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The host galaxies of X-ray selected active galactic nuclei to z = 2.5 : structure, star formation, and their relationships from CANDELS and Herschel/PACS.

Rosario, D.J. and McIntosh, D.H. and van der Wel, A. and Kartaltepe, J. and Lang, P. and Santini, P. and Wuyts, S. and Lutz, D. and Rafelski, M. and Villforth, C. and Alexander, D.M. and Bauer, F.E. and Bell, E.F. and Berta, S. and Brandt, W.N. and Conselice, C.J. and Dekel, A. and Faber, S.M. and Ferguson, H.C. and Genzel, R. and Grogin, N.A. and Kocevski, D.D. and Koekemoer, A.M. and Koo, D.C. and Lotz, J.M. and Magnelli, B. and Maiolino, R. and Mozena, M. and Mullaney, J.R. and Papovich, C.J. and Popesso, P. and Tacconi, L.J. and Trump, J.R. and Avadhuta, S. and Bassett, R. and Bell, A. and Bernyk, M. and Bournaud, F. and Cassata, P. and Cheung, E. and Croton, D. and Donley, J. and DeGroot, L. and Guedes, J. and Hathi, N. and Herrington, J. and Hilton, M. and Lai, K. and Lani, C. and Martig, M. and McGrath, E. and Mutch, S. and Mortlock, A. and McPartland, C. and O'Leary, E. and Peth, M. and Pillepich, A. and Poole, G. and Snyder, D. and Straughn, A. and Telford, O. and Tonini, C. and Wandro, P. (2015) 'The host galaxies of X-ray selected active galactic nuclei to z = 2.5 : structure, star formation, and their relationships from CANDELS and Herschel/PACS.', Astronomy and astrophysics., 573 . A85.


We study the relationship between the structure and star formation rate (SFR) of X-ray selected low and moderate luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the two Chandra Deep Fields, using Hubble Space Telescope imaging from the Cosmic Assembly Near Infrared Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) and deep far-infrared maps from the PEP+GOODS-Herschel survey. We derive detailed distributions of structural parameters and FIR luminosities from carefully constructed control samples of galaxies, which we then compare to those of the AGNs. At z ~ 1, AGNs show slightly diskier light profiles than massive inactive (non-AGN) galaxies, as well as modestly higher levels of gross galaxy disturbance (as measured by visual signatures of interactions and clumpy structure). In contrast, at z ~ 2, AGNs show similar levels of galaxy disturbance as inactive galaxies, but display a red central light enhancement, which may arise from a more pronounced bulge in AGN hosts or extinguished nuclear light. We undertake a number of tests of both these alternatives, but our results do not strongly favor one interpretation over the other. The mean SFR and its distribution among AGNs and inactive galaxies are similar at z> 1.5. At z< 1, however, clear and significant enhancements are seen in the SFRs of AGNs with bulge-dominated light profiles. These trends suggest an evolution in the relation between nuclear activity and host properties with redshift, towards a minor role for mergers and interactions at z> 1.5.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Galaxies: active, Galaxies: structure, Galaxies: star formation, Surveys, Methods: statistical, X-rays: galaxies.
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Publisher statement:Reproduced with permission from Astronomy & Astrophysics, © ESO, 2014.
Date accepted:02 October 2014
Date deposited:20 May 2015
Date of first online publication:January 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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