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Open Access Publications from the University of California


  • Author(s): Azadi, M
  • Aird, J
  • Coil, AL
  • Moustakas, J
  • Mendez, AJ
  • Blanton, MR
  • Cool, RJ
  • Eisenstein, DJ
  • Wong, KC
  • Zhu, G
  • et al.

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© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. We study the evidence for a connection between active galactic nuclei (AGNs) fueling and star formation by investigating the relationship between the X-ray luminosities of AGNs and the star formation rates (SFRs) of their host galaxies. We identify a sample of 309 AGNs with 1041 < LX < 1044 erg s-1 at 0.2 < z < 1.2 in the PRIMUS redshift survey. We find AGNs in galaxies with a wide range of SFR at a given LX. We do not find a significant correlation between SFR and the observed instantaneous LX for star-forming AGN host galaxies. However, there is a weak but significant correlation between the mean LX and SFR of detected AGNs in star-forming galaxies, which likely reflects that LX varies on shorter timescales than SFR. We find no correlation between stellar mass and LX within the AGN population. Within both populations of star-forming and quiescent galaxies, we find a similar power-law distribution in the probability of hosting an AGN as a function of specific accretion rate. Furthermore, at a given stellar mass, we find a star-forming galaxy ∼2-3 more likely than a quiescent galaxy to host an AGN of a given specific accretion rate. The probability of a galaxy hosting an AGN is constant across the main sequence of star formation. These results indicate that there is an underlying connection between star formation and the presence of AGNs, but AGNs are often hosted by quiescent galaxies.

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