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Title: Evidence for Merger-driven Growth in Luminous, High-z, Obscured AGNs in the CANDELS/COSMOS Field

Abstract

While major mergers have long been proposed as a driver of both active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity and the $${M}_{\mathrm{BH}}\mbox{--}{\sigma }_{\mathrm{bulge}}$$ relation, studies of moderate to high-redshift Seyfert-luminosity AGN hosts have found little evidence for enhanced rates of interactions. However, both theory and observation suggest that while these AGNs may be fueled by stochastic accretion and secular processes, high-luminosity, high-redshift, and heavily obscured AGNs are the AGNs most likely to be merger-driven. To better sample this population of AGNs, we turn to infrared selection in the CANDELS/COSMOS field. Compared to their lower-luminosity and less obscured X-ray-only counterparts, IR-only AGNs (luminous, heavily obscured AGNs) are more likely to be classified as either irregular ($${50}_{-12}^{+12} \% $$ versus $${9}_{-2}^{+5} \% $$) or asymmetric ($${69}_{-13}^{+9} \% $$ versus $${17}_{-4}^{+6} \% $$) and are less likely to have a spheroidal component ($${31}_{-9}^{+13} \% $$ versus $${77}_{-6}^{+4} \% $$). Furthermore, IR-only AGNs are also significantly more likely than X-ray-only AGNs ($${75}_{-13}^{+8} \% $$ versus $${31}_{-6}^{+6} \% $$) to be classified either as interacting or merging in a way that significantly disturbs the host galaxy or as disturbed, though not clearly interacting or merging, which potentially represents the late stages of a major merger. Finally, this suggests that while major mergers may not contribute significantly to the fueling of Seyfert-luminosity AGNs, interactions appear to play a more dominant role in the triggering and fueling of high-luminosity heavily obscured AGNs.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [6];  [7]; ORCiD logo [8]; ORCiD logo [9]; ORCiD logo [10]; ORCiD logo [11]; ORCiD logo [12]; ORCiD logo [13]; ORCiD logo [14]; ORCiD logo [15]; ORCiD logo [16]; ORCiD logo [17]; ORCiD logo [8];  [18]; ORCiD logo [4] more »; ORCiD logo [19]; ORCiD logo [20]; ORCiD logo [21]; ORCiD logo [22]; ORCiD logo [23];  [24]; ORCiD logo [8]; ORCiD logo [8];  [25];  [26] « less
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Rochester Inst. of Technology, Rochester, NY (United States)
  3. Colby College, Waterville, ME (United States)
  4. Max Planck Inst. fur Extraterrestrische Physik, Garching (Germany)
  5. Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Roma (Italy). Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma
  6. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Hilo, HI (United States). Subaru Telescope
  7. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States)
  8. Space Telescope Science Inst., Baltimore, MD (United States)
  9. Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (United States)
  10. Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Bologna (Italy). Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna
  11. Wheelock College, Boston, MA (United States). Dept. of Math & Science
  12. Univ. Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Ensenada, BC (Mexico). Inst. de Astronomia, Observatorio Astronomico Nacional; Univ. Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez, Juarez (Mexico). Inst. de Ingeniería y Tecnología
  13. Inst. de Astrofisica de Canarias, Tenerife (Spain)
  14. Univ. of Nottingham (United Kingdom). School of Physics & Astronomy
  15. Swinburne Univ. of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC (Australia). Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing
  16. Aix Marseille Univ., Marseille (France). Lab. d’Astrophysique de Marseille; Space Telescope Science Inst., Baltimore, MD (United States)
  17. City Univ. (CUNY), NY (United States). Astrophysical Observatory, Dept. of Engineering Science and Physics; American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York, NY (United States). Dept. of Astrophysics and Hayden Planetarium; City Univ. (CUNY), NY (United States). Physics Program, The Graduate Center
  18. Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  19. Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States). Inst. for Astronomy
  20. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences
  21. Univ. of Bath, Bath (United Kingdom); Univ. of St. Andrews, Scotland (United Kingdom). Scottish Univ. Physics Alliance (SUPA)
  22. Durham Univ. (United Kingdom). Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Dept. of Physics
  23. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Dept. of Astronomy
  24. Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States). Lick Observatory, Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  25. Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City, MO (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  26. Ehime Univ., Matsuyama (Japan). Research Center for Space and Cosmic Evolution
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1440482
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-30967
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357; TRN: US1900747
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396; HF-51303.01; NAS5-26555; NAS8-03060; AST-1004583
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 853; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; galaxies: active; infrared: galaxies; X-rays: galaxies

