Star-forming galaxies at high redshift show anomalous values of infrared excess, which can be described only by extremizing the existing relations between the shape of their ultraviolet continuum emission and their infrared-to-ultraviolet luminosity ratio, or by constructing \textitad-hoc models of star formation and dust distribution. We present an alternative explanation, based on unveiled AGN activity, to the existence of such galaxies. In fact, the presence of a weak AGN configures as a natural scenario in order to explain the observed spectral properties of such high-$z$ objects in terms of a continuum slope distribution rather than altered infrared excesses, due to the different shape of the AGN continuum emission with respect to quiescent galaxies. To this aim, we directly compare the infrared-to-ultraviolet properties of high-redshift galaxies to those of known categories of AGN (quasars and Seyferts). We also infer the characteristics of their possible X-ray emission. We find a strong similarity between the spectral shapes and luminosity ratios of AGN with the corresponding properties of such galaxies. In addition, we derive expected X-ray fluxes that are compatible with energetics from AGN activity. We conclude that a moderate AGN contribution to the UV emission of such high-$z$ objects is a valid alternative to explain their spectral properties. Even the presence of an active nucleus in each source would not violate the expected quasar statistics. Furthermore, we suggest that the observed similarities between anomalous star-forming galaxies and quasars may provide a benchmark for future theoretical and observational studies on the galaxy population in the early Universe.
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|Titolo:||"Zombie" or active? An alternative explanation to the properties of star-forming galaxies at high redshift|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|