Michael Koss - Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich

Michael Koss
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Michael Koss
Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich

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Astrophysics of Galaxies (28)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (18)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (7)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (1)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Michael Koss

In order to perform a more complete census of active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the local Universe, we investigate the use of the HeII~$\lambda 4685$ emission line diagnostic diagram by Shirazi & Brinchmann (2012) in addition to the standard methods based on other optical emission lines. The He II based diagnostics is more sensitive to AGN ionization in the presence of strong star formation than conventional line diagnostics. We survey a magnitude-limited sample of 63,915 galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 at $0. Read More

We combine the Herschel Space Observatory PACS and SPIRE photometry with archival WISE photometry to construct the spectral energy distributions (SED) for over 300 local ($z < 0.05$), ultra-hard X-ray (14 - 195 keV) selected active galactic nuclei (AGN) from the Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) 58 month catalogue. Using a simple analytical model that combines an exponentially cut-off powerlaw with a single temperature modified blackbody, we decompose the SEDs into a host-galaxy and AGN component. Read More

We systematically investigate the near- (NIR) to far-infrared (FIR) photometric properties of a nearly complete sample of local active galactic nuclei (AGN) detected in the Swift/Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) all-sky ultra hard X-ray (14-195 keV) survey. Out of 606 non-blazar AGN in the Swift/BAT 70-month catalog at high galactic latitude of $|b|>10^{\circ}$, we obtain IR photometric data of 604 objects by cross-matching the AGN positions with catalogs from the WISE, AKARI, IRAS, and Herschel infrared observatories. We find a good correlation between the ultra-hard X-ray and mid-IR (MIR) luminosities over five orders of magnitude ($41 < \log (L_{14-195}/{\rm erg}~{\rm s}^{-1})< 46$). Read More

We investigate the observed relationship between black hole mass ($M_{\rm BH}$), bolometric luminosity ($L_{\rm bol}$), and Eddington ratio (${\lambda}_{\rm Edd}$) with optical emission line ratios ([NII] {\lambda}6583/H{\alpha}, [SII] {\lambda}{\lambda}6716,6731/H{\alpha}, [OI] {\lambda}6300/H{\alpha}, [OIII] {\lambda}5007/H{\beta}, [NeIII] {\lambda}3869/H{\beta}, and HeII {\lambda}4686/H{\beta}) of hard X-ray-selected AGN from the BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey (BASS). We show that the [NII] {\lambda}6583/H{\alpha} ratio exhibits a significant correlation with ${\lambda}_{\rm Edd}$ ($R_{\rm Pear}$ = -0.44, $p$-value=$3\times10^{-13}$, {\sigma} = 0. Read More

We study the geometry of the AGN obscurer in IRAS 09104+4109, an IR-luminous, radio-intermediate FR-I source at $z=0.442$, using infrared data from Spitzer and Herschel, X-ray data from Nustar, Swift, Suzaku, and Chandra, and an optical spectrum from Palomar. The infrared data imply a total rest-frame 1-1000$\mu$m luminosity of $5. Read More

We present a new metric that uses the spectral curvature (SC) above 10 keV to identify Compton-thick AGN in low-quality Swift BAT X-ray data. Using NuSTAR, we observe nine high SC-selected AGN. We find that high-sensitivity spectra show the majority are Compton-thick (78% or 7/9) and the remaining two are nearly Compton-thick (NH~5-8x10^23 cm^-2). Read More

Some reddened quasars appear to be transitional objects in the merger-induced black hole growth/galaxy evolution paradigm, where a heavily obscured nucleus starts to be unveiled by powerful quasar winds evacuating the surrounding cocoon of dust and gas. Hard X-ray observations are able to peer through this gas and dust, revealing the properties of circumnuclear obscuration. Here, we present NuSTAR and XMM-Newton/Chandra observations of FIRST-2MASS selected red quasars F2M 0830+3759 and F2M 1227+3214. Read More

We present deep Chandra X-ray observations of the core of IC 2497, the galaxy associated with Hanny's Voorwerp and hosting a fading AGN. We find extended soft X-ray emission from hot gas around the low intrinsic luminosity (unobscured) AGN ($L_{\rm bol} \sim 10^{42}-10^{44}$ erg s$^{-1}$). The temperature structure in the hot gas suggests the presence of a bubble or cavity around the fading AGN ($\mbox{E$_{\rm bub}$} \sim 10^{54} - 10^{55}$ erg). Read More

We present far-infrared (FIR) and submillimeter photometry from the Herschel Space Observatory's Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) for 313 nearby z<0.05 active galactic nuclei (AGN). We selected AGN from the 58 month Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) catalog, the result of an all-sky survey in the 14-195 keV energy band, allowing for a reduction in AGN selection effects due to obscuration and host galaxy contamination. Read More

