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Astron. Astrophys. 347, 424-433 (1999)

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Beyond the standard model for the cosmic X-ray background

R. Gilli 1, G. Risaliti 1 and M. Salvati 2

1 Dipartimento di Astronomia e Scienza dello Spazio, Università di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 5, I-50125 Firenze, Italy (gilli, risaliti@arcetri.astro.it)
2 Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, I-50125 Firenze, Italy (salvati@arcetri.astro.it)

Received 19 January 1999 / Accepted 29 April 1999


The synthesis model for the cosmic X-ray background (XRB) - based on the integrated emission of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) - is complemented with new observational results. We adopt the most recent estimates of the AGN X-ray luminosity function and evolution. We adopt the column density distribution of type 2 AGNs observed in the local Universe, instead of describing it as a set of free parameters. We maintain the standard assumptions that type 2 AGNs have the same luminosity function - apart from a constant factor - and the same evolution of type 1s, and that the spectral shapes of both types are independent of redshift. We explore various parametrizations of the data, and in all cases we find that the XRB can be fitted, but the number density ratio of type 2s to type 1s must be higher than the local value, and/or the hard X-ray counts in the 2-10 keV band and the preliminary BeppoSAX counts in the 5-10 keV band are underestimated at a level of a few [FORMULA]. These results consistently suggest that type 2 AGNs could undergo a faster evolution than type 1s, or other sources with hard X-ray spectra might contribute to the XRB at intermediate or high redshifts.

Key words: galaxies: Seyfert – cosmology: diffuse radiation – X-rays: galaxies

Send offprint requests to: R. Gilli

This article contains no SIMBAD objects.


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: June 30, 1999