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Astron. Astrophys. 356, 445-462 (2000)

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Radio and X-ray bright AGN: the ROSAT - FIRST correlation

W. Brinkmann 1, S.A. Laurent-Muehleisen 2,3,4, W. Voges 1, J. Siebert 1, R.H. Becker 3, M.S. Brotherton 2, R.L. White 5 and M.D. Gregg 3

1 Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, 85740 Garching, Germany
2 Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94450, USA
3 University of California, Physics Department, Davis, CA 95616, USA
4 Visiting Astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, USA
5 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Received 22 November 1999 / Accepted 25 January 2000


We present the results of a correlation of the ROSAT All-Sky Survey with the April 1997 release of the VLA 20cm FIRST catalogue. We focus our analysis on the 843 X-ray sources which have unique radio counterparts. The majority of these objects (84%) have optical counterparts on the POSS 1 plates. Approximately 30% have been previously classified and we obtain new spectroscopic classifications for 85 sources by comparison with the ongoing FIRST Bright Quasar Survey and 106 additional sources from our own new spectroscopic data. Approximately 51% of the sources are presently classified, and the majority of the unclassified objects are optically faint. The newly classified sources are generally radio weak, exhibiting properties intermediate with previous samples of radio- and X-ray-selected AGN. This also holds for the subsample of 71 BL Lacs which includes many intermediate objects. The 146 quasars show no evidence for a bimodal distribution in their radio-loudness parameter, indicating that the supposed division between radio-quiet and radio-loud AGN may not be real. The X-ray and radio luminosities are correlated over two decades in radio luminosity, spanning the radio-loud and radio-quiet regimes, with radio-quiet quasars showing a linear correlation between the two luminosities. Many of the sources show peculiar or unusual properties which call for more detailed follow-up observations. We also give the X-ray and radio data for the 518 X-ray sources for which more than one radio object is found. Because of the difficulties inherent in identifying optical counterparts to these complex sources, we do not consider these data in the current analysis 1.

Key words: galaxies: active – galaxies: quasars: general – X-rays: general – radio continuum: general

Send offprint requests to: W. Brinkmann (wpb@mpe.mpg.de)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: April 10, 2000