Citation Formats

Donley, J. L., Kartaltepe, J., Kocevski, D., Salvato, M., Santini, P., Suh, H., Civano, F., Koekemoer, A. M., Trump, J., Brusa, M., Cardamone, C., Castro, A., Cisternas, M., Conselice, C., Croton, D., Hathi, N., Liu, C., Lucas, R. A., Nair, P., Rosario, D., Sanders, D., Simmons, B., Villforth, C., Alexander, D. M., Bell, E. F., Faber, S. M., Grogin, N. A., Lotz, J., McIntosh, D. H., and Nagao, T. Evidence for Merger-driven Growth in Luminous, High-z, Obscured AGNs in the CANDELS/COSMOS Field. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa9ffa.
Donley, J. L., Kartaltepe, J., Kocevski, D., Salvato, M., Santini, P., Suh, H., Civano, F., Koekemoer, A. M., Trump, J., Brusa, M., Cardamone, C., Castro, A., Cisternas, M., Conselice, C., Croton, D., Hathi, N., Liu, C., Lucas, R. A., Nair, P., Rosario, D., Sanders, D., Simmons, B., Villforth, C., Alexander, D. M., Bell, E. F., Faber, S. M., Grogin, N. A., Lotz, J., McIntosh, D. H., & Nagao, T. Evidence for Merger-driven Growth in Luminous, High-z, Obscured AGNs in the CANDELS/COSMOS Field. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa9ffa.
Donley, J. L., Kartaltepe, J., Kocevski, D., Salvato, M., Santini, P., Suh, H., Civano, F., Koekemoer, A. M., Trump, J., Brusa, M., Cardamone, C., Castro, A., Cisternas, M., Conselice, C., Croton, D., Hathi, N., Liu, C., Lucas, R. A., Nair, P., Rosario, D., Sanders, D., Simmons, B., Villforth, C., Alexander, D. M., Bell, E. F., Faber, S. M., Grogin, N. A., Lotz, J., McIntosh, D. H., and Nagao, T. Tue . "Evidence for Merger-driven Growth in Luminous, High-z, Obscured AGNs in the CANDELS/COSMOS Field". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa9ffa. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1440482.
@article{osti_1440482,
title = {Evidence for Merger-driven Growth in Luminous, High-z, Obscured AGNs in the CANDELS/COSMOS Field},
author = {Donley, J. L. and Kartaltepe, J. and Kocevski, D. and Salvato, M. and Santini, P. and Suh, H. and Civano, F. and Koekemoer, A. M. and Trump, J. and Brusa, M. and Cardamone, C. and Castro, A. and Cisternas, M. and Conselice, C. and Croton, D. and Hathi, N. and Liu, C. and Lucas, R. A. and Nair, P. and Rosario, D. and Sanders, D. and Simmons, B. and Villforth, C. and Alexander, D. M. and Bell, E. F. and Faber, S. M. and Grogin, N. A. and Lotz, J. and McIntosh, D. H. and Nagao, T.},
abstractNote = {While major mergers have long been proposed as a driver of both active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity and the ${M}_{\mathrm{BH}}\mbox{--}{\sigma }_{\mathrm{bulge}}$ relation, studies of moderate to high-redshift Seyfert-luminosity AGN hosts have found little evidence for enhanced rates of interactions. However, both theory and observation suggest that while these AGNs may be fueled by stochastic accretion and secular processes, high-luminosity, high-redshift, and heavily obscured AGNs are the AGNs most likely to be merger-driven. To better sample this population of AGNs, we turn to infrared selection in the CANDELS/COSMOS field. Compared to their lower-luminosity and less obscured X-ray-only counterparts, IR-only AGNs (luminous, heavily obscured AGNs) are more likely to be classified as either irregular (${50}_{-12}^{+12} \% $ versus ${9}_{-2}^{+5} \% $) or asymmetric (${69}_{-13}^{+9} \% $ versus ${17}_{-4}^{+6} \% $) and are less likely to have a spheroidal component (${31}_{-9}^{+13} \% $ versus ${77}_{-6}^{+4} \% $). Furthermore, IR-only AGNs are also significantly more likely than X-ray-only AGNs (${75}_{-13}^{+8} \% $ versus ${31}_{-6}^{+6} \% $) to be classified either as interacting or merging in a way that significantly disturbs the host galaxy or as disturbed, though not clearly interacting or merging, which potentially represents the late stages of a major merger. Finally, this suggests that while major mergers may not contribute significantly to the fueling of Seyfert-luminosity AGNs, interactions appear to play a more dominant role in the triggering and fueling of high-luminosity heavily obscured AGNs.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/aa9ffa},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 1,
volume = 853,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

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Cited by: 8 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Observed 0.5-10 keV X-ray luminosity vs. redshift for the IR and X-ray selected AGN. IR-only AGN are shown on the top, where their unknown “X-ray luminosity” has been randomized for plotting purposes and sources with unknown redshifts are assigned a value of -0.1. The vast majority of high-luminositymore » X-ray AGN are also selected as IRAGN, whereas most X-ray-only AGN are Seyfert galaxies.« less

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  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu173

Host galaxies of luminous z  ∼ 0.6 quasars: major mergers are not prevalent at the highest AGN luminosities
journal, November 2016

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Incidence of WISE -selected obscured AGNs in major mergers and interactions from the SDSS
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  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 464, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw2620

Type II Quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. V. Imaging Host Galaxies with the Hubble Space Telescope
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Black hole – Galaxy correlations in simba
    journal, June 2019

    • Thomas, Nicole; Davé, Romeel; Anglés-Alcázar, Daniel
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 487, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz1703

    Black hole – Galaxy correlations in simba
    journal, June 2019

    • Thomas, Nicole; Davé, Romeel; Anglés-Alcázar, Daniel
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 487, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz1703

      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.