We present a NuSTAR, Chandra, and XMM--Newton survey of nine of the nearest ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs). The unprecedented sensitivity of NuSTAR at energies above 10 keV enables spectral modeling with far better precision than was previously possible. Six of the nine sources observed were detected sufficiently well by NuSTAR to model in detail their broadband X-ray spectra, and recover the levels of obscuration and intrinsic X-ray luminosities. Read More

We investigated AGN activity in low-mass galaxies, an important regime that can shed light onto BH formation and evolution, and their interaction with their host galaxies. We identified 336 AGN candidates from a parent sample of $\sim 48,000$ nearby low-mass galaxies ($M_{\rm \star} \leq 10^{9.5}M_\odot$, $z < 0. Read More

We investigate the relationship between X-ray and optical line emission in 340 nearby AGN selected above 10 keV using Swift BAT. We find a weak correlation between the extinction corrected [O III] and hard X-ray luminosity (14-195 keV) with a [OIII] large scatter (R_Pear = 0.64, sigma = 0. Read More

We investigate the location of an ultra-hard X-ray selected sample of AGN from the Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) catalog with respect to the main sequence (MS) of star-forming galaxies using Herschel-based measurements of the star formation rate (SFR) and stellar mass (\mstar) from Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) photometry where the AGN contribution has been carefully removed. We construct the MS with galaxies from the Herschel Reference Survey and Herschel Stripe 82 Survey using the exact same methods to measure the SFR and \mstar{} as the Swift/BAT AGN. We find a large fraction of the Swift/BAT AGN lie below the MS indicating decreased specific SFR (sSFR) compared to non-AGN galaxies. Read More

We present an observational constraint for the typical active galactic nucleus (AGN) phase lifetime. The argument is based on the time lag between an AGN central engine switching on and becoming visible in X-rays, and the time the AGN then requires to photoionize a large fraction of the host galaxy. Based on the typical light travel time across massive galaxies, and the observed fraction of X-ray selected AGN without AGN-photoionized narrow lines, we estimate that the AGN phase typically lasts $\sim10^{5}$ years. Read More

We present new NuSTAR and Chandra observations of NGC 3393, a galaxy reported to host the smallest separation dual AGN resolved in the X-rays. While past results suggested a 150 pc separation dual AGN, three times deeper Chandra imaging, combined with adaptive optics and radio imaging suggest a single, heavily obscured, radio-bright AGN. Using VLA and VLBA data, we find an AGN with a two-sided jet rather than a dual AGN and that the hard X-ray, UV, optical, NIR, and radio emission are all from a single point source with a radius <0. Read More

We have newly identified a substantial number of type 1 active galactic nuclei (AGN) featuring weak broad-line regions (BLRs) at z < 0.2 from detailed analysis of galaxy spectra in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7. These objects predominantly show a stellar continuum but also a broad H-alpha emission line, indicating the presence of a low-luminosity AGN oriented so that we are viewing the central engine directly without significant obscuration. Read More

Affiliations: 1Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, 2Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, 3Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Concepción, 4Physics Department and Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, 5Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, 6Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich

We investigate early black hole (BH) growth through the methodical search for $z\gtrsim5$ AGN in the $Chandra$ Deep Field South. We base our search on the $Chandra$ 4-Ms data with flux limits of $9.1\times\ 10^{-18}$ (soft, 0. Read More

Affiliations: 1PUC-Chile, 2Valparaiso, 3JPL, 4ETH Zurich, 5ASDC-ASI, 6Southhampton, 7JPL, 8Durham, 9Durham, 10SSL-Berkeley, 11Penn State, 12Durham, 13DTU Space, 14INAF-Bologna, 15SSL-Berkeley, 16Durham, 17Columbia Univ, 18Durham, 19Dartmouth, 20Penn State, 21GSFC, 22Universita Roma Tre, 23Universita Roma Tre, 24GSFC, 25Durham, 26UMd, 27Concepcion, 28Yale, 29GSFC

We report on observations of NGC1068 with NuSTAR, which provide the best constraints to date on its $>10$~keV spectral shape. We find no strong variability over the past two decades, consistent with its Compton-thick AGN classification. The combined NuSTAR, Chandra, XMM-Newton, and Swift-BAT spectral dataset offers new insights into the complex reflected emission. Read More

We present near-infrared (NIR) spectra of four optically-elusive AGN and four X- ray bright, optically normal galaxies (XBONGs) from the Swift-BAT survey. With archival observations from SDSS, 2MASS, Spitzer and WISE, we test a number of AGN indicators in the NIR and MIR; namely, NIR emission line diagnostic ratios, the presence of coronal high-ionization lines, and infrared photometry. Of our eight hard X-ray selected AGN, we find that optical normalcy has a variety of causes from object to object, and no one explanation applies. Read More

