S. Martocchia, E. Piconcelli, L. Zappacosta, F. Duras, G. Vietri, C. Vignali, S. Bianchi, M. Bischetti, A. Bongiorno, M. Brusa, G. Lanzuisi, A. Marconi, S. Mathur, G. Miniutti, F. Nicastro, G. Bruni, F. Fiore. 2017. The WISSH quasars project III. X-ray properties of hyper-luminous quasars. Astronomy and Astrophysics 608, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201731314
We performed a survey of the X-ray properties of 41 objects from the WISE/SDSS selected hyper-luminous (WISSH) quasars sample, which includes 86 broad-line quasars with bolometric luminosity L-Bol greater than or similar to 2 x 10(47) erg s(-1) shining at z similar to 2-4. We used both proprietary and archival Chandra and XMM-Newton observations. Twenty-one quasars have sufficient quality data to perform a spectroscopic analysis, while for the remaining sources, X-ray properties are derived through hardness-ratio analysis (apart for six sources that result to be undetected). The bulk (similar to 70%) of the detected WISSH quasars exhibit N-H < 5 x 10(22) cm(-2), in agreement with their optical Type 1 AGN classification. All but three quasars show unabsorbed 2-10 keV luminosities L2-10 >= 10(45) erg s(-1). Thanks to their extreme radiative output across the mid-IR-to-X-ray range, WISSH quasars therefore offer the opportunity to significantly extend and validate the existing relations involving L2-10. Specifically, we studied the X-ray luminosity as a function of (i) X-ray-to-optical (X/O) flux ratio; (ii) mid-IR luminosity (LMIR); (iii) L-Bol, and (iv) alpha(OX) versus 2500 angstrom luminosity. We find that the WISSH quasars show (i) unreported very low X/O (<0.1) compared to typical AGN values; (ii) L2-10/L-MIR ratios that are significantly smaller than those derived for AGN with lower luminosity; (iii) a large X-ray bolometric correction, k(Bol,X) approximate to 100-1000; and (iv) steep -2 >= alpha(OX) >= -1.7. These results lead to a scenario in which the X-ray emission of hyper-luminous quasars is relatively weaker compared to lower luminosity AGN. Models predict that such an X-ray weakness can be relevant for the acceleration of powerful high-ionization, emission-line-driven winds, which are commonly detected in the UV spectra of WISSH quasars and can, in turn, perturb the X-ray corona and weaken its emission. Accordingly, hyper-luminous quasars represent the ideal laboratory to study the link between the AGN energy output and wind acceleration. Additionally, WISSH quasars exhibit very large SMBH masses (log[M-BH/M-circle dot] >= 9.5). This enables a more robust modeling of the Gamma-M-BH relation by increasing the statistics at high masses. We derive a flatter dependence than previously found over the broad range 5 less than or similar to log(M-BH = M-circle dot) <= 11. Finally, we estimate that only 300 ks observations of X-IFU on board Athena will offer a detailed view of the properties of absorption features associated with powerful X-ray SMBH winds for a representative sample of WISSH quasars.