The Distribution of Silicate Strength inSpitzerSpectra of AGNs and ULIRGs

Lei Hao, D. W. Weedman, H. W. W. Spoon, J. A. Marshall, N. A. Levenson, M. Elitzur, J. R. Houck
2007 Astrophysical Journal  
A sample of 196 AGNs and ULIRGs observed by the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on Spitzer is analyzed to study the distribution of the strength of the 9.7 micron silicate feature. Average spectra are derived for quasars, Seyfert 1 and Seyfert 2 AGNs, and ULIRGs. We find that quasars are characterized by silicate features in emission and Seyfert 1s equally by emission or weak absorption. Seyfert 2s are dominated by weak silicate absorption, and ULIRGs are characterized by strong silicate absorption
more » ... silicate absorption (mean apparent optical depth about 1.5). Luminosity distributions show that luminosities at rest frame 5.5 micron are similar for the most luminous quasars and ULIRGs and are almost 10^5 times more luminous than the least luminous AGN in the sample. The distributions of spectral characteristics and luminosities are compared to those of optically faint infrared sources at z~2 being discovered by the IRS, which are also characterized by strong silicate absorption. It is found that local ULIRGs are a similar population, although they have lower luminosities and somewhat stronger absorption compared to the high redshift sources.
doi:10.1086/511973 fatcat:65l4w5naofdtvhephuoz3dy2iy