We present a broadband (~0.5-79 keV) spectral and temporal analysis of multiple NuSTAR observations combined with archival Suzaku and Chandra data of NGC4945, the brightest extragalactic source at 100 keV. We observe hard X-ray (> 10 keV) flux and spectral variability, with flux variations of a factor 2 on timescales of 20 ksec. Read More

Affiliations: 1IfA Hawaii, 2IfA Hawaii, 3UC Irvine, 4ETH Zurich, 5IfA Hawaii, 6IfA Hawaii, 7IfA Hawaii, 8IfA Hawaii, 9IfA Hawaii, 10IfA Hawaii, 11NOAO, 12CfA SAO-Harvard

Ultraluminous and luminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs and LIRGs) are the most extreme star-forming galaxies in the universe, and dominate the total star formation rate density at z>1. In the local universe (z<0.3), the majority of ULIRGs and a significant portion of LIRGs are triggered by interactions between gas-rich spiral galaxies, yet it is unclear if this is still the case at high-z. Read More

While performing a survey to detect recoiling supermassive black holes, we have identified an unusual source having a projected offset of 800 pc from a nearby dwarf galaxy. The object, SDSS J113323.97+550415. Read More

We present early results of the Herschel PACS (70 and 160 \micron{}) and SPIRE (250, 350, and 500 \micron{}) survey of 313 low redshift ($\rm{z} < 0.05$), ultra-hard X-ray (14--195 keV) selected AGN from the 58 month Swift/BAT catalog. Selection of AGN from ultra-hard X-rays avoids bias from obscuration providing a complete sample of AGN to study the connection between nuclear activity and star formation in host galaxies. Read More


Galaxy interactions/mergers have been shown to dominate the population of IR luminous galaxies (log(LIR)>11.6Lsun) in the local Universe (z<0.25). Read More

We present the results from a large 850 micron survey of the sigma Orionis cluster using the SCUBA-2 camera on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. The 0.5-degree diameter circular region we surveyed contains 297 young stellar objects with an age estimated at about 3Myr. Read More

Affiliations: 1IfA/Hawaii, 2IfA/Hawaii, 3IfA/Hawaii, 4IfA/Hawaii, 5SSC/Caltech, 6Marseille, 7IfA/Hawaii, 8IfA/Hawaii, 9CEA-Saclay, 10IfA/Hawaii, 11IfA/Hawaii

We present deep 450um and 850um observations of a large, uniformly covered 394arcmin^2 area in the COSMOS field obtained with the SCUBA-2 instrument on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). We achieve root-mean-square noise values of 4.13mJy at 450um and 0. Read More

We present the first analysis of the all-sky Swift BAT ultra hard X-ray (14-195 keV) data for a targeted list of objects. We find the BAT data can be studied at 3x fainter limits than in previous blind detection catalogs based on prior knowledge of source positions and using smaller energy ranges for source detection. We determine the AGN fraction in 134 nearby (z<0. Read More

We study the fraction of dual AGN in a sample of 167 nearby (z<0.05), moderate luminosity, ultra hard X-ray selected AGN from the all-sky Swift BAT survey. Combining new Chandra and Gemini observations together with optical and X-ray observations, we find that the dual AGN frequency at scales <100 kpc is 10% (16/167). Read More

We have assembled the largest sample of ultra hard X-ray selected (14-195 keV) AGN with host galaxy optical data to date, with 185 nearby (z<0.05), moderate luminosity AGN from the Swift BAT sample. The BAT AGN host galaxies have intermediate optical colors (u-r and g-r) that are bluer than a comparison sample of inactive galaxies and optically selected AGN from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) which are chosen to have the same stellar mass. Read More

We discuss the merger rate, close galaxy environment, and clustering on scales up to a Mpc of the SWIFT BAT hard X-ray sample of nearby (z<0.05), moderate-luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGN). We find a higher incidence of galaxies with signs of disruption compared to a matched control sample (18% versus 1%) and of close pairs within 30 kpc (24% versus 1%). Read More

We construct a new sample of 32 obscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs) selected from the Second XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue to investigate their multiwavelength properties in relation to the "scattering fraction", the ratio of the soft X-ray flux to the absorption-corrected direct emission. The sample covers a broad range of the scattering fraction (0.1%-10%). Read More

The Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) survey of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) is providing an unprecedented view of local AGNs ( = 0.03) and their host galaxy properties. In this paper, we present an analysis of the optical spectra of a sample of 64 AGNs from the 9-month survey, detected solely based on their 14-195 keV flux. Read More