ubertini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Through an optical campaign performed at four telescopes located in the northern and the southern hemispheres, plus archival data from two on-line sky surveys, we obtained optical spectroscopy for 29 counterparts of unclassified or poorly studied hard X-ray emitting objects detected with Swift/Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) and listed in the 39 month Palermo catalogue. All these objects also have observations taken with Swift/X-ray Telescope (XRT) or XMM-European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) which not only allow us to pinpoint their optical counterpart, but also study their X-ray spectral properties (column density, power law photon index, and F2-10 keV flux). We find that 28 sources in our sample are active galactic nuclei (AGNs); 7 are classified as type 1, while 21 are of type 2; the remaining object is a Galactic cataclysmic variable. Among our type 1 AGNs, we find 5 objects of intermediate Seyfert type (1.2-1.9) and one narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy; for 4 out of 7 sources, we are able to estimate the central black hole mass. Three of the type 2 AGNs of our sample display optical features typical of low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINER) and one is a likely Compton thick AGN. All galaxies classified in this work are relatively nearby objects since their redshifts lie in the range 0.008-0.075; the only Galactic object found lies at an estimated distance of 90 pc. We also investigate the optical versus X-ray emission ratio of the galaxies of our sample to test the AGN unified model. For these galaxies, we also compare the X-ray absorption (caused by gas) with the optical reddening (caused by dust): we find that for most of our sources, specifically those of type 1.9-2.0 the former is higher than the latter confirming early results of Maiolino and collaborators; this is possibly due to the properties of dust in the circumnuclear obscuring torus of the AGN.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA101
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Atomic data
  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • X-rays: binaries
  • X-rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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