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Browsing by Subject "observational astronomy"

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  • Viitanen, Akke Esa Tapio (2017)
    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are compact, luminous objects found in the central region of many galaxies. In the standard paradigm, the AGN is fueled by accretion of matter into a supermassive black hole (SMBH). In fact, the properties of many galaxies and their respective SMBHs are linked, which hints at the importance of AGN as factors in galaxy formation and evolution. The bulk of the matter in the Universe is some form of dark matter, which is still poorly understood. AGN are biased tracers of the underlying dark matter distribution. By comparing the clustering of AGN with that of the dark matter, the bias may be quantified and further, the bias can be linked to a characteristic mass of the dark matter halo hosting the AGN. The advent of high-resolution X-ray telescopes, namely Chandra and XMM-Newton, has made unprecedently large samples available for study. With detailed spectroscopic follow-up programs, the study of X-ray selected AGN clustering has received a major boost. The clustering measurements tell of the typical environments that are likely to host AGN and thus shed light on what actually triggers the AGN. In this thesis, the clustering of ∼ 600 X-ray selected AGN with z < 2.5 (z = 1.19) in the COS- MOS (Cosmic evolution survey) field surveyed with XMM-Newton (XMM-COSMOS) is studied. The full sample is split into subsamples based on the host galaxy stellar mass M∗ and the ratio between the X-ray luminosity and the stellar mass LX/M∗ which is a proxy for the Eddington ratio. For the full sample the bias is 3.61+0.37−0.40, which corresponds to a characteristic halo mass of log M halo /h−1 M⊙ = 13.52+0.12−0.16 , consistent with the overall picture of X-ray selected AGN residing in massive haloes with 12.5 < logMhalo/h−1M⊙ < 13.5. The low M∗ and high M∗ samples have biases 3.53+0.58−0.70 and 4.13+0.85−1.07, respectively and the data do not support a difference in the typical masses of the hosting haloes. For the LX/M∗ subsamples, there is marginal evidence that low L X /M∗ AGN (logM halo /h−1M⊙ = 13.52+0.22−0.37) reside in more massive haloes than high L X /M∗ AGN (logM halo /h−1M⊙ = 13.29+0.28−0.58). One possible explanation would be that the environment of the low LX /M∗ AGN reduces the amount of gas available for accretion and thus results in lower accretion rates.