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Astron. Astrophys. 348, 673-677 (1999)

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Research Note

The X-ray background-foreground galaxy cross-correlation: evidence for weak lensing?

Asantha R. Cooray

Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637, USA (asante@hyde.uchicago.edu)

Received 11 June 1999 / Accepted 22 June 1999


A significant cross-correlation between the unresolved X-ray background (XRB) at soft energies (0.5 to 2 keV) and foreground bright galaxies has now been reported in several studies. This cross-correlation has been interpreted in terms of a low redshift and a low luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGN) population, clustered similar to optically bright galaxies, as responsible for the unresolved component of the XRB. In contrast to such a low redshift population, we suggest that a correlation between the unresolved XRB and bright optical galaxies can exist due to a high redshift population of X-ray emitting AGNs through weak lensing effects of low redshift large scale structure traced by foreground optical galaxies. We further investigate this possibility and suggest that a substantial fraction of the detected cross-correlation signal can arise from this scenario. The most likely explanation for the observed cross-correlation is that both a population of low redshift sources and a population of high redshift low luminous sources contribute through clustering and lensing effects, respectively. The exact weak gravitational lensing contribution to the detected signal can eventually be used to constrain cosmological parameters, foreground galaxy bias and, more importantly, models of high redshift X-ray emitting sources.

Key words: cosmology: large-scale structure of Universe – cosmology: gravitational lensing – galaxies: active – X-rays: galaxies – X-rays: general

This article contains no SIMBAD objects.


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: August 13, 199