Optical and near-infrared spectroscopy of a high-redshift hard X-ray-emitting spiral galaxy

Steve Dawson, Nate McCrady, Daniel Stern, Megan E. Eckart, Hyron Spinrad, Michael C. Liu, James R. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We present optical and near-infrared Keck spectroscopy of CXOHDFN J123635.6+621424 (HDFX 28), a hard X-ray source at a redshift of z = 2.011 in the flanking fields of the Hubble Deep Field North (HDFN). HDFX 28 is a red source (R-Ks = 4.74) with extended steep-spectrum (α 1.48.4 GHz > 0.87 GHz) microjansky radio emission and significant emission (441 μJy) at 15 μm. Accordingly, initial investigations prompted the interpretation that HDFX 28 is powered by star formation. Subsequent Chandra imaging, however, revealed hard (Γ = 0.30) X-ray emission indicative of absorbed active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity, implying that HDFX 28 is an obscured type II AGN. The optical and near-infrared spectra presented herein corroborate this result; the near-infrared emission lines cannot be powered by star formation alone, and the optical emission lines indicate a buried AGN. HDFX 28 is identified with a face-on moderately late-type spiral galaxy. Multiwavelength morphological studies of the HDF-N have heretofore revealed no galaxies with any kind of recognizable spiral structure beyond z > 2. We present a quantitative analysis of the morphology of HDFX 28, and we find the measures of central concentration and asymmetry to be indeed consistent with those expected for a rare high-redshift spiral galaxy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1236-1246
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3 1767
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: individual (CXOHDFN J123635.6+621424) galaxies: Seyfert
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Quasars: emission lines


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