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Tracing the evolution of active galactic nuclei host galaxies over the last 9 Gyr of cosmic time

  • Author(s): Goulding, AD
  • Forman, WR
  • Hickox, RC
  • Jones, C
  • Murray, SS
  • Paggi, A
  • Ashby, MLN
  • Coil, AL
  • Cooper, MC
  • Huang, JS
  • Kraft, R
  • Newman, JA
  • Weiner, BJ
  • Willner, SP
  • et al.
Abstract

We present the results of a combined galaxy population analysis for the host galaxies of active galactic nuclei (AGN) identified at 0 < z < 1.4 within the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Boötes, and DEEP2 surveys. We identified AGN in a uniform and unbiased manner at X-ray, infrared, and radio wavelengths. Supermassive black holes undergoing radiatively efficient accretion (detected as X-ray and/or infrared AGN) appear to be hosted in a separate and distinct galaxy population than AGN undergoing powerful mechanically dominated accretion (radio AGN). Consistent with some previous studies, radiatively efficient AGN appear to be preferentially hosted in modest star-forming galaxies, with little dependence on AGN or galaxy luminosity. AGN exhibiting radio-emitting jets due to mechanically dominated accretion are almost exclusively observed in massive, passive galaxies. Crucially, we now provide strong evidence that the observed host-galaxy trends are independent of redshift. In particular, these different accretion-mode AGN have remained as separate galaxy populations throughout the last 9 Gyr. Furthermore, it appears that galaxies hosting AGN have evolved along the same path as galaxies that are not hosting AGN with little evidence for distinctly separate evolution. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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