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CTAGN - Detecting Compton thick AGN with the European missions XMM and Herschel

  • 20994
  • CORDIS - PROJECTS 06/11/2009

We propose to derive the most accurate determination yet of the space density of Compton thick AGN using both X-ray spectroscopy and mid and far-IR techniques. In particular we propose to analyse the deepest XMM observations ever obtained (1.3Ms) to directly identify highly obscured sources in the Chandra Deep Field South through their X-ray spectrra. Still, according to the models, the bulk of the Compton thick sources should reside at even fainter fluxes i.e. they remain undetected even in the deepest Chandra exposures. Therefore the second part of our project is the identification of candidate Compton thick sources exploiting data from the IR Herschel and Spitzer missions. We will construct the spectral energy distribution of iR selected sources, searching for those with excess mid-IR emission over the optical and far-IR emission. Then X-ray stacking analysis can give us clues on whether these are Compton thick sources. The final part of our proposed project is the feedback of the above results to X-ray background population synthesis models in order to obtain an indirect estimate of the contribution of these sources at all fluxes and energies.
The proposed project provides the ideal training platform for the applicant. The host expertise dovetails with that of the applicant. At the host Institute (Bologna) the applicant will acquire significant experience on mid and far-IR wavelength analysis techniques, which have become an indispensable tool of Astronomy, as well as on modelling techniques and in particular the X-ray background population synthesis models.
The host is one of the largest X-ray Astronomy groups in Europe and therefore the researcher will be exposed to an active research environment participating being a member of the large international consortium on the analysis of the Chandra Deep Field South multi-wavelength data.

Start date: 2009-11-02
End date: 2011-11-01

Duration: 24 months

Project Reference: 235285

Project cost: .00 euro
Project Funding: 227541.00 euro

Subprogramme Area: FP7-PEOPLE-IEF-2008 Marie Curie Action: 'Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development'
Contract type: Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)


Quadro di finanziamento
  • 7FP-PEOPLE : PERSONE: programma specifico del Settimo programma quadro (2007-2013) di attività comunitarie di ricerca, sviluppo tecnologico e dimostrazione
Area di interesse
  • Unione Europea