Deep Spitzer observations of infrared-faint radio sources: high-redshift radio-loud active galactic nuclei?

Ray P. Norris, Jose Afonso, Antonio Cava, Duncan Farrah, Minh T. Huynh, R. J. Ivison, Matt Jarvis, Mark Lacy, Minnie Mao, Claudia Maraston, Jean-Christophe Mauduit, Enno Middelberg, Seb Oliver, Nick Seymour, Jason Surace

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Abstract

Infrared-faint radio sources (IFRSs) are a rare class of objects which are relatively bright at radio wavelengths but very faint at infrared and optical wavelengths. Here we present sensitive near-infrared observations of a sample of these sources taken as part of the Spitzer Extragalactic Representative Volume Survey. Nearly all the IFRSs are undetected at a level of ~1 μJy in these new deep observations, and even the detections are consistent with confusion with unrelated galaxies. A stacked image implies that the median flux density is S3.6 μm ~ 0.2 μJy or less, giving extreme values of the radio-infrared flux density ratio. Comparison of these objects with known classes of object suggests that the majority are probably high-redshift radio-loud galaxies, possibly suffering from significant dust extinction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Volume736
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2